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Cry, the Beloved Country [Audio Cassette]

Alan Paton , Michael York
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover, Special Edition CDN $20.06  
Paperback CDN $4.24  
Audio, CD CDN $19.95  
Audio, Cassette, May 1 2008 --  

Book Description

May 1 2008
Cry, the Beloved Country is a beautifully told and profoundly compassionate story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set in the troubled and changing South Africa of the 1940s.

The book is written with such keen empathy and understanding that to read it is to share fully in the gravity of the characters' situations. It both touches your heart deeply and inspires a renewed faith in the dignity of mankind. Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic tale, passionately African, timeless and universal, and beyond all, selfless.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In search of missing family members, Zulu priest Stephen Kumalo leaves his South African village to traverse the deep and perplexing city of Johannesburg in the 1940s. With his sister turned prostitute, his brother turned labor protestor and his son, Absalom, arrested for the murder of a white man, Kumalo must grapple with how to bring his family back from the brink of destruction as the racial tension throughout Johannesburg hampers his attempts to protect his family. With a deep yet gentle voice rounded out by his English accent, Michael York captures the tone and energy of this novel. His rhythmic narration proves hypnotizing. From the fierce love of Kumalo to the persuasive rhetoric of Kumalo's brother and the solemn regret of Absalom, York injects soul into characters tempered by their socioeconomic status as black South Africans. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


"A beautiful novel, rich, firm and moving-its writing is so fresh, its projection of character so immediate and full, its events so compelling and its understanding so compassionate, that to read the book is to share intimately, even to the point of catharsis, in the grave human experience treated." New York Times "The greatest novel to emerge out of the tragedy of South Africa and one of the best novels of our time" The New Republic --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best read in one long lazy Sunday Dec 14 2013
By Rob Slaven TOP 50 REVIEWER
Ah yes, Cry, the Beloved Country. Fodder for high school reading lists for time immemorial... or at least since it was written. I won't blather on at great length about this one as it has been acclaimed and written about almost unto inanity but it is worth a few words.

The very high level overview of the story: A native South African priest from a struggling rural village braves the white-dominated big city in search of his lost family. I suspect that much of the reason that the book has made its way into so many schools is that it exposes one to the issues of apartheid and bigotry of the region which, let's face it, as Americans we're not particularly well aware of. This is one of those forgotten but important bits of history that aren't really at the forefront of the American consciousness. It's well worth a perusal as a history lesson if nothing else.

From a reading and enjoyment standpoint the book does suffer a bit. I staggered through the first 70 pages over the course of several days and completely failed to hit my stride. The book is heavy in conversations so the use of the South African dialect can at times be unbalancing and distracting and characters are well developed but often hard to tell apart. At least some of this stems from my inability to engage with the book early on but I would argue that lack of engagement comes too from confusion of one character with another.

On balance, a great work but one that must be approached in a more scholarly manner. Certainly not one to be taken on the train with all manner of conversations going on around you as distraction. Sit a savor or save for a lazy Saturday afternoon and blow through in one long and savory trip.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story Jan. 26 2005
It is a blessing for a booklover to come across a story which is so deep like Cry the beloved country. The characters are dissected and made so real. The plot is awesome and the pace of the story is fast moving. Plotted in the depth of Apartheid South Africa, this story brought out the lamentation of a soul of a nation, a lamentation that is felt by all the different ethnic and racial groups involved. I watched the movie on the story "Amok" and it gave the full visual presentation of the story. I will recommend this book to all booklovers with a curious mind about an era, a people and a nation that stared at disaster straight in the eyes and chose the option of peace.
Also recommended: Disciples of Fortune,Animal farm
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Tragic story set in South Africa during a now-ended era. Cry the Beloved Country is worth a careful read for its many-layered messages of loss and faith, of murder and penitence, of guilt and redemption - and through it all is Rev. Kumalo's love for his people (and not just his, but for the inherent goodness in ALL people), his family, his church - and most of all, his country.
It's a classic that has already withstood the test of time - and will doubtless continue to do so.
Don't miss it, and share it with someone else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing June 13 2002
This book is one of the most incredible I have ever read. Many people rave about its depiction of apartheid and racism in South Africa, but it's so much more than that. This novel is a beautifully told story of one man's struggle against fate and a system set against him, of human compassion, and of renewal on a multitude of levels- the renewal of the physical earth, the lives of the people of Ndotsheni, and Kumalo's soul. The frailty and confusion felt by Kumalo, the anger at society of the young white social worker, the fear of young Kumalo, and the passion of Msimangu are all set beautifully against a vivid depiction of a racially divided South Africa in which the Africans themselves have no hope. Paton's style is perfect. His characters on occasion are a bit simple, but they are so vividly described that it seems that if there is a problem, it lies with you the reader! The settings are beautiful, and Paton's love of South Africa and thirst for equality run throughout the novel. Everyone should read this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With all the touching of Humanity Dec 3 2000
By A Customer
My own grandfather was very close to Alan Paton. They worked together, in South Africa, on the developments of a Liberal Party, the purpose of which was to help the blacks. They wanted, primarily, to create legally equality of the races. Eventually, Paton would come to North America, touring and lecturing. My grandparents showed him Toronto. And so, I myself have a special bias in favour of Paton.
Having read his CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY, I can only applaud the man. His very style is mimical of Steibeck's THE GRAPES OF WRATH. There is repitition (individual sentences are said over and over), poetry, and the asking of philosophical questions.
The story is of Stephen Kumalo, a black priest. He has lost his family. His brother, sister, and son have left the village. They have gone to Johannesburg, where the white men are. Where industry is. And so the journey begins. In fact, Kumalo will see things he has never seen before. He will be robbed, he will be lied to, he will be tired of walking so many miles, he will see prostitution, crime, hatred. The simplicity of his beautiful village is not found here in Johannesburg. Incidentally, he finds some white men who show compassion to him. I will say no more.
The story has depth of passion, brilliance, and love of South Africa. Paton, himself a white man, devoted his life to the helping of blacks. He was a hero to South Africa, and remains a hero even to me.
Please read this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I be-Loved This Book
There are so few books out there that manage to blow you away with the story, yet maintain a high standard of writing, combining great storytelling with actual "literature. Read more
Published on March 22 2007 by Faulkner Man
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reading
Alan Paton writes eloquently about personal struggles, triumphs, and losses. Almost biblical, the lyrical dialogues and descriptions draw you into the reality that is South Africa... Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2006 by Handmade Christmas Cards
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story
It is a blessing for a booklover to come across a story which is so deep like Cry the beloved country. The characters are dissected and made so real. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2005 by "sancho_111"
3.0 out of 5 stars White Man's Burden
Alan Paton certainly had his heart in the right place but couldn't disguise his paternalistic feelings of the plight of the native South African, bringing down what was otherwise a... Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by James Ferguson
1.0 out of 5 stars I do not reccommend
I sloughed through this book with much difficulty - as an avid reader, I read the book not as much for the story it told, but for the way it was told. Read more
Published on July 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars From despair to hope, a journey not to be missed.
Have you ever set up dominoes on their end all in a line, then once they are all set up you touch the first one and it sets off a cascade effect knocking them all over one at a... Read more
Published on June 23 2004 by Leslie G Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars I be-LOVED this book
There are so few books out there that manage to blow you away with the story, yet maintain a high standard of writing, combining great storytelling with actual "literature. Read more
Published on June 20 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars How could anyone NOT like this book?
I feel truly sorry for anyone who couldn't find the goodness in a book such as this. Stories of inspiration on this magnitude are few and far betweeen, and as if that weren't... Read more
Published on June 1 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story, masterfully written.
Cry, the Beloved Country is an inspired, and inspiring, novel. This is the most memorable book I have ever read. Read more
Published on May 28 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A seriously great book!
Although I was apprehensive about reading an Oprah Book Club book (I am a male in my mid-twenties and don't usually like the same books as females my age or older), I heard a lot... Read more
Published on May 28 2004 by Brendan
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