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Song of Solomon [Paperback]

Toni Morrison
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1993
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 García Márquez. 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.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Amazon

The third novel from one America's most powerful writers turns 20 years old in 1997, but Song of Solomon long ago ascended to the top shelf in the ranks of great literature. This Everyman's Library hardcover edition of the Nobel Prize-winning Morrison's lyrical, powerful, and erudite novel contains a chronology that situates the book in its historical context, and an introduction from author Reynolds Price. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

This new version of Morrison's 1977 novel is a fitting reminder of her early creative mastery. Song of Solomon is a powerful, sensual, and poetic exploration of four generations of a family mistakenly named Dead. Told through the eyes of "Milkman," a rare male protagonist in Morrison's wonderful catalog of unforgettable characters, we discover a century's worth of secrets, ghosts, and troubles. Milkman is faced with resolving the differing memories of his parents and his mysterious aunt Pilate, while questioning the historically charged realities thrown at him by the death of real-life victims of racism like Emmett Till as viewed by his lifelong friend Guitar. Lynne Thigpen was born to tell the author's stories, catching every lyrical note and each painful cry. A perfect marriage of author and reader, this will win new audiences and reassure audio veterans that by listening to books one truly can appreciate the magic of storytelling.
-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time April 8 1999
Format:Paperback
This book lacks the material necessary to warrant the time to read this book. This book attempts to make a point, but falls extremly short. The material is vulgar and inappropriate for younger readers. This book lacks the quality to keep the readers interest throughout the book. The names atempt to make a symbolic meaning, but openly contradicts itself thoughout. Furthermore,the book gives unrealistic portaryals of the people of the time period and the setting. I take direct offence from this book and the contents therein.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and with a message June 7 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Even though it is beautifully written, this book is not for everyone, because some might find searching for the meaning tedius. However, I highly recommend this book if you like searching for a meaning. On the top, the story told is wonderful. Under the surface, the message of love and finding your family roots is outstanding. This is a great book for someone who is struggling to find who they are. I was reminded of McCrae's "The Bark of the Dogwood--A Tour of Southern Homes and Gardens," or perhaps "The Color Purple" in that the characters have to really go through a lot before they find themselves. Such is the case with "I Know." Morrison generally writes in this style of an underlying message, and it keeps her readers intrigued until the end of the book. Milkman's search is much like what every teen in the world wants. He says "I just want to be on my own. Get a job, live on my own" However, through Milkman, Morrison shows her readers that they must first take care of their responsibility to their family and culture. However, when love and respect for culture is discovered, the following lesson can be learned, "Without leaving the ground, she could fly. Therefore, this is an important book to read for thos wanting freedom, so they can learn from the mistakes of Milkman. Frankly, I don't know how anyone could not like this book, if not for the wonderful story, then at least for the wonderful writing.
Would also recommend: "Bark of the Dogwood"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Toni Morrison: Song ofSolomon March 24 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is an excellent portrayal of the hopelessness of black life in the days between slavery and civil rights and of the crisis of a man torn between two cultures. A young black man, Macon Dead searches for his own identity. His father, also called Macon Dead, a prosperous real-estate owner in Michigan is eager to leave behind his black roots, the poverty-stricken,violent life of the average negro. He seeks to ape the white man and marries the relatively light-skinned daughter of the respected local doctor. His life, just like his marriage is devoid of warmth, love or any sense of family belonging. Even his daughter, Corinthians, much to his disgrace can only find fulfillment and end her sterile existence in the arms of a low-life killer. Macon comes to know his father's sister, Pilate. For him, she represents the warmth, the rootedness, the closeness to the living earth and the throbbing life force of black culture. Macon, born into but dissatisfied with the sterility of his pseudo-white home now sets out on a search to learn about his origins. Yet in the end, it is the life style of the white man and of Macon's father which survives. Just as such black villages as Shalimar in the American south die and decay, so is the true black himself sucked back into the death-bringing quagmire of the blood which runs through his veins.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Toni Morrison's best novels Feb. 27 2004
Format:Paperback
With passion and a voice that sings with beautiful detail and magic, Toni Morrison's third novel, published in 1977, is a powerful tale that follows the lives of a black family and their friends living in a Michigan city. In 1931, Macon Dead III, later nicknamed Milkman, is prematurely brought into the world, the first black child born in Mercy Hospital, just after his mother witnesses the brief flight of a man determined to fly from the cupola of the hospital. Although the novel revolves around Milkman, the stories spun out from him embrace a wide variety of characters and experiences. Morrison explores the lasting stamp of slavery through the name of Macon Dead; the intimate culture of women through Pilate, Reba, and Hagar; the hunger for property and respectability through Milkman's father; the idea of one's "people" through those in the South who have not forgotten connections; the violence of civil rights through Guitar; and many more issues facing blacks of the times and today. Despite the resonance of history, this novel is ultimately about its people and their eagerly lived lives. Morrison plunges her readers into their hearts with a humanity and skill too few novelists possess. The result is a remarkably emotional and intelligent story that will stay with you for a long time.
Readers should not be intimidated by Morrison's Nobel Prize Winner status, as this novel, like most of her others, is written in startling but accessible language. You don't need an advanced degree (or even a specific race or gender) to slip into her magical prose. Her characters are real and fully realized, and feel like friends, even when you might want to shake them to their senses.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated hogwash
I found this book to be as enjoyable and substantial as a tub of Crisco. At first glance, the product appears appetizing and delectable. Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2010 by Lorelei Prichard
4.0 out of 5 stars A Morrison Classic With Fewer Tears
Song of Solomon fits well into the classic Toni Morrison genre of heart-wrenchingly poetic and painfully beautiful stories, but it is a bit different from her other works at the... Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by J. Karmel
5.0 out of 5 stars History Is Identity?
In Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison takes the view - a common one - that we have to know our history to know ourselves. I don't really agree but in this case it makes a great story. Read more
Published on May 16 2004 by -_Tim_-
4.0 out of 5 stars Song of Solomon
Toni Morrison's third novel, "Song of Solomon", is one of her more praised novels (but then again which is not). Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by Salvatore Ruggiero
5.0 out of 5 stars best book ever
i highly recommend this book. her writing is absolutely incredible. she "gets it."
Published on Dec 8 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL!
A MUST READ. IT SHOULD BE MADE INTO A FILM. ONE OF MY FAVORITES. YOU LAUGH, YOU CHEER, YOU CRY. YOU FEEL!
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by Kent Browning
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich
This book tells the epic story of a African American family during the early part of the twentieth century. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2003 by Erika Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars A young black man struggling to fit into the world.
This book must be read. It's a quick read, hard to put down. The ending is slightly disappointing, however. The protagonist, Milkman, is a real person. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2003 by Zammy187
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book i've read in a long time!
Toni Morrison has always been a writer that I wanted to read because she won the Nobel Prize, something that is rarely given to women. Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2003 by David Vidaurre
3.0 out of 5 stars Shawns review is the bombdiggity word up to my homeboys
I read almost all of this book but i had to put it down because it was not entertaining anymore. When i first started to read this book "Song of Soloman" i didnt really... Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2003 by SKIP
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