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Publisher's Summary

Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life, he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family's origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.

©2017 Toni Morrison (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A rich, full novel.... It lifts us up [and] impresses itself upon us like a love affair." (New York Times Book Review)
"A rhapsodic work.... Intricate and inventive." (New Yorker)

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A folklore tapestry

First, I adore the author's reading. I could listen to her voice all night long which I have done. If you are expecting a linear progression of plot and a triumphant conclusion, this is not for you. Toni Morrison weaves a tapestry of folklore and winds a golden thread of connecting themes , scenes and schemes tthroughout many juxtapositions of people, places and things. You must simply stay with her and she will reveal every hidden meaning that you thought you would never get and had long abandoned until an unexpected spark of verse sheds light in the darkness and flips over a bit of the truth of the tale being wound around in concentric circles. Totally other-worldly and still funky and real as honky tonk music. Delightfully and creatively rich in ethnic detail and intensity. She conveys the collective consciousness of a tormented people with the ultimate responsibility to figure it out for themselves.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I’m anything Toni Morrison

I read this book years ago and found a love for Madame Morrison’s use of words. It was like reading poetry and I was in awe. This book is at the top of my list of favorites of hers and I enjoyed listening to and reliving the story of Milkman and his family.

The only negative I’d give this is that it was hard to follow her at times because her voice is so raspy. I had to rewind the recording a few times to catch what she said.

I still gave it 5 stars ‘cause come on, it’s Toni Morrison.

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Not a Morrison fan. Love this one.

This is the fourth book of Morrison's I've read or listened to. I've been working my way through a list of books for a number of years and have absolutely dreaded this one because I did not enjoy the previous three.

First, let me say that Morrison's performance in this unabridged version, while not up to the standards of professional voice actors, is head and shoulders above her whispered reading of Beloved. I love the voice she adopted for the main character.

The story is not unlike her other books. Oddball characters who don't fit into black society, weird paranormal plotlines, and interest in generational narratives. While I didn't enjoy those other stories (Beloved, Sula, and the Bluest Eye), this one really struck a cord.

The story is thoroughly engaging and challenging. If you've struggled with her other books and are a little leary, I recommend giving this one a chance.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful