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
This book transports you to Africa... the descriptions are so detailed, the characters completely developed ... and while doing so provides an essential education into the meaning and madness of apartheid. Narration is superb. This one left me thinking for quite some time …
I live in South Africa, and I am horrified at the accents adopted by Frederick Davidson. They are not even vaguely Zulu, and they ruin the book completely. Alan Paton's classic deserved a reader who can do it justice. I have no problem with Davidson's English accent for narration, but his character accents sound more like they came from the Indian subcontinent than southern Africa. It's a crying shame.
I wonder if there could have been a more important book, a better reading of any book, or a more moving book for finding a humanity within oneself that certainly I did not know I had--but now do.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
Poetic, sad, beautiful . . . transcending time, Cry, the Beloved Country, is as relevant today as it was in 1948 when Alan Paton wrote it . . . the simple lives of the South African people, their faith, their struggles and resilience . . . poured out in a rhythmic flowing verse that pierces the heart . . . strips away all pretense . . . a humble black pastor, a prodigal son gone to the city, gone wrong . . . way wrong . . . and his father, heartbroken, searching him out, fearing what he will find . . . and never making excuses for his son's sin . . . but ever loving, pining for him . . . As circumstances bring native black Afrikaans up against white people in a time of Apartheid, I am amazed and humbled, that this book is not in the least political or racially motivated. The overarching theme is love, even in the face of evil, character, even when things are most difficult, humility even when others do not see you as their equal, perseverance, when there is no rain, when there is no milk, when there is no help . . . and gratitude to God for even the smallest of blessings. This is one of the most important books of our time. Everyone should read/hear it.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I really wanted to enjoy this book. It is an important piece of literature that opened a window into a world little understood at the time. But I just couldn't find myself drawn to it. I did listen to the book and while the narrator was good, I wonder if this is one of those examples where the beauty and power of a book is lost through this medium. In the end, it was a disappointing use of my time, and that makes me sad.
I'm sure that this is a wonderful piece of literature, but the author's accent was very difficult for me to understand. He also did not do a good job of differentiating between characters with his voice, which made the plot difficult to follow. I restarted the book but eventually gave up because I had to work so hard to follow what was going on! Since I find that the narrator makes the audio book, maybe we should read this one..
A touching and thought provoking rendition and writing, one listened to again and again for the richness to the soul and spirit. A blessing of profound depth that cannot be well spoken, only felt. May it continue to encourage and challenge each who truly hear...and understand. Thank you for such a gift at such a time as this. January 2017 when life is filled with rage and where only Love can make the way through it well, bearing gifts of redemption in the wake of suffering and sorrow. It is good, remarkably good.
I love this story, and as a teacher, I teach this book because it still holds so many relevant issues of race, class, and inequality. The problems of South Africa in the 1940s are not that different from the problems of modern America and western societies.
Great read for high school students and people who love stories of social change.
I had heard of the title but did not know what the book was about. It was eye opening. The reader was excellent. He managed the dialog and the various characters masterfully. I was totally caught up in the story. I also became more fearful of the ending as the story progressed. The ending was an excellent portrayal of a just judgment according to the dictates of the written law. Laws should be enforced as written. If they are bad laws they should be changed but changed by the law making body, not a judge, regardless of how the judge feels about how the law is written.
The Theos Project
A classic novel, an important novel, and an audio performance worthy of the work. Paton teases out the nuances and subtle textures of diverse peoples and cultures struggling among and against each other, grappling with their fears of one another, and seeking a way forward in a time where wisdom and insight were so needed. Historically set just before the implementation of Apartheid, Cry, The Beloved Country illuminates a nation on the fragile edge of possibility, a nation whose white power structure would ultimately choose to plunge the nation deeper into darkness and chaos. Yet in this novel, the author does something great by presenting us with the panoramic of perspectives.
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