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Song of Solomon (Oprah's Book Club) by Toni…

Song of Solomon (Oprah's Book Club) (original 1978; edition 1987)

by Toni Morrison

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7,34579478 (4)349
Title:Song of Solomon (Oprah's Book Club)
Authors:Toni Morrison
Info:Plume (1987), Paperback, 337 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction. American.

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Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1978)

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English (73)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All (78)
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Like a lot of great literature or art in general, Toni Morrison’s ‘Song of Solomon’ is not a tidy little story where everything is easily comprehensible, and that may put some readers off. It’s also not a book that depicts African-American characters as downtrodden victims, as successive men in generations of the Macon Dead family succeed at farming, being a doctor, and in real estate. Within its long and winding story it does describe elements of the African-American experience that seem so alive today, 40 years after the book was written: the police using profiling and stopping people just for being black, the justice system not caring about black people getting killed, and the excessive, random, and arbitrary violence of white people towards blacks, and for that alone it’s well worth reading.

Morrison’s style is unique, as she writes at times with magical realism and poetically weaves her way through the story, and at others with dialogue and events that are so direct and real that they sear on the page. You may shudder at the ‘Seven Days’ club’s desire for vengeance, but Morrison does not flinch in describing this. Her writing seems very honest in so many ways: in the banter in her characters’ dialogue, the relationships between men and woman particularly when there is sexual obsession, and in the observations she makes, such as at one point expressing the criticism that there is sometimes a tendency for blacks to excuse themselves from doing better because everything is “The Man’s fault”.

One of the central themes of the book is the hope of transcending difficult conditions, and also to know one’s past, one’s people. Most have lost their real names and sometimes get the ridiculous names out of white hubris, or because “White people name Negroes like race horses”, and indeed, the dedication to the book reads “The fathers may soar, and the children may know their names”. The book is ambitious in its scope and in how the story was told. Maybe too ambitious for an even higher rating from me. Parts of the plot don’t seem plausible, such as Guitar’s actions towards Milkman towards the end, though perhaps they are also symbolic. Regardless, all in all, a good read. ( )
1 vote gbill | Jan 23, 2017 |
My last quarter at Cal State L.A. I finished up my minor in ethnic lit with a class of totally Toni Morrison. ( )
  NanaDebs | Jan 9, 2017 |
Morrison's writing is indisputably brilliant, however this story was just not for me. Almost bizarre at times, perhaps her attempt at magical realism, but the story is not particularly interesting and the book was not a pleasurable read. ( )
  dugmel | Nov 8, 2016 |

Eh. Had to read it for school and it didn't blow my mind or anything. ( )
  uhohxkate | Jan 31, 2016 |
I think this is my least favorite of Toni Morrison's books (that I've read) because it didn't connect for me very well. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toni Morrisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhagen, PietTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The fathers may soar / And the children may know their names
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The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance agent promised to fly from Mercy to the other side of Lake Superior at three o'clock.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 140003342X, Paperback)

The third novel from one America's most powerful writers turns 20 years old in 1997, but Song of Solomon long ago ascended to the top shelf in the ranks of great literature. This Everyman's Library hardcover edition of the Nobel Prize-winning Morrison's lyrical, powerful, and erudite novel contains a chronology that situates the book in its historical context, and an introduction from author Reynolds Price.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:47 -0400)

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Four generations of black life in America.

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