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Jazz by Toni Morrison

Jazz (1992)

by Toni Morrison

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,768452,013 (3.62)176

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English (43)  German (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
I think I liked this one even better than Beloved? The first time she switches timeframes and point of view I was like "wait, what just happened?" but after that I was able to swing with it. I relate with Violet a disturbing amount. I found all the female characters to be extremely compelling and even found Joe to be sympathetic sometimes.

I should read this again someday. There are many subtle connections between the stories, I caught many but sometimes I had the pesky feeling i was missing something. Really great book, reminded me of Baldwin's Another Country in that the meat of the story is revealed before you understand it, and you gradually understand more and more as you go on. ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |
The story plot is twisted, and Morrison is always a struggle for me to start reading until I sink into the prose and just let it flow over me. She writes of such dark things, but in such a way it almost reads like poetry. And although I wouldn’t give the actual surface plot high marks, where the story shines is the mini-backstories of its characters as they reveal the many facets & hardships of African American life from slavery through the 20’s.

(I started this one on audio, only to realize that although it was read by the author and had some beautiful bluesy jazz in the background, it was severely abridged. So I switched to the ebook version.) ( )
  RivetedReaderMelissa | Mar 22, 2018 |
I struggled with this book but it is truly a work of excellence. I just struggled with the book. I usually love Morrison’s writing but this one was hard.

But I appreciate it. It tells the story of the migration to the north when African American’s moved from the rural south north the the cities, especially Harlem. It is a story of migration, orphans seeking homeland and identity and Jazz music.

Narrative is a interesting aspect of the book. There is a collective narrative. As in Jazz improv, each character might have a solo composition that is part of the whole story. The narrators are unreliable. Some narration might be inanimate and the author may have been one of the narrators.

Symbols: red winged birds representing freedom, Violet (violent) birds being caged. There is a lot of descriptions that represent violence, too.

This is the second of the author’s trilogy of history. I’ve read Beloved, Jazz and now I will need to read Paradise. ( )
  Kristelh | Feb 24, 2018 |
Jazz focuses on the lives of a black couple, Joe and Violet Trace, who moved from rural Virginia to NY fairly soon after they married. The story goes back and forth in time, from Violet's childhood after her mother dies to Joe's origin as the child of a "wild woman". Though a short book, this is not a quick read.

Joe and Violet have no children, and all seems fine, until he becomes obsessed with a teenager, Dorcas, in their NY city neighborhood. Honestly this part of the story does not fit with Joe's personality as we have met him, so it's a bit confusing. Violet forgives him, Felice (Dorcas's best friend) seems to forgive him, and life in the city goes on. ( )
  Dreesie | Feb 23, 2018 |
I did enjoy it. But I think I really need to sit down and read it to get the full impact of the book. Although it could have ended sooner than it did. ( )
  pirogoeth | Jul 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toni Morrisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vink, NettieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Io sono il nome del suono e il suono del nome. Sono il segno della lettera e la designazione della divisione. "Tuono, mente perfetta" Nag Hammadi
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Für RW und George
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Sth, I know that woman.
What good are secrets if you can't talk to anybody about them?
It's nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond and way, way down underneath tissue.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452269652, Paperback)

Jazz embraces the vibrant music and lifestyle of 1920s Harlem, an urban renaissance of opportunity and glamour. A novel of murder, hard lives, and broken dreams, Jazz sways with a lyric medley of voices and human consciousness.

Narrated by the author, Toni Morrison, this is an intense but gratifying three hours of tape. Background jazz music enhances the feel of '20s Harlem, a city that attracted thousands of black southerners hoping for better lives. Joe Trace and his wife Violet were part of this migration; madly in love with each other and the idea of this urban mecca, they "traindanced into the city." But like so many of the marriages in Morrison's novels, this union crumbles, and the dreams for a better life fade away. Joe finds another, a love "that made him so sad and happy he shot her just to keep the feeling going."

In Jazz, time ebbs and flows like human memory, traversing between recollections of the past and expectations for the future; likewise, jazz music is often wild and chaotic. Here Morrison once again exemplifies herself as both a superb writer and a masterful storyteller.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe's wife, Violet, attacks the girl's corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of Black urban life.… (more)

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