James Baldwin’s stunning first novel is now an American classic. With startling realism that brings Harlem and the black experience vividly to life, this is a work that touches the heart with emotion while it stimulates the mind with its narrative style, symbolism, and excoriating vision of racism in America. Moving through time from the rural South to the northern ghetto, Baldwin chronicles a 14-year-old boy’s discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Go Tell it on the Mountain is an unsurpassed portrayal of human beings caught up in a dramatic struggle and of a society confronting inevitable change.
©1981 James Baldwin (P)2013 AudioGO
Professor of Literature and things. Mother, wife, goddess of the garden and critters. WoW addict.
This book is a gem! The characters are rich and deep. It's an intriguing story about the lives of three people caught between temptation and salvation. I also have to say the narrator is excellent. His voice is perfect and adds soul to the story.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
This was a slow read. In terms of pages and words it was a small book, but the river was deep and fierce. Baldwin is throwing out big themes on family, religion, race, sex. This isn't a beach read, it is a hard pew read in an unconditioned, hellfire and damnation church. I would read 40 pages and have to take a day to recover emotionally.
THIS book is why I read fiction. Look. I am white on white, again and again. Seriously, I took the Twenty-Three&Me DNA spit test and I am pretty deep into the white gene hole. How else, besides brilliant narrative fiction, am I going to understand anything about being black or being a black pentecostal WITHOUT reading Baldwin?
Baldwin's use of repetition was amazing. I haven't read recently (other than Moby-Dick) a novel that appears to be made, brick-by-brick, with more King James Bible pieces than Go Tell It on the Mountain. There are some novels where writer ties off every narrative thread. Baldwin wasn't satisfied with that. Each sad string in this novel seemed to end up threaded through some part of my heart and knotted around some raw edge of my soul.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
"Go Tell It on the Mountain" because God is not there. "Go Tell It on the Mountain" because no one listens. "Go Tell It on the Mountain" because no one cares. James Baldwin rages against culture that makes one, what one is not. Baldwin wins fame from a book that defines the chains of discrimination. He explains why and how culture is a curse. Baldwin tells a story that explains why being different denies equal opportunity.
Being smart or being religious is not enough; particularly if you are a minority or a woman because cultures stultify individuality and restrict opportunity. Women, in Baldwin’s novel, are at once the saviors of black men and unwitting perpetuators of an unjust culture; i.e. women support their mates while accepting the delusion of a vengeful God that will punish evil; if not now, in an afterlife. The consequence in this earthly life is the perpetuation of inequality.
Individuality and opportunity are hindered by poor education and biases that are eternally engendered (institutionalized) by discrimination. Blacks have shown they are more than criminals, preachers, sports stars, and entertainers. And women have shown they are more than child bearers and housewives but America continues to struggle with equal opportunity for all. Baldwin exemplifies America’s struggle in "Go Tell It on the Mountain".
I really enjoyed this book. The characters had so many layers. I love the narrators voice. He did a great job of distinguishing characters. I want to listen to other books read by this guy.
Welcome to the world of a family struggling to better themselves by moving north. Each character has a turn at giving the reader a view of life through his or her eyes and Baldwin delivers the goods. His writing is unsparing, heartbreaking, sometimes life-affirming but always true to the bone. The narrator has found a convincing and unique voice for each character from young John to his gruff, cruel preacher father, Gabriel. Even better, there is nary a misstep with the women, and there are several. This is one of those times that narration of a great novel takes the reader/listener to an even more meaningful experience. James Baldwin's near poetry prose is sublime especially when read with such perfect pitch.
I am a live storyteller who devours huge amounts of audio books to study classics and new books so I can tell new stories.
What made my experience of listening to Go Tell It On the Mountain the most enjoyable was Baldwin's writing. It was deep and eloquent, reflecting Baldwin's experience as a storefront preacher.
The spiritual conversion of the main character was one of the most memorable moments of Go Tell It On the Mountain. It was dreamlike and based upon Biblical visions.
I have not listened to any of Adam Lazarre-White's other performances before, but he captured the heart of this book, performing it as a preacher, a prophet, and a poet.
An extreme reaction I had to this book is that it is a dense, multilayered read. I am unaccustomed to reading such complex writing on faith. I will have to listen to this book a second time to catch what I missed the first time.
Be prepared for an eloquent, moving story.
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