Langston Hughes, born in 1902, came of age early in the 1920s. In The Big Sea he recounts those memorable years in the two great playgrounds of the decade - Harlem and Paris. In Paris he was a cook and waiter in nightclubs. He knew the musicians and dancers, the drunks and dope fiends. In Harlem he was a rising young poet - at the center of the "Harlem Renaissance."
Arnold Rampersad writes in his incisive new introduction to The Big Sea, an American classic: "This is American writing at its best - simpler than Hemingway; as simple and direct as that of another Missouri-born writer...Mark Twain."
©1940 Langston Hughes (P)2011 Random House Audio
Yes, I bought the book and I plan to listen along so I can mark in the margins things I want to learn more about.
Learning a whole segment of history no one ever shared before.
Oh the performance was awful. The narrator was stiff and wooden. Mispronounced important words, and put the emphasis on the wrong parts of many sentences.
"A must read"
Hughes' seemingly honest and vivid portrayal of his life is a must read. The way that the book centres on travel is a very interesting thread to follow, and an important example of a black man's experiences at the time
"Slow and rambling"
An interesting live, told in a slow boring way. If you wanted to know what Harlem in the 20s was like then this tells you nothing. Alot of name dropping and moving from place to place. There's no plot, no characters, no description of Paris and Harlem in the 20s. One of his reviewers wrote: "Langston Hughes displays his unusual ability to say nothing in many words". I enjoyed a bit about working in Paris but that was 1h out of 10
Jocko the monkey was the most animated character. There were no characters
To sum it up. You get no insight into the poet. It is not poetically written. It is just a list of places and menial jobs he did, people he met and occasionally poems he wrote.
"I love this book "
This is by far my favourite boom of all time. have read it on my own but Hoffman makes a great narrator. I love Hughs simple but poetic style and his sense of adventure.
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