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Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beloved (original 1987; edition 1999)

by Toni Morrison

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,064262128 (3.88)2 / 830
Authors:Toni Morrison
Info:Editions 10/18 (1999), Edition: [Nouv. éd.], Poche, 379 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fantôme, esclavage, migration, Etats-Unis

Work details

Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

Recently added byjoshanastasia, lnmoser, PRHS_Library, BeckyDouglas, beebarth, private library, LCKhairpur, ceciliachard, Joelwb
Legacy LibrariesThomas C. Dent
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    cammykitty: An often overlooked classic.
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  6. 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.
  7. 10
    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.
  8. 11
    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.
  9. 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.
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1980s (7)
Reiny (7)
Ghosts (119)

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English (248)  French (4)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (262)
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
This was the first Toni Morrison book I read. After reading it, I intend to read everything she's written.

Her writing is heavy, but beautiful, and her prose will take a little getting used to if you haven't read anything by her before. Her works generally deal with race, with gender, sexuality, identity, self-expression in a really startlingly beautiful way.

Her characters are emotive, and raw, and vulnerable. Reading this book is like drinking a really strong, black coffee. I got a headache, and parts of it were bitter, but it was the best coffee I'd ever had.

Morrison has a really commanding voice. She isn't afraid to write unpleasant scenes. She will make you look. The other thing that I love about Morrison's voice is that the style is written almost lyrically, as if a person were speaking directly to you.

Morrison mentions in her afterword of this book, that Dostoyevsky wrote for the Russians, and yet other people read him, why shouldn't black authors do the same? (Or something to that affect, anyway.)

But I adore how unapologetically she writes. And I think this book is so, so valuable. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Molto toccante! ( )
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
Morrison never makes for an easy read. She makes demands on the reader. She has a really ugly painful subject here and she makes the best and the worst of it. She makes slavery and it's aftermath sound horrific which it was. She writes a masterpiece with undertones of those falsehoods we want to believe because they would seem to be payment for a debt we are owed or fear because we believe we are truly an awful person. She visits the land of PTSD with thoughts of past horrors and feared futures. I will always wonder what happened to the title character though it is not so much about her as about her effect on others. I don't get to have a happily ever after entirely sort of like real life. But it was good enough.
  newnoz | Aug 6, 2016 |
Väldigt obehagligt och väldigt bra. ( )
  BellaStormborn | Aug 1, 2016 |
Audiobook read by the author.

From the book jacket - Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not truly ree. She has borned the unthinkable and not gone made, yet she is still held captive by memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Meanwhile Sethe’s house has long been troubled by the angry, destructive ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

My reactions
This is a challenging book to read (and to listen to) because Morrison uses multiple narrators, switches time frames without notice, and dribbles out clues to what really happened in a way that keeps the reader off balance and unsure where the story is headed. Sethe is an enigma – emotionally and physically scarred, she seems to have given up, waiting for a sign that she has been forgiven for what she has done in the past, for the impossible decisions she had to make. Those who care about her – her daughter Denver and friend/lover Paul D – are left to compete with Sethe’s guilt as they vie for her love and attention.

I did think the “atmospheric” writing sometimes got in the way of the storyline. And Morrison tells a horrific story of a mother trapped in an environment that is toxic and cruel, where her life and that of her children is meaningless. As Sethe’s desperation, fears and hopes are revealed I find myself changing my mind about her, alternately wanting to shake her or hug her.

Still, I loved Morrison’s use of language; I felt immersed in the story, the timeframe, the magic, the brutal reality. Here’s one example of her poetic turn of phrase:
…where blueberries grew, tasting so good and happy that to eat them was like being in church. Just one of the berries and you felt anointed.

Morrison read the audiobook herself. She obviously has a keen sense of exactly the atmosphere she wanted to convey. Her delivery is breathless, slow, and almost hypnotic; she frequently stops for a breath after every three or four words. I did not like this at first, but over time her delivery grew on me. However, I do think I may have missed some key elements by listening, rather than reading the text. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jul 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 248 (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.
downloadable .mp3 file

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toni Morrisonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dekker, BesselTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vink, NettieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Beloved ( [1998]IMDb)
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I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. Romans 9:25
Sixty Million
and more
First words
124 was spiteful.
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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Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452264464, Paperback)

Toni Morrison gently reads her own Pulitzer Prize-winning work in the unabridged version of this riveting tale of ex-slave Sethe and the beloved ghost that haunts her. While Morrison makes occasional odd pauses in her reading, what is lost in smoothness is more than made up for in quiet intensity as the author reads words obviously deeply felt. Her intimate knowledge of the characters and their motivations lends this reading an authority that helps the listener sort out the breaks in time and dialogue in this complex story of a woman coming to terms with her enslaved past and the loss of her husband and baby daughter. (Running time: 12 hours, eight cassettes) --Kimberly Heinrichs

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:50 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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)

(summary from another edition)

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