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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 Garcia Marquez. 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.

©2004 Toni Morrison (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"A rich, full novel. . . . It lifts us up [and] impresses itself upon us like a love affair." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"A rhapsodic work... Intricate and inventive." ( The New Yorker)
"A fine novel exuberantly constructed. . . . So rich in its use of common speech, so sophisticated in its use of literary traditions and language from the Bible to Faulkner...it is also extremely funny." ( The Hudson Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    127
  • 4 Stars
    61
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    62

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    42
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    49

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    133
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    36
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • JACK
  • RENO, NEVADA, United States
  • 09-03-10

Poorly Edited

Years ago I read this story. Thought I would enjoy revisting an ABRIDGED version read by the Author. Ms Morrision's voice is so lovely. The edits on the story are horrible. Suddenly a man's voice interrupts the story and reads a few lines to bridge the cuts in the audio. I cannot even listen to it. Sentences don't even flow. Is there a way to get my money back on this one. Very poor Quality. Do not buy it.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 04-17-12

You CAN have too little of a good thing.

I will typically shy away from unabridged books (audio or otherwise). However, I was figuring this would be a good one to try (T. Morrison narrated) to see if my assumptions were false. I liked having Toni Morrison narrate, but it didn't overcome the uneven abridgement. You certainly can have too little of a good thing.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • mary
  • chicago, IL, United States
  • 07-27-11

Does a disservice to the book

Poorly edited, poor audio. This is more like a recap of Song of Solomon. A book this beautiful should never be offered in an abridged version. I purchased this in a rush as I was leaving on a road trip. I didn't realize that this was an abridged version. I have acute buyer's remorse.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • BROOKLINE, MA, United States
  • 09-15-10

Not a full read Book...

This book is not read in full. It skips full paragraphs at a time, very hard to follow.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dylan
  • Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 04-01-13

Disappointing Recording

What would have made Song of Solomon better?

The actual text of the book is great, but I cannot imagine a worse audiobook version.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Song of Solomon?

I would have kept reasonable order to it, and tried to make it as unabridged as possible.

Any additional comments?

It's so disappointing to see such an excellent piece of work have such a terrible edit and recording. It skips around pages at a time and is incredibly hard to follow. Despite Toni Morrison's powerful voice, the edit just doesn't make sense. They even had an automated voice read sections that were missing. Very poorly done. My advice: do not waste your money on it!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jimmy
  • Neptune Beach, FL, United States
  • 09-06-12

Horrible audio, great story

What disappointed you about Song of Solomon?

The audio was horrible. It was incredibly abridged, to the point where the story barely made sense. A machine spoke to fill in the gaps, too frequently.

Would you be willing to try another one of Toni Morrison’s performances?

Yes.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Poor version

What disappointed you about Song of Solomon?

This version of Song of Solomon was not done well. It skips around. There seems to be two versions chopped up and put together. One is Toni Morrison reading and another is a man reading. It's a great book. I would have like to hear it unabridged, though.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • winter Park, FL, United States
  • 07-18-12

Choppy

Would you try another book from Toni Morrison and/or Toni Morrison?

Yes, but never another abridged one

What could Toni Morrison have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

not abridged it. I ended up having to read it because being constantly cut off and cut up was so distracting

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Abridged and disappointing

What disappointed you about Song of Solomon?

I downloaded this on my phone without realizing it was abridged. (This is abundantly clear on the website, but was not when I committed to the purchase.)
The abridged version is completely useless to me.
This was a waste of my $$

Has Song of Solomon turned you off from other books in this genre?

I am not at all turned off from books in this genre. I will, however, be VERY careful when purchasing future audio books from amazon audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Missing major chunks of the story

I ordered this because I wanted to hear the story -- I'd already read the novel in the past. And I was glad that Morrison was the narrator. But it is woefully incomplete. It skips major chunks of the story. I thought it was moving too fast, and so went back and compared it to the print edition and was shocked at how much wasn't there. If they don't have audio by Morrison for the whole book, they ought to pull this and have someone else narrate the entire thing.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa Daniels
  • 05-01-14

Missing sections and strange dubs

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I like the book, I would have liked it a lot more if it was unabridged - I didn't realize that it wasn't..

What did you like best about this story?

All the parts that Morrison read

What about Toni Morrison’s performance did you like?

All of the parts that Morrison performs is perfect but there are odd sections completely omitted and dubbed over with a monotonous male voice.. why?

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Sadness, anger, happiness.

Any additional comments?

Why is the story not complete? The whole section where Milkman meets Sweet is missing and so are other sections.. in place of those parts was an odd dubbed over male voice that completely ruined the audio for me.. and I'm disappointed. I wouldn't have bothered if I knew parts were going to be omitted.. I don't understand why that was done :(

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy Smith
  • 02-18-18

Great listen

Naration by the author is good but the audio has some gaps and these are filled in by text to speech voice which spoils it a bit. I was also disappointed the book was so short.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rebekah Phillips
  • 05-01-16

Excellent but difficult to follow

I absolutely adored the story. Beautifully read as well, but due to the complexity of the names and the way in which the story is told, it can be hard to follow.
I would recommend listening to this, but reading along with it.
Anyone can read it, and I would strongly advise people to read this book, especially with racial issues still being a relevant issue in today's society