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.
Although it was very annoying at times, the authors timing and execution kept me listening for the next answer, detail, or development. The story was very interesting.
The audiobook chapters were not divided by the book chapters so I could not follow along.
Beautiful, chilling, and masterfully read by Toni Morrison. This masterpiece is part ghost story, part family drama, and part historical fiction. It paints a detailed and life-like picture of life for runaway and recently-freed slaves in America. It unfolds flawlessly and untangles effortlessly before your ears; I listened to the whole thing in 3 days. Beloved truly is one of Ton Morrison's greatest literary achievements.
There are many reviews of Morrison's performance that are not quite as enthusiastic as my own. I get it, she's mostly monotone (and oh what a beautiful tone) and only slightly shifts from one character to the next. But this is very much (in my opinion) a matter of familial familiarity. If you have no trouble imagining Morrison as your most comfy auntie or "come and give me some suga" grandma, then hearing her baritone will feel and nearly smell, just like Madea. Otherwise, you feel like you're at the kiddie table, in the corner yelling "what did she say?, I don't get it"
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.