©1973 Toni Morrison; (P)2002 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Enchanting....Powerful." (Chicago Daily News)
"In characters like Sula, Toni Morrison's originality and power emerge." (The Nation)
"Exemplary....The essential mysteries of death and sex, friendship, and poverty are expressed with rare economy." (Newsweek)
"Extravagantly beautiful....Enormously, achingly alive....A howl of love and rage, playful and funny as well as hard and bitter." (The New York Times)
This was a well thought out, well put together novel. Everything draws together at the end. In addition, the author knows how to tell a story.
The characters are real, unpredictable, flesh-and-blood people. People you have known in your life, or wished to know. The reader is immersed into the culture of a backwater black neighborhood of the early 20th century.
The story has twists and turns, some back stories, but I followed it easily while alone cleaning my kitchen. I can usually predict a plot twist, but not this time. Something was happening every 5 minutes, or so it seemed.
Similar to the books of Thomas Hardy, there are all of these characters, all of these lives and interactions within a community, an interesting plot, and a thread of morality winding through it all. I didn't really notice the thread, but many things made me feel uncomfortable with both Nell and Sula. All is explained at the end and justice prevails. I felt better only to discover that I had been "had" by the moral questions now raised within myself.
Some people complained about the narration. I had no problem with it, but I listen on my computer instead of a device, if that makes any difference. The author speaks deliberately, but without a lot of expression. This way you can interpret her words as you wish, just as if you were reading it.
In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It has everything one could wish for. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in fine literature.
My daughter and I listened to it together for a college assignment she had. I was surprised to find Ms. Morrison's reading so unengaging, and badly paced. But I did like her characters and the evolution of the story. It was very insightful, and rather painful, to listen to. I hope to read the print version someday, I think I would like it better.
I must actually read this one - as it does sound interesting but a bit too foreign for easy listening - i'v started it over and again but do recommend for someone who can do nothing while listening - hope this helps.
I love Toni Morrion's books and have read several. I purchased Sula and Beloved. What a mistake. She is a terrible reader, slow, wispy, frequent pauses. I suffered through Sula but after the first chapter gave up on Beloved. Listen to a sample of the book, prior to purchase, to evaluate the reading style. It may work for some but it definitely did not work for me.
One of the most intense and beautifully-written books I've ever read. Experiencing the emotions and ideas within this story could change you. In my estimation, this short book is on a par with Homer's Odyssey. No, actually, it's definitely better. (I *know* this sounds like hyperbole, but I really mean it.)
Morrison's reading is terrific.
Life is all about perception, love and strategy and Morrison displays this with sophistication and ease. the performance could have been a tad more engaging, but this is my third time reading this in 10 years and I have no complaints. Love it just as much as I did the first time I read it, but my perspective has most certainly changed.
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