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Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
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Tar Baby (1981)

by Toni Morrison

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1,799163,891 (3.6)58
Recently added bykitber, YouthCenter, drresner, Ray.Gun, drpeartree, DanielAlgara, rosecothren, anneliz, private library
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» See also 58 mentions

English (12)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Tar Baby was really good, but somehow less satisfying to me than most other Toni Morrison books. It seems to be almost contemporary, unlike all the others I've read so far which were mostly historical, with only Love having a part in the 1990s. So it takes place in the seventies in Dominique and Manhattan and in rural Alabama. Mostly in Dominique in the Caribbean. It involves a rich white couple, their servants and a prowler. The prowler is caught and becomes enmeshed in the community and highlights the contrast between the rich and poor somehow by his very existence, which makes it very uncomfortable since they all usually ignore all the messy implications of their situation. The question of respecting the servants as human beings or even thinking of them as human beings is brought forward. Also the veneer of smooth perfection the rich people usually maintain around their affairs is broken and the extremely messy truth creeps out about just how not perfect they really are. This exposure almost breaks them, may in fact have broken them, as the end leaves many questions unanswered. The writing is beautiful, but felt more uneven than some of her books. I missed a formal structure, like dividing it into clear parts or something. It seemed like that would have helped. But perhaps the nature of the tar baby is that messy, and should not be constrained in a formal way? ( )
1 vote kylekatz | Sep 28, 2013 |
Not a good audiobook to listen to in the car, unless you can do it in one or two long stretches. I don't think I got the full impact of this novel, because both the beginning and the ending seemed rather splintered to me. I liked the middle well enough, when everyone was on the island and I'd figured out who they all were. That part was good -- and the events leading up to and away from Christmas dinner. But then it got lost again for me.

The voice of the reader was rather soft, too, which was awkward. She did accents well, but the cadence of her voice was too varied. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Apr 7, 2013 |
Toni Morrison and I got off on the wrong foot; Tar Baby crawls. ( )
  g0ldenboy | Apr 16, 2011 |
Another amazing book by Toni Morrison ( )
  genejo1 | Jan 15, 2011 |
Many times throughout the book I thought "Who are these people?!!" The characters were so bizarre and did appalling things. The book, in a very strange and incoherent fashion, was portraying the struggle within black culture to choose progress (education and betterment) or tradition (a life of servitude and freedom from the "white man"). There was an unspoken caste system, self-sacrifice and selfishness, violence and many layers of ignorance and prejudice. The book does have some controversial social suggestions about black and white integration, but it never fully completes any of them. The ultimate choice (between progress and tradition) is left unresolved. Overall, I can't say I would recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  blondestranger | Aug 23, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toni Morrisonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vink, NettieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
For it hath been declared
unto me of you, my brethren, by them
which are of the house of
Chloe, that there are
contentions among you.

I Corinthians 1:11
Dedication
Mrs. Caroline Smith
Mrs. Millie McTeer
Mrs. Ardelia Willis
Mrs. Ramah Wofford
Mrs. Lois Brooks
-- and each of their sisters, all of whom knew their true and ancient properties
First words
He believed he was safe.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452264790, Paperback)

A magnificent novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author of Beloved. Morrison probes deeply and sensitively into the realtionships between blacks and whites, blacks and blacks, and women and men, in this raw, emotionally intense narrative set in a rainforest paradise.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:01 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A beautiful African-American woman of privilege finds herself attracted to the kind of man she has dreaded since childhood: uneducated, violent, and contemptuous of her.

» see all 3 descriptions

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