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Beloved Paperback – Jan 1 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Longman Publishing Group (January 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080133148X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801331480
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.4 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (535 customer reviews)


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124 WAS SPITEFUL. Full of a baby's venom. Read the first page
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has no plot, nor does it have much character development. Beloved is written in such a way any reader would find themselves confuse just before the fifth chapter. Though I did read somewhere that Toni Morrison wrote it that way to represent the minds of Sethe and everyone else to illustrate the mental scars that slavery gave them. And with that in mind, I can understand why the book is considered to be an American classic. Beloved is more about connecting with the characters and understanding them (or at least trying to), rather than what is happening to them through the course of the book, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants an experience, a real experience.
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By Ann L Armstrong on July 7 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved it. I saw the movie, book was much more than movie could tell. Heart warming and ver sad
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By Melissa Domingcil on Nov. 29 2000
Format: Paperback
In a whirlwind of broken thoughts and memories, Toni Morrison is able to leave Beloved's reader desperate for more. Morrison uses unconventional methods to attract and capture the reader's attention. By telling Sethe's story in scattered fragments, the reader is forced to read on to keep from being left in the dark. Beloved is an example of what a fugitive slave would do to prevent her biggest fear from coming true. Morrison sets up this fear with extensive background knowledge. Morrison takes generic occurrences often stereotyped with slavery and transforms them into unimaginable horror. At some points, it is almost understandable why Sethe felt she had no other choice but to spare her children from slavery. Morrison's Beloved challenges the reader's beliefs as far as the supernatural is concerned. In the very beginning, the characters force the reader to accept ghosts and angry spirits as every day incidents. It comes as no surprise to the reader when Beloved's true character and whereabouts are revealed. Morrison's unique style makes Beloved the incredible novel it is. Her artistic flare and talent make Beloved stand out against a mass of boring detail.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. McDonell on June 14 2006
Format: Paperback
I felt I ought to read this book since it won the recent New York Times writers' and critics' poll for the best work of fiction of the past quarter century. I feel disappointed, but I don't regret reading this book.

Like other mediocrities consecrated as sacred cows, Beloved is not really such a bad book, but its fast-track canonization gives it an aura of bogus and commercialization that can't be laid at Morrison's doorstep. Beloved is relentlessly middlebrow: it studiously avoids the merely entertaining or exciting, and falls short of inspiration or brilliance. What's left is a book written by an English professor to be assigned as homework by English teachers and Oprah Winfrey. The style seems intended to be brutal, spare and direct, yet vaguely deep--equal parts Hemingway and Melville. But somehow Morrison is not so ambitious as to write something that requires previous reading or a dictionary to understand fully. Her prose is so busy delivering all the right political messages and manufacturing symbols of sledge-hammer subtlety that there's no room left for a memorable line.

But I guess I should keep it on my shelves for others to notice my appreciation of this great and masterful voice, this American Dostoevsky.
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Format: Paperback
This is not a story to pass on. At least, that's the refrain of this dark tale of life after slavery. It really is a story that should be passed on, because it seems as though we've forgotten the horrifying brutality of slavery in America. If the novel ends by saying that this is not a story to pass on, it begins by dedicating itself to the "sixty million and more" black slaves brought across from Africa, a few million of whom died on the journey across. Many stories of freedom focus on the stiff upper lips, the singing in the fields, the heads held high against all adversity, despite every misfortune thrown against them, and the awaiting of a brighter future.

Morrison's story is much darker than these. She focuses on the rape, the murder of children, the demeaning treatment of men and women alike, the comparison of slaves to animals and the horrible living conditions. Her characters deal with the trauma from being treated like they weren't human beings. They are bred like animals. They lose their "offspring" to their oppressors. These characters learn their worth in dollars, giving them no control over where they will go or what demeaning work will be forced upon them. To love is to risk losing the beloved. Even twenty years after the abolishment of slaves, Sethe still has to ask, "Would it be all right? Would it be all right to go ahead and feel? Go ahead and count on something?"

Beloved can be read as a ghost-story (though by no means a straight-forward one) or a psychological thriller. Something is haunting Sethe, and whether the ghost of her baby or the guilt for her own actions, the haunting is spiteful and venomous. This is a story about the trauma of the past living on in the present, and it is, in fact, a story to pass on, it's just not a story to carry around in your heart, letting it's trauma cause you pain. The tragedy of Beloved is that if you could just let it all go there's so much in the world of freedom to live for.
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Format: Paperback
This novel is a religious experience, derived from the Exodus of the Hebrew Bible (deliverance from slavery), the miracle healing stories of the Christian Gospels, the Book of Revelations (the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse") and African spirituality. The escaped slaves, Sethe and Paul D, and Sethe's daughter, Denver, get healed from the lasting trauma of slavery, including Sethe's murder of her second-youngest child, Beloved, a murder committed out of love, to prevent Beloved being taken into slavery. In the process of this healing a ghost-made-flesh (Beloved) has sex and gets pregnant. What I loved about this book are Morrison's characters, whom I felt I knew; Morrison's honesty and compassion, and the absolutely gorgeous writing, especially the passages describing the countryside. At the same time, I sometimes felt slightly manipulated, the kind of awkward feeling I get watching talk-show interviews about "important issues." The material is profound and moving, but the presentation at times a little canned. This is only a tiny criticism. Overall, I think, the book is a masterpiece. The subject matter, spiritual liberation from slavery, has a universal message.
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