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Cry, the Beloved Country Audiobook

Cry, the Beloved Country

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Publisher's Summary

This is the most distinguished novel that has come out of South Africa in the 20th century, and it is one of the most important novels that has appeared anywhere in modern times. Cry, the Beloved Country is in some ways a sad book; it is an indictment of a social system that drives native races into resentment and crime; it is a story of Fate, as inevitable, as relentless, as anything of Thomas Hardy's. Beautifully wrought with high poetic compassion, Cry, the Beloved Country is more than just a story, it is a profound experience of the human spirit. And beyond the intense and insoluble personal tragedy, it is the story of the beautiful and tragic land of South Africa, its landscape, its people, and its bitter racial ferment and unrest.

Public Domain ©1948 by Alan Paton; (P)1993 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1031 )
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4.3 (658 )
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4.4 (660 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Christopher Seiwald 03-01-06 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "seiwald"

    Best audio book I've listened to. I loved the reading and I loved the story. Heartbreaking and heartwarming.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vira Pretoria, South Africa 02-12-14
    Vira Pretoria, South Africa 02-12-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a dry eye in this face!"

    What can I say? A beautiful book, beautifully narrated by Michael York.
    Except for:
    "Sofeeeyatown"??????? Its pronounced SoFIYA town" with the accent on the FIYA and veld is not like a gentle [s]velte m'dear but FELT! agge nee. fIRE AND fELT, this is Africa!

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Planetary Defense Commander Catfish City 01-10-05
    Planetary Defense Commander Catfish City 01-10-05 Member Since 2012

    Book Blogger and Planetary Defense Commander

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not what I expected"

    When I got this book, I assumed it would be just an account of atrocities, and although the book could be classified as a tragedy, that's not its whole point. There are many characters who are positive role models dealing with difficult circumstances.

    I was also surprised to learn to what extent modern South Africa's problems existed when this book was written.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-26-14
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-26-14 Member Since 2008

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Probably more universal than Paton intended"

    This is unquestionably a powerful book. Stephen Kumalo is one of the great literary protagonists. You cannot but help bonding with him immediately. Thanks to him, I can overlook other aspects of the book. What starts out looking like it could be South Africa's "To Kill a Mockingbird" ends up being closer to South Africa's "The Jungle". Paton alternates the main Kumalo story with passages of journalistic prose, as well as an attempt to set up a secondary protagonist. I can understand why. His main story simply isn't big enough to fill a novel. But Kumalo is such a great character that the parts without him are such a letdown. Still, the book is just the right length for what Paton has to say. Paton makes an effort to stay even-handed throughout. That is, every character feels true to his own beliefs. That said, there are a few places where it feels like he has stacked the deck in his favor, and that's all I'm going to say about that.

    What I found most compelling about the book is the universal message it has to tell about a society in transition. How people respond when traditional ways are under attack and no new societal institutions have been developed to take their place. It's something that people in every country can relate to. And South Africa's situation simply puts it into a perspective that makes it clear to all of us.

    Some other reviewers have complained about Michael York's narration. I have my own issues with him. He tends to drift into a sing-song pattern sometimes that makes the book sound like it was intended for children. But when he gets engrossed in the important parts of the book, he does just fine. And while he has been lambasted for his pronunciations, it is interesting that no one has criticized him for any of the words that a non-South African would definitely need help with.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Houston, TX, USA 09-07-06
    Charles Houston, TX, USA 09-07-06
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    "Worth your time"

    I read this book when it first came out, and listened to it on audio recently. It moved me just as much now as it did then. The narrator is easily understood and makes the occasional Zulu words sound easy.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Marietta, GA, USA 03-10-04
    Susan Marietta, GA, USA 03-10-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "True Life in Africa"

    I only listened to this book because it was an Oprah book pick. I?m glad I did. The story weaves back and forth and really comes together at the end. You see the story of two families at opposing ends of the same situation and at opposite ends of South African societal privilege. It sounded like an older recording, but was still palatable.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SoCal Walker Irvine, CA 07-23-10
    SoCal Walker Irvine, CA 07-23-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Unfortunate choice of readers"

    This is my favorite book of all time, and I've read it many, many times. I thought I'd enjoy hearing it read, but his reading seemed all wrong . . . very casual, very British-upper-class . . . like he himself was bored with the book. (Maybe I wanted/expected a more "African" voice?) Anyway, I didn't enjoy it, and the problem was not the book itself, because believe me-- I love this book. I guess the reader just didn't match the voice in my head.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Blacksburg, VA, USA 05-25-10
    Steven Blacksburg, VA, USA 05-25-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Stirring, Emotional Journey To End Racism"

    First: Michael York's narration is spectacular. I have begun reading this novel many times (didn't read it in high school -- though it was required!)but was never able to move past the first chapter. Listening to York's voicing of the characters, especially the 'character' of the land of South Africa, was captivating. Second: The beauty and lyricism of Paton's writing, reflect the simple, honest truth of the characters and the times they are living through. York's narration sets a perfect tempo and is nuanced and evocative. LISTEN TO THIS BOOK -- It is a classic that has been brought to life for me and it will remain indelibly imprinted in my heart; on yours, also, is my wish. Go well.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette New York, NY, USA 04-24-04
    Jeanette New York, NY, USA 04-24-04
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    "Wonderful story and narration"

    I was drawn in by the story and couldn't stop listening ot this book! The narration is wonderful, the voices of the different characters are done very differently. LOVED it!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne cloquet, MN, USA 01-19-04
    Yvonne cloquet, MN, USA 01-19-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cry, the Beloved Country"

    Great insight into South Africa. Nice parellel between a white man and a black man faced with difficult times. Well written.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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