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Cry, the Beloved Country: Classic Collection [Audio CD]

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

May 1 2008 1433213699 978-1433213694 Retail CD
This is a new reading of the deeply moving story of a Zulu pastor, his son, the deeply troubled South Africa of the 1940s, and a people riven by racial injustice. Passionately African, yet timeless and universal, it is a work of hope and courage.

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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)
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"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.

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IT IS SOME eleven years since the first Author's Note was written. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seriously great book! May 28 2004
By Brendan
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 of really good things about it and decided to read it. I am very glad that I did. Although it takes place during apartheid South Africa, that is not the only theme in the book. It also deals with major political topics like poverty and crime as well as personal topics like grief, shame, and charity. In the end you are left reflecting on how you would deal with grief, and what is social justice.
Paton writes in a very colloquial language, which really gives you the feel of being in South Africa at the time. While I really enjoyed this, I know some people don't like books written in that style and with poor grammar. This book is amazing - and it still makes me think long after I have read it. I don't give many books 5 stars, but this one truly deserved it. This book is definitely a classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From despair to hope, a journey not to be missed. June 23 2004
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 time? The beginning of the game is slow and tedious, but the cascade effect is worth it. Some classics are like setting up dominoes. They begin slowly, and the unfortunate reader will put the book down in disgust and never return to it. A more persistent reader is richly rewarded for their patience. Cry, The Beloved Country is that kind of a classic, others are Tale of Two Cities, Dickens and Jane Eyre, Bronte.
The language is beautiful, I don't enjoy flowery descriptions of scenery, but in Cry the descriptions helped you feel as if you were there without being too lengthy. The characters are well developed, and some are people I would really love to know. However, because I did care about the characters, the story in the beginning, is just so sad that I almost fell into that catagory of unfortunate readers who quit reading early and miss out on the treasure. I'm grateful that I didn't.
Inspite of the difficult beginning, this has become one of my favorite books. It carries you from despair to hope. It is a story about South Africa and its people, but it is also a story that has something for each of us.
Cry, The Beloved County leaves you a better person when you put it down than when you started it. It is a journey not to be missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Review Dec 23 2003
By A Customer
"Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much." This is an excerpt from the book Cry, the Beloved Country, which is about the story of a Zulu pastor named Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom in the troubled times of South Africa in the 1940's.
A trend has been made in the small village of Ndotsheni, Natal that the youth migrate to the cities where they see more of an economic chance, for there is industry in big cities. They do not realize the dangers and crime which also lie in wait in the big city. Kumalo's brother, sister, and son all have journeyed to the "white man's town" of Johannesburg in search of a better life, only to be seized by the foul hand of impoverishment and discrimination.
This being said, the tale is about Kumalo and his search for his son in the mazy streets of Johannesburg. Along the way Kumalo faces many trials and travails, including robbery, adultery, deceit, and miles upon endless miles of walking. This is the base of the direct plot, but there also is an underlying plot of love intertwined within this story. There lie messages of loss, guilt, and murder in this story. But through everything else, the most prominent message this book states is the love one man has for his people and most of all, his country.
This book relays a message of unfailing love for human society sans racial barriers.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Best read in one long lazy Sunday
Ah yes, Cry, the Beloved Country. Fodder for high school reading lists for time immemorial... or at least since it was written. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Rob Slaven
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 gripping 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. 26 2005 by "sancho_111"
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 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
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