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Publisher's Summary

"There's no way not to suffer. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it." 

The men and women in these eight short fictions grasp this truth on an elemental level, and their stories, as told by James Baldwin, detail the ingenious and often desperate ways in which they try to keep their heads above water. It may be the heroin that a down-and-out jazz pianist uses to face the terror of pouring his life into an inanimate instrument. It may be the brittle piety of a father who can never forgive his son for his illegitimacy. Or it may be the screen of bigotry that a redneck deputy has raised to blunt the awful childhood memory of the day his parents took him to watch a black man being murdered by a gleeful mob.

©1957, 1958, 1960, 1965 James Baldwin (P)2012 AudioGO

What listeners say about Going to Meet the Man

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  • Overall
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Punch in the gut

I gave this book four stars only because it is difficult in these compilations to tell when one story ends and another begins. Still, the inspiration gets are amazing and disturbing. The last short story is a powerful portrayal of a lynching party. That one in particular will bother me for a while.

11 people found this helpful

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Raw, gripping, beautiful

I can’t help but change a little every time I read his work. Utterly devastating. Completely human.

9 people found this helpful

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Amazing, eye opening

A must read, especially for white people like me who didn't live through Jim Crow. The narrator does different accents and was perfect for the book.

9 people found this helpful

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A Master

Several excellent stories, particularly “Sonny’s Blues” and “Going to Meet the Man.” These are real stories reflective of moral ambiguity and human complexity. Brilliant. No pat reassurances. Baldwin seeks truth, not platitudes.

8 people found this helpful

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A Blast From The Past - Read This in High School

An awesome writer as he carefully and eloquently paints the canvas with colorful and direct to the core. His words bring you right there as if, you were present at that very moment experiencing whatever was going on.
Exceptional at its best.

6 people found this helpful

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Timeless, Authentic, and Eye Opening

This collection of short stories paint a Codie and diverse pictures of Black Life across the early 20th century. It’s oddly refreshing how many of the themes are still relevant today. And excellent listen

5 people found this helpful

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Mixed review

The narration was excellent. Only the last story (with the book's title) was very strong for me. The themes of the others are better explored in Baldwin's novels and essays.

2 people found this helpful

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Intriguing and insightful stories

I've never read this book before, but I've known it is a collection of different stories compiled into one book.
This audio made no mention of what story was being orated which kinda threw me off at times, so I had to keep going back to find where the stories bagan and ended.
I had a hard time listening to the narrator, because even though he has a great voice his way of emphasizing the characters, just wasn't consistent.

13 people found this helpful

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Baldwin always rewards

This is a collection of stories, so inevitably some of them are much better than others, but well worth reading. Not as good as some of his great novels.

2 people found this helpful

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Powerful

Baldwin is a keen observer of the human condition and masterful with his words. I don’t know where he found the strength to transcend the burden of his times but I’m glad that he did, mostly for his own sake.