- Audio CD
- Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (March 20, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0739342282
- ISBN-13: 978-0739342282
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 2 x 4.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 142 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,047,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Love Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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The first page of Toni Morrison's novel Love is a soft introduction to a narrator who pulls you in with her version of a tale of the ocean-side community of Up Beach, a once popular ocean resort. Morrison introduces an enclave of people who react to one man--Bill Cosey--and to each other as they tell of his affect on generations of characters living in the seaside community. One clear truth here, told time and again, is how folks love and hate each other and the myriad ways it's manifested; these versions of humanity are seen in almost every line. Monsters and ghosts creep into young girls' dreams and around corners and then return to staid ladies' lives as they age and remember friendships and cold battles. Men and women--Heed, Romen, Junior, Christine, Celestial, and the rest of Morrison's cast--cry and sing out their weaknesses and strengths in rotating perspectives. Sandler, a Cosey employee, is a brilliant agent of Morrison's descriptions of human behavior, "Then, in a sudden shift of subject that children and heavy drinkers enjoy, 'My son, Billy was about your age. When he died, I mean.'" And Romen is allowed to play hero by saving a young girl from a brutal gang rape, while at the same time, he battles disgust like no superhuman would be caught dead feeling.
Though slim in pages, Morrison constructs Love with a precision and elegance that shows her characters' flaws and fears with brutal accuracy. Love may be less complex than others in the grand Morrison oeuvre, but not because Morrison performs literary hand-holding. Readers will experience in this smooth, sharp-eyed gem another instance of the Toni Morrison craftsmanship: she enters your mind, hangs a tale or two there, and leaves just as quietly as she came. --E. Brooke Gilbert --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
At the center of this haunting, slender eighth novel by Nobel winner Morrison is the late Bill Cosey-entrepreneur, patriarch, revered owner of the glorious Cosey Hotel and Resort (once "the best and best-known vacation spot for colored folk on the East Coast") and captivating ladies' man. When the novel opens, the resort has long been closed, and Cosey's mansion shelters only two feuding women, his widow, Heed, and his granddaughter, Christine. Then sly Junior Viviane, fresh out of "Reform, then Prison," answers the ad Heed placed for a companion and secretary, and sets the novel's present action-which is secondary to the rich past-in motion. "Rigid vipers," Vida Gibbons calls the Cosey women; formerly employed at the Cosey resort, Vida remembers only its grandeur and the benevolence of its owner, though her husband, Sandler, knew the darker side of Vida's idol. As Heed and Christine feud ("Like friendship, hatred needed more than physical intimacy: it wanted creativity and hard work to sustain itself"), Junior of the "sci-fi eyes" vigorously seduces Vida and Sandler's teenage grandson. In lyrical flashbacks, Morrison slowly, teasingly reveals the glories and horrors of the past-Cosey's suspicious death, the provenance of his money, the vicious fight over his coffin, his disputed will. Even more carefully, she unveils the women in Cosey's life: his daughter-in-law, May, whose fear that civil rights would destroy everything they had worked for drove her to kleptomania and insanity; May's daughter, Christine, who spent hard years away from the paradise of the hotel; impoverished Heed the Night Johnson, who became Cosey's very young "wifelet"; the mysterious "sporting woman" Celestial; and L, the wise and quiet former hotel chef, whose first-person narration weaves throughout the novel, summarizing and appraising lives and hearts. Morrison has crafted a gorgeous, stately novel whose mysteries are gradually unearthed, while Cosey, its axis, a man "ripped, like the rest of us, by wrath and love," remains deliberately in shadow, even as his family burns brightly, terribly around him.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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A man who was too proud too marry his “whore” although capable of publicly molesting and marrying a child? And yet the women in his life who navigated both his personal and professional realm, love him no less and defend him to the end. A question that points back to the title of the novel and most poignantly the danger of a women’s love.
Where we find beautiful, intelligent, and multi-faceted women loyal to a dangerous self-serving man? Women who can name the ever-ending and deep evils of a man, but don’t feel comfortable calling him such? Although when speaking of “Celestial” influence of men via her sexuality, or Heed’s WANT to be rid of poverty by any mean’s necessary, they are quickly deemed whores or self serving opportunist, never being given the same hesitation or consideration as their god, Bill Cosey.
That speaks to a moment in the text where Ms. Morrison states, ” now, exhausted, drifting toward a maybe permanent sleep, they don’t speak of the birth of sin.” A moment that still points the blind eye given to the circumstances crafted by Bill Cosey. A man, who did awful, cruel, unexplainable things to the women who sacrificed their lives for him.
Does that not deserve it’s rightful title? One that doesn’t fall back on “a man being a man”?
I could go on, but i would continue with more statements that lead to more questions about the women in this story and their inability to authentically love. Women who didn’t every truly recognize and cherish the love of each other which was really all they had. When instead they rather love the shell of a man dressed in important clothing?
The story is frustrating, and the end too soon. Although I’d argue it’s a text geared to confronting women and wondering why they’re love is not enough? Why they must ignore the strong spiritual ties of there own love that has kept them together despite all their abilities to leave one another. Rather than hold tight to a phantom dream of a man who wasn’t capable of love himself.
I’m still torn if I would recommend the book. Although I can’t deny that the text does move the reader to a deeper questioning of love and what it means to women.
It is about the Blacks' caste system; the lighter you are, the greater your chances for love & success AND it's about a very Black girl, who despite all the barriers makes it "big" in spite of the difficult childhood, the reject;ing mother, & the color of her skin which complicated so many relationships and which cheated her in so many ways.
It's a WONDERFUL book. READ it. REad it. Read it !!! It's worth it...& the AMAZING ending which took me by surprise.
Tony Morrison is a REALIST...a pragmatist...no romantic bones in her body when it comes to parenting or motherhood. It ain't easy & she says it so many different ways. ENJOY IT !!! It will also TEACH as well as entertain & inform.
In Love it is hard to find the love that the title indicates. This in and of itself is a Morrison trademark. For certainly Paradise was not a paradise, Beloved was not beloved, and the little black girl in Bluest Eye would never get her blue eyes. So the irony is in the title. At first you think it is the love of Mr. Cosey, which is certainly there in a form, but you soon come to realize that Mr. Cosey isn't that nice or good of a character. In the end it is a tale of Love, although thorned and warped, between two women as we watch how it affects their lives.
Read and savor every chapter. Take in Morrison's ability to form the words in such a melodic fashion that the image is firmly placed in your head. I adore Morrison's writing and cannot wait for her next novel. I would most certainly recommend this her latest novel, as well as anything that she has written.
Most recent customer reviews
......... I'm completely lost and may be the last Toni Morrrison creep book I read.