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Showing 1-10 of 12 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on March 12, 2002
This book is filled with poetry and symbolism. The writing style of Alan Paton is truly amazing and each line is rich in metaphor and understanding. Obviously inspired by the country he is writing about you can feel the love he has for Africa in each and every line of this text.
As for the story it's a very interesting look at the coming of age in a society that probably doesn't want to come of age yet. It probes deep questions about what right societies have to interfere with each other and what steps can and can't be taken after interference has already occurred. One of the most powerful messages for me was that you can't go back. The natives in the book can not return to the culture that they once had, instead they must look for a way to combine their old culture with the new culture that has been forced upon them. The book seems to give hope that this is possible and makes us realize that culture is stronger than the conditions it lives in and can stand strong against even the heaviest adversity.
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on February 12, 2004
I was initially intrigued to read a South African historical fiction novel. However, I was extremely disappointed with this book. I frequently cringed when I read through functional dialogue, poorly written detail of scenarios, and rudimentary story structure. I couldn't believe that someone who held high ranking in a country actually published a book that was so bland. The dialogue, I must emphasize, is so bad that it's hilarious.
I read about halfway through the novel and HAD to put it down. There was no way I could possibly waste my time reading something that made me think that anyone could get published. And an Oprah book? Did she even open it to read or did she just read the back cover?
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on July 6, 2004
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. The novel was often repetitive - several passages were copied word for word (the first paragraph of Book One and the first paragraph of Book Two, for an example). Dialogue was repeated multiple times, and descriptions and phrases were reused. Paton's attempt at creativity with his use of dashes to begin dialogue was distracting at its best points. The base story of South Africa and Kumalo was engaging, but the story as it was written was difficult to process and dull. The only parts of the novel I actually enjoyed were Paton's passionate tangents in which he would leave his characters for a moment and discuss the actual problems and solutions.
If this novel had been a movie I had rented, I would have turned it off within the first ten minutes and returned it to the store.
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on April 12, 1999
I felt that this book was poorly written and an imposition on the reader. I understand that Paton was trying to introduce the speech patterns to the reader, and he did so successfully, but it took away from the book's rythm.
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on February 5, 2004
The author needs to learn to use quotations. The reader has a really hard time understanding who says what. This whole book has grammar problems and there are many irrelevant conversations. Because of this book, I no longer trust Oprah's recommendations. I made it half way through the book and couldn't take it anymore.
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on July 24, 2002
I had to read Cry, the Beloved Country for school, and I have to say, I would definetly not have read it if I had a choice. My two main problems with this book were that I really felt no compassion for the main character, Kumalu and the story was uninteresting. Kumalu is an Anglican parson living in South Africa who travels from his sheltered, obscure, little valley to Johannesburg to find members of his family with whom he has lost contact. When he gets there, he basically finds that everybody in the big city is corrupt, especially his son. I found Kumalu to be naive and unappealing. When he is looking for his son the story gets a bit more interesting. But, he has to go to so many different places to find the son's home, and he doesn't even find the son! Couldn't the author just have cut to the chase and sent him to two or three places? Another thing I disliked about this book was that all of the pious people that worked at the mission where Kumalu stayed in the city kept getting mad when people laughed or talked "idly." It just got annyoing after Kumalu's sister was scolded three or four times for doing this. I don't think this book was poetically written, it was just slow moving and described the valley for about ten pages. In short, I would not recommend this dull and unmoving book.
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on December 9, 2001
Cry,The Beloved Country is a very descriptive book about Steven Kumalos family being torn apart.Steven Kumalos sister gets sick due to a life of prostitution. He had to use all his money to go and visit her while she was sick. I thought that the book was not very entertaining. Nothing exciting happens. Some parts of the book are descriptive and give good details. The story line is good, Steven is a priest who does not have very much money, but is willing to sacrifice what he has for his sister. Even though his sister has become a prostitute and ruined her life, he still loves her. Before receiving the letter that told him about his sister being sick, he did not even know where his sister was, he had not heard from her for years. It turns out that she was only a few towns away. The story takes place in South Africa during the years while apharteid was present. It shows some of the ways blacks were suppresed during those years. Steven and his family were very effected by apharteid. They stugled through many things. Even though they went through so much they got through it all because they were a very strong family. Even though i thought the book was boring, it did have some good points in it. Like how much you need your family in hard times and how you should stick together with your family no matter what. I personally would not read this book again, but its up to you to decide if you want to.
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on September 30, 2003
I read this book last year as part of an AP English class, and wasn't very impressed. Sure the book serves as a good history lesson, and has a somewhat interesting storyline, but it is lacking as far as pacing goes. I would only recommend this book if you're really interested in old South African society. If you're looking for a good read, look elsewhere.
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on March 19, 2002
this book really was boring. the style paton decided to use in this book is one of a psychopathic moron. his - before what the person said and you having to guess who says what and when is too overwhelming for anyone. Not only did i get lost, but i was confused when i wasn't lost. i don't recommend this book to any sane person.
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on September 9, 1999
CRY BELOVED COUNTRY=BORING Out of a class of 30 students, not one person enjoyed reading it. It's boring topics and pointless characters made readers fall asleep. I am speaking for the majority of the world when I say this book is STUPID.
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