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.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - 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.
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.
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 fill my 2-hour commute per day with non-fiction, classics, historical fiction and an occasional contemporary fiction.
I enjoyed the story of the characters, but I expected more to happen as the book went on. Yes, it is beautifully written, but much of it consists of the sermons being given by the stepfather, and much is told in the style of a sermon. So, as I tried to listen while driving to work, I found myself tuning it out. In the end, I was glad for it to be done. The narration was excellent; It just wanted to hear more of the family's experiences and less of the fire and brimstone.
Interesting book. I am not sure I could say it is entertaining because of the subject matter but the descriptions and writing are excellent. Interior lives of the characters are in detail. Finally, the book shows the live in the south and in the north for African-Americans in the early part of the century. Disagree with much. I fault only with the pace and some conclusions. Otherwise, it is well crafted.
I could not stop wanting to listening to this story. Each passage pushes and each chapter builds upon itself. The characters are quite fascinating and their stories are spellbinding. A definite emotional voyage in the lives of the lost and found.
The first advice they give to authors is to write what you know. Baldwin holds up a mirror in which we see not only ourselves, but a people and a time steeped in ignorance, longing and suffering. The book rings true on many levels,
I have been an avid reader all my life. I never read to "get lost" in the story - as a young, gay, black boy I was already lost in literature by exclusion. I read to find myself in the characters and their fears. James Baldwin found me in John decades before I was born.
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