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Beloved by Toni Morrison
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Beloved (original 1987; edition 2008)

by Toni Morrison (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
17,586328172 (3.88)2 / 957
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement. After the Civil War ends, Sethe longingly recalls the two-year-old daughter whom she killed when threatened with recapture after escaping from slavery 18 years before.… (more)
Member:Anna.Crow
Title:Beloved
Authors:Toni Morrison (Author)
Info:Vintage Books (2008), 352 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

  1. 91
    Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (susanbooks)
  2. 41
    Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 31
    The Known World by Edward P. Jones (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  4. 20
    A Killing in This Town: A Novel by Olympia Vernon (hyacinthony)
    hyacinthony: I was reminded by Morrison's poetic narrative voice at the end of part 2 of Vernon's narrative style. Both books convey a powerful and mysterious spiritual force embedded in the violence of post-slavery african american conditions.
  5. 31
    Cane by Jean Toomer (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: An often overlooked classic.
  6. 20
    A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel by Randall Kenan (lottpoet)
  7. 21
    Mojo: Conjure Stories by Nalo Hopkinson (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: This collection of short stories is nowhere near as dark as Beloved, but it's worth following these tales to the crossroads.
  8. 11
    The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (shaunie)
    shaunie: Morrison's masterpiece is a clear influence on Whitehead's book, and his is one of the very few I've read which bears comparison with it. In fact I'd go so far as to say it's also a masterpiece, a stunningly good read!
  9. 22
    The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines (karmiel)
    karmiel: Both books include a strong woman who attempts to build her life as a free woman after escaping/exiting slavery.
  10. 00
    Bailey's Cafe by Gloria Naylor (PrincessPaulina)
  11. 11
    Philida by André Brink (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: The true meaning of freedom, the price of freedom, cruel things people do in the name of love and cruel acts performed without love are the focus of these books.
  12. 01
    Family by J. California Cooper (Cecrow)
  13. 01
    Sap Rising by Christine Lincoln (edwinbcn)
1980s (10)
Reiny (7)
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English (312)  French (5)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (2)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (327)
Showing 1-5 of 312 (next | show all)
Something is wrong at the house numbered 24. While Baby Suggs was still alive, it was a place of meeting and even dancing. But while her daughter, Sethe and Sethe’s daughter Denver still live there, it is no longer visited by the black community. It’s known to be haunted and people avoid it and those who live there.

Then there are two new arrivals to the house. Paul D and Sethe had been slaves together and he brings pieces of Sethe’s story that she did not know.

The second arrival is a mysterious woman who knows intimate details of Sethe’s life. She’s called Beloved, which happens to be the sole word on the grave marker of Sethe’s murdered child.

This is Morrison’s classic novel of the horrors of slavery and how death can appear the lesser of two evils. It’s easy to have head-knowledge of the evils of slavery. This book will bring you to the heart knowledge.

This was a reread for me. The story begins toward the end and follows a complicated timeline with much skipping back and forth. I listened to this on audio, read by Toni Morrison. And while I loved Ms Morrison’s reading, and recommend the audio version wholeheartedly, for me the audio added a bit to the time line confusion in this astounding story. ( )
1 vote streamsong | Dec 9, 2019 |
I don't like reading introductions before I read a book, because they often contain spoilers. I finished this book today and then read the introduction.

As I started the book, I found myself being confused and feeling like I must have missed something earlier. As I read on, I would find that Toni Morrison gradually explained what I had been confused about, and things became clearer. I began to trust her and not expect things to be explained the first time they were mentioned.

Today, I read this in the introduction from the author, "I wanted the reader to be kidnapped, thrown ruthlessly into an alien environment as the first step into a shared experience with the book's population-just as the characters were snatched from one place to another, from any place to any other, without preparation or defense." That is exactly what I felt! ( )
  KWharton | Dec 7, 2019 |
I read this book once, 10 years ago, and to be honest I dreaded having to reread it for a class. My first experience was frustrating. I felt confused and alienated to the story. Then again, I felt confused and alienated about most things: I was in my early twenties.

I'm so glad this book gave me another chance. After a decade of digital, this book was like vinyl. Funny how I couldn't connect to the story a decade ago, yet today, the raw and powerful feelings of emotional desperation coursing through these characters have resounded in me like an echo of some familiar, intimate history of my own - though, admittedly, a milder, bourgier one.

There are complicated scenes in this book. By that I mean, scenes that aren't meant to be passed through quickly, but can stay with you and resolve themselves through you as you live, if you're interested. I love these kinds of novels. They are the best kind. They are more like companions than stories, companions who start up long conversations with you and continue asking questions long after you've moved past them to other books and other places. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
I read this book once, 10 years ago, and to be honest I dreaded having to reread it for a class. My first experience was frustrating. I felt confused and alienated to the story. Then again, I felt confused and alienated about most things: I was in my early twenties.

I'm so glad this book gave me another chance. After a decade of digital, this book was like vinyl. Funny how I couldn't connect to the story a decade ago, yet today, the raw and powerful feelings of emotional desperation coursing through these characters have resounded in me like an echo of some familiar, intimate history of my own - though, admittedly, a milder, bourgier one.

There are complicated scenes in this book. By that I mean, scenes that aren't meant to be passed through quickly, but can stay with you and resolve themselves through you as you live, if you're interested. I love these kinds of novels. They are the best kind. They are more like companions than stories, companions who start up long conversations with you and continue asking questions long after you've moved past them to other books and other places. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
Hus nummer 124 är ett hus som knappt haft en gäst alls de senaste åren. För där bor Sethe, hennes dotter Denver och spöket efter Sethes lilla flicka som hon skar halsen av för arton år sedan. Lillflickan är ett ensamt barn som söker efter kärlek och uppmärksamhet genom att klättra i trappan och trycker händerna i fina tårtor.

Men när huset äntligen får en ny gäst; Paul D Garner som var slav på samma gård som Sethe innan hon rymde med sina barn för att ge dem en chans till ett bättre liv; så ändras allting helt plötsligt. Lillflickan försvinner och huset fylls av ro och känslan av en chans till att skapa någon sorts familj igen. Men det dröjer inte länge förrän det dyker upp en ung kvinna som kallar sig för Älskade, precis som Sethes döda lilla flicka, som helt enkelt beslutar sig för att aldrig ge sig av från 124:an. Sethe och hennes dotter tyr sig an Älskade som den familjemedlem de förlorat men det visar sig snart att allting inte riktigt är som det ska med deras nya gäst...

Jag väntade mig något mer av en livshistoria som skildrar en ung slavkvinnas liv under andra halvan av 1800-talet och det var ungefär det jag fick... blandat med en mysteriös skräckhistoria. Det var en trevlig överraskning och påminde lite om Kings skräckromaner.

När jag läste boken insåg jag att jag faktiskt inte vet så mycket om hur fritagna slavar levde åren efter inbördeskriget. Det är en stor lucka mellan inbördeskriget och början av 50-talet då Medborgarrättsrörelsen växte sig stark i det amerikanska samhället. Men vad vet vi egentligen om de afro-amerikaner som levde under andra halvan av 1800-talet... som inte var slavar? Både förrymda slavar och fritagna slavar skildras i boken och det gav mig en bättre historielektion än samhällskunskapen i skolan. Där pratas det endast om slavhandeln och inbördeskriget men de glömmer att dessa fria människor. Vilket egentligen är helt absurt. Det känns som en otroligt viktig del i historien att nämna alla dessa människor. De förlorar inte ett värde i historieböckerna bara för att vi inte längre kan skriva in dem som 'slavar från Afrika'. Afro-amerikaner på 1800-talet var mer än bara slavar.

Men slaveriet har även satt sina djupa spår i Sethe. Boken hoppar fram och tillbaka otroligt mycket mellan nutid och hennes tid på gården Sweet Home där hon en gång i tiden kände Paul D Garner. Dessa tillbakablickar leder upp till stunden där hon mördar sitt eget barn – och när det väl beskrivs mer i detalj så förstår man. Det är fan hemskt. Att man kan förstå varför en mamma väljer att mörda sitt eget barn – även om man fortfarande anser att det är fel så förstår man åtminstone lite vagt varför hon gör det hon gör. Det är möjligtvis den delen av boken som är mest skrämmande.
( )
  autisticluke | Nov 14, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 312 (next | show all)
"Beloved" is Toni Morrison's fifth novel, and another triumph. Indeed, Ms. Morrison's versatility and technical and emotional range appear to know no bounds. If there were any doubts about her stature as a pre-eminent American novelist, of her own or any other generation, ''Beloved'' will put them to rest.
 
As a record of white brutality mitigated by rare acts of decency and compassion, and as a testament to the courageous lives of a tormented people, this novel is a milestone in the chronicling of the black experience in America. It is Morrison writing at the height of her considerable powers, and it should not be missed.
added by g33kgrrl | editPublishers Weekly (Aug 17, 1987)
 
Morrison traces the shifting shapes of suffering and mythic accommodations, through the shell of psychosis to the core of a victim's dark violence, with a lyrical insistence and a clear sense of the time when a beleaguered peoples' "only grace...was the grace they could imagine."
 
downloadable .mp3 file
 

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morrison, Toniprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dekker, BesselTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vink, NettieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Beloved ( [1998]IMDb)
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Epigraph
I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. Romans 9:25
Dedication
Sixty Million
and more
First words
124 was spiteful.
Quotations
I will never run from another thing on this earth.
Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.
And though she and others lived through and got over it, she could never let it happen to her own. The best things she was, was her children.
Being alive was the hard part.
Nobody stopped playing checkers just because the pieces included her children.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish between this complete 1987 novel and any abridgement of the original Work. Thank you.
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