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Paradise by Toni Morrison

Paradise (1997)

by Toni Morrison

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 210 mentions

English (31)  Dutch (1)  All (32)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Not the monumental achievement of Beloved, but still a very good novel. Revisits the militancy of the Viet Nam era as experience in a small, all-black town in Oklahoma. I thought the fragmented narrative unfolding was confusing for much of the book, but I suspect future re-readings would open it up. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Paradise opens with a scapegoat massacre. "They shoot the white girl first. With the rest they can take their time." Who that white girl is, is left for the reader to decide. I suppose the mystery is meant to be compelling.

In spite of some great writing, if I have one main complaint it's that too many of the characters seem a little too superficial, a bit too symbolic or perhaps even cliché. For this reason the book drags somewhat in the middle, or maybe even the entire first half except for the opening chapter. ( )
  Frenzie | Aug 14, 2016 |
A powerful mystery of the outrages accumulating at the Oven; a mother being knocked down the stairs by her daughter; four damaged infants were born in one family; daughters refused to get out of bed; brides never returned from their honeymoons; two brothers shot each other. The one thing connecting all of these horrible situations was the Convent. And those women were part of it.
  MerrittGibsonLibrary | Jun 24, 2016 |
A difficult subject, or couple of subjects really, to write about in alcoholism and adultery, and especially to write in a way that is both realistic and sympathetic, and without resorting to "bad things happened in childhood" as an excuse. I was holding my breath through the final chapters, hoping that everything would not be patly explained, and I was so happy that it was not.

And some beautiful and harsh words too..

"Because I've done the married man stuff before: the serious married man stuff with the calls at odd hours and the lunch-break fucks and him making you meet his wife socially (so that you'll know her, so that you can feel bad, too - except that you don't, because you're not married, that's his problem) and the not going out much in daylight and the wanting to have more of him, the hunger that almost wrecks you when you finally do touch - the whole, huge, locked-in crucifying, paranoid fantasy.!

I borrowed this book, and I will try to hang on to it for a while longer, to reread soon. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
It seems so simple and horrifying in the beginning, but she explains everything!
Humanity is willing to find its own path, but in France we say:"l'enfer est pavé de bonnes intention".
There is a secret battle running underground between humans, males female, religion, whites, blacks, tradition, modernity...
There is also some kind of magic, for those who wish!
She is a great writer, and she made me feel some deep emotions; ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toni Morrisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jonkheer, ChristienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For many are the pleasant forms which exist in
numerous sings,
and incontinencies,
and disgraceful passions
and fleeting pleasures,
which (men) embrace until they become
and go up to their resting place.
And they will find me there,
and they will live,
and they will not die again.
First words
They shoot the white girl first.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679433740, Hardcover)

Oprah Book Club® Selection, January 1998: Toni Morrison's Paradise takes place in the tiny farming community of Ruby, Oklahoma, which its residents proudly proclaim "the one all-black town worth the pain." Settled by nine African American clans during the 1940s, the town represents a small miracle of self-reliance and community spirit. Readers might be forgiven, in fact, for assuming that Morrison's title refers to Ruby itself, which even during the 1970s retains an atmosphere of neighborliness and small-town virtue. Yet Paradises are not so easily gained. As we soon discover, Ruby is fissured by ancestral feuds and financial squabbles, not to mention the political ferment of the era, which has managed to pierce the town's pious isolation. In the view of its leading citizens, these troubles call for a scapegoat. And one readily exists: the Convent, an abandoned mansion not far from town--or, more precisely, the four women who occupy it, and whose unattached and unconventional status makes them the perfect targets for patriarchal ire. ("Before those heifers came to town," the men complain, "this was a peaceable kingdom.") One July morning, then, an armed posse sets out from Ruby for a round of ethical cleansing.

Paradise actually begins with the arrival of these vigilantes, only to launch into an intricate series of flashbacks and interlaced stories. The cast is large--indeed, it seems as though we must have met all 360 members of Ruby's populace--and Morrison knows how to imprint even the minor players on our brains. Even more amazing, though, are the full-length portraits she draws of the four Convent dwellers and their executioners: rich, rounded, and almost painful in their intimacy. This richness--of language and, ultimately, of human understanding--combats the aura of saintliness that can occasionally mar Morrison's fiction. It also makes for a spectacular piece of storytelling, in which such biblical concepts as redemption and divine love are no postmodern playthings but matters of life and (in the very first sentence, alas) death.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:23 -0400)

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As the novel begins deep in Oklahoma early one morning in 1976, nine men from Ruby assault the nearby Convent and the women in it.

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