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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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Paperback, October 1993 --  
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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 Overrated hogwash Aug. 14 2010
Format:Paperback
I found this book to be as enjoyable and substantial as a tub of Crisco. At first glance, the product appears appetizing and delectable. Try it, however, and you will find that it is vulgar, crass, and leaves an annoying aftertaste that you just can't shake. Oprah Winfrey's book club discussion notes that Milkman's journey south is an odyssey worthy of Homer and that the importance of names is a prevalent theme in the novel. I name this novel "Hogwash" and suggest that Milkman's final destination should be your closest landfill.
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars A Morrison Classic With Fewer Tears June 29 2004
Format:Paperback
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 same time. The main character of this novel is a male, but the deeper thematic undercurrents channel strongly towards feminism (or in this case womanism, black women's feminism). It's a story of finding yourself and your roots, your true name. The story follows a North to South journey for a young black man. Filled with symbolism and mythology, the novel is rich and engrossing. The motif is based on old stories of African American slaves who shed their bonds and flew back to Africa. Your interpretation of this novel will lead you in one of two directions: did they fly or did they perish? The novel poses this question to you in an eloquent and beautiful way. In the end, your interpretation of this novel may tell you something about yourself and what you believe in.
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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 History Is Identity? May 16 2004
By -_Tim_-
Format:Paperback
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. The characters in her novel don't make calculations or follow strategies: they do what they have to do. The history that motivates their actions is an emotional, personal one. Morrison's preoccupation with this personal history is reflected in her use of unusual names: names that are given "from yearnings, gestures, flaws, events, mistakes, weaknesses . . . Macon Dead, Sing Byrd, Crowell Byrd, Pilate, Reba, Hagar, Magdalene, First Corinthians, Milkman, Guitar . . . ." Her characters are powerful, larger-than-life people, and clashes between them quickly escalate to life-and-death struggles. At the same time, they have a great capacity for empathy and self-sacrifice. Highly recommended.
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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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Toni Morrison's best novels
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... Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2004 by Debbie Lee Wesselmann
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 9 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. 25 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. 5 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 Oct. 1 2003 by SKIP
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