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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)

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What listeners say about Song of Solomon

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 Stars
    52
  • 3 Stars
    40
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Not a full read Book...

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

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Its not the full book

This is just 4 chapters the book is 15 chapters long therefore it’s not complete

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lisa Daniels
  • 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 :(

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for elizabethdavid1913
  • elizabethdavid1913
  • 09-03-19

An outrage! Great chunks of the text missing

This should be advertised as abridged. Used as I am to the expertise of such readers as Michelle Obama reading unabridged text, Toni read it badly (albeit with a gorgeous voice...) and it had been very badly edited, leaving it impossible to follow. I have had to buy the reading edition on Kindle (which is excellent) and shall be pestering Audible to allow me to return this version for another replacement credit. I am very disappointed and angry.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-19

Wrongly described.

The book is abridged but it dosent make that clear. A bit disappointed.. Not in the book itself, but audible's omissions.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nancy Smith
  • 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.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Charlie Taylor
  • Charlie Taylor
  • 11-08-20

ABRIDGED & NOT ENTIRELY READ BY MORRISON

I can get past the abridged part of this particular book. Honestly it should've been displayed as such but that's not the biggest gripe.

You get lost in how Morrison talks, you're fully immersed and when you least expect it, this drab, old white man comes in to fill in gaps or whatever. This happens very often and just put me off honestly. Do with that information what you will.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Carol R.
  • Carol R.
  • 06-12-21

This is not the best way to experience this story!

This is one of my all time favourite books and I was really looking forward to listening to Toni Morrison read this powerful story. But this is such a truncated version it ruined my enjoyment of it. I feel deeply disappointed and somewhat cheated by this super abridged, oddly edited version.

It should really be made much clearer that a book is as abridged as this one was. It was a complete waste of money. Review for the book and reading by the author, 5 stars, for this audio book, NO stars.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Honest John
  • 04-29-21

Narration nowhere near good enough.

Employing an actor to recite the whole book would have been a really good idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Consonants not clearly struck, resulting in the listener unaware of some words. Timing of some of the complete phrases or thoughts was off, due to the pauses being dictated by the female reader requiring to breath in, very noticeably, mid phrase. Heavy...in breathing sometimes...wheezing.. stopping to...breath...in - sometimes more than once in a sentence. Oddly interposed by a competent, clear, male narrator for an occasional sentence, the producer only knows why.
Foot note; perhaps the male vocals where needed after the book was completed, perhaps these inserts replace incoherent, unlistenable and inferior female narration?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tyler Moorehead
  • Tyler Moorehead
  • 10-11-19

Powerful, timeless coming of age story

Powerful, timeless coming of age story with universal themes of identity and trust arising from a story about the confusion and contradictions of the sharp divide in the experience of being black in America.
Beautiful prose set before the civil rights movement allows an emotional resonance and relevance. Superb storytelling masks a complex and layered plot accessible on many levels. Additional context may be apparent to those familiar with the bible.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 05-24-19

Disappointing, especially the mixed narrators.

Having random male and female narrators was annoying. The story intriguing but never seemed to reach the breadth it could have.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Erica
  • Erica
  • 01-29-21

Fabulous story

Compelling listening, especially as it is read by the author. Shame it is abridged. Am reading the paperback now as I loved the story telling so much I don't want to miss out on anything!