I love literary fiction and I occasionally delve into non-fiction. I love books that are suspenseful and am really into well-told stories.
Beloved is one of my favorite books of all time. I have read it in print 4 times. When my book club elected to read this and selected me to lead it, I decided to buy it in audible format to get another dimension to my 5th time through it. Toni Morrison reads, and while she is an amazing wordsmith, she isn't really an audio book actress. So, I really understand some people's comments here about it being hard to listen to. I sort of agree with you.
If you want to read this book (or need to for school) please start with a print copy. While I found the inflections Morrison brings to the characters SHE created, I don't think that the first time through this book should be in audible form. (also, please don't go see the movie...it should never have been made)
While these characters are forever etched into my memory and in some ways, my entire being, if this would have been my first time through Beloved, I may not have liked it. To listen to Morrison's voice after hearing my own interpretations of the voices in my head for so many year, it is a great treat for me.
If it has been several years since you last read Beloved and you want to rediscover it a new way, I recommend this version completely.
I found Beloved to be a rich and compelling tale. It brought out for me the vulnerability and helplessness of people bound in slavery like no other book has done. At the same time there was humanity and hopefulness and love. I think this book should be required reading for all people. It is written in a style that may at first be confusing. Ms. Morrison does not spell things out in chronological order for us. But if you stay with it, you will find that she does
wrap up each inner tale. I think it also helps to listen to it twice. As is often the case, the first time through you are caught up with the story, the second time you catch more of the nuances. I also loved listening to her voice, although it too takes a little patience until you learn her cadence. She hesitates as she reads, and often you think that she has finished a sentence only to find that it continues. But once your ear has figured that out, she is a pleasure and I believe her voice perfectly complements her story.
This is probably one of the best novels I've read, and the best one on audio as well. I was blown away when reading it ten years ago, and I am back there again in listening to Toni Morrison read her words. Her choices of words, cadence, and voice bring the listener face-to-face with the character's point of view, as effectively as any novel by James Joyce or Dostoyevsky, Nabokov. This is a must listen, in my opinion. One of the great remarkable achievements in literature, made even more remarkable by this reading. I am under it's spell.
Years ago, I flubbed my way through this book in high school, but decided to revisit since my son was reading in his senior class. What was I thinking? Powerful story!!! Will definitely re listen to it.
Every word is perfect. Morrison's voice is hauntingly apt. I wish that every person who struggles with the appropriateness of the "Black lives matter" movement or the justification for dismantling this country's memorials to the "southern cause" could listen to Beloved in one long, uninterrupted sitting. Never has the weight of the institution of slavery been made plainer. I'm going to read it next so that I can better understand the brilliance of her writing but I wouldn't have missed the privilege of having Morrisons voice permanently instilled in my mind and heart.
I thought something was wrong with my audio. I kicked the speed up to 1.5, and then nearly 2 before the author's words were at a normal pace. You could hear all of the cuts/edits as well, which was off-putting, and there were a few places where bad edits were made and words were repeated as they were spliced together.
Having said that, the poetry of the writing was beautiful and convinced me to keep going when the reality of the words were so hard to hear. Toni Morrison is a brilliant author.
Setha changed me. She told her story in a simple measured way, like someone who had held horrible secrets for so long that she just gave in to tell the truth. Toni Morrison is a brilliant author.
I liked the honesty and integrity of the author. She never over exaggerated or was silent. This book could easily have sensationalized Setha but instead it left her the simple yet complex person that allowed readers to develop their own opinions on this complicated story.
I will listen to this book many times and I hope that you do the same.
This was gripping, yes, but too creepy. It seemed almost good at several points. Oh... "As read by the author" seems to generally be a bad idea. This may have been better with a better reader.
I love this novel and the author but her reading is muffled and stilted and detracts from her enchanting storytelling. PLEASE REDO WITH ANOTHER DETACHED NARRATOR.