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.
I have really enjoyed listening to the book being read by the actual writer. Mrs Morrison is a great reader. Everything can't be understood in the first chapter, but that has nothing to do with the reading performance. It's rather linked to the plot itself which only slowly unveils the mysteries. Even though at times I really had to turn up the volume, I enjoyed listening to Mrs Morrison as her pronunciation of names and of the dialect as well as her intonation perfectly fits the tone and atmosphere of the book. I had the feeling she was secretly whispering a terrible story into my ear. Thank-you for these long hours of pure pleasure.
I don't understand the folks who were critical of Tony Morrison's reading. I think she has a great voice and I very much enjoyed it. As horror stories go (not typically my genre) I thought it was enjoyably complex and beautifully told.
this book is on many top 100 book lists. I really wanted to get into it, but I couldn't follow the plot at all. perhaps if someone else narrated it. everyone sounded the same. there was never any excitement. I ordered a copy of the book to see if it is any better. can't be worse.
I would only recommend this to someone who probably has read the book numerous times and wanted to enjoy it again. defiantly not for a first timer.
A Precious Child of God
No one does a better job than Morrison of getting you inside the characters heads and hearts. You feel and sense their horrors, fear, heartbreak, pain, bitterness, joy and hope. Read by the author, this audible version is a invaluable way to experience Beloved.
Beloved is a great story. I used this audiobook to supplement the required reading I had for a literature course. I would recommend that you use it separately from the book, as the author speaks too slowly for me, a fast reader. Overall, however, Toni Morisson does a wonderful job at narrating Beloved. A must-listen.
This performance makes most of the LibriVox readers I've listened to sound like pros. Morrison reads in a dreamy, breathy monotone and constantly pauses in...the middle...of her sentences for no discernible reason. I really did try to follow the story, but found myself constantly correcting her reading in my head. I'm annoyed that I wasted a credit on this.
Say something about yourself!
The novel itself is incredible and powerful. The style is Faulknerian, the feeling it provides is somehow mystical and extremely "real" at the same time.
This should be considered part of the American Canon, assuming there is one (and, I think it is!).
While in theory it sounds good to have the author read her own work, Toni Morrison's narration has two major flaws:
1. She whispers. Not a major problem in-and-of-itself, but the volume of the recording is so low that it made it difficult to listen to while walking in the city (my usual activity while listening).
2. She doesn't have the breath to read some of the passages in the book. She had to pause in the middle of sentences to the point that the art of her prose, and sometimes even the meaning of her words was lost.
I was very much looking forward to reading this book. Sadly the audio quality is so poor that it almost sounds as if this was recorded on audio cassette in 1985 with a cheap microphone. I turn the volume way up and I strained my ear to understand but it is hopeless. Returning for a refund.
This story is heartbreaking and beautiful. I was captivated from start to finish with virtually no sections where my mind wandered. Also, what a treat to have Toni Morrison read her own words!