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Cry, the Beloved Country (1948)

by Alan Paton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,067164796 (4)506
Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo travels to Johannesburg on an errand for a friend and to visit his son, Absalom, only to learn Absalom has been accused of murdering white city engineer and social activist Arthur Jarvis and stands very little chance of receiving mercy.

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» See also 506 mentions

English (162)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (164)
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
Set in S Africa apartheid poverty anguish and beauty of human spirit in spite of adversity
  nancynic | Jul 14, 2021 |
This book is a modern classic. There is no other way you can describe the book.
Alan Paton's writing is deceptively simple. It rolls gently along, telling the tale of the good Father, Stephen Kumalo, as he travels to Johannesburg to get his son. No spoilers!

It's a beautiful gentle tale, and while you read about Father Kumalo you also read about South Africa.

There is no plot, no dramatic ending, just the rolling of the tide. It's beautiful, poignant, with piercing insight.

Read it. It is relevant to us humans today. ( )
  RajivC | Jun 28, 2021 |
A tragic but excellent story of fear, murder, faith and love. ( )
  Jimbookbuff1963 | Jun 5, 2021 |
I listened to this book, read my Michael York. It likely would have been better if read by a South African, who could have done the various accents better. The story is powerful and enjoyable for many reasons. But, I will likely never read this book again, and instead watch the movie starring James Earl Jones, which is absolutely wonderful. ( )
  WadeBurgess | May 22, 2021 |
Patton paints of picture of South Africa in the late 40s that is balanced and I think more powerful because he lets the details and events speak for themselves. His writing style is clean, sparse. There are no unnecessary literary flourishes or intrusions. It’s a heartbreaking, honest story which has not lost its relevance. ( )
  LenJoy | Mar 14, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Patonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aasen, FinnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Callan, EdwardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gannett, LewisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hillelson, JohnPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leonardo, ToddCover photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Majorick, B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moppès, Denise VanTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scibner, Charles, Jr.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Mary AnnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Moppès, DeniseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Aubrey & Marigold Burns of Fairfax, California
my wife
and to my friend of many years
First words
It is true that there is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills.
It is not permissible to add to one’s possessions if these things can only be done at the cost of other men. Such development has only one true name, and that is exploitation.
Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.
Cry for the broken tribe, for the law and the custom that is gone. Aye, and cry aloud for the man who is dead, for the woman and children bereaved. Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.
All roads lead to Johannesburg.
When people go to Johannesburg, they do not come back.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo travels to Johannesburg on an errand for a friend and to visit his son, Absalom, only to learn Absalom has been accused of murdering white city engineer and social activist Arthur Jarvis and stands very little chance of receiving mercy.

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