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149 Reviews
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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. 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...
Published 7 months ago by Rob Slaven

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't relate
The main character of the story, Stephen Kumalo, is very well developed. Reading of his journey brought me to think of Kumalo as a real life character. What interested me most in the story was the strong influence of religion in life. One example would be Mr. Carmichael, who does an incredibly genorous deed in the name of god (I won't ruin the story). The story brings...
Published on Feb. 11 2002


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5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story, masterfully written., May 28 2004
By A Customer
Cry, the Beloved Country is an inspired, and inspiring, novel. This is the most memorable book I have ever read. If you know someone who cannot read, teach him so that he won't miss this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Poetry, May 8 2004
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V. Marshall (North Fork, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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I saw the movie made from this book first and I thought nothing could top the beauty of the film. I was wrong, as usual the book is always better than the movie.
Alan Paton writes with extrodinary beauty making each sentence into a poetic phrase worth a second glance. He has written a story about racism, prejudice and forgiveness, ideas not often mentioned or acted together. Paton draws his reader into the beauty and magnificence of South Africa without the benefit of pictures, but your mind fills with splendor anyway. The lesson Paton provides is beautiful, to accept others, to betray society's prejudices and to die with a clean and pure heart.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Discover the beauty of the land (South Africa), April 9 2004
Beautiful imagery, language and chronology. I loved the journey that this book took me on. I read this book very s-l-o-w-l-y to capture every detail to really try and understand. The writing style allows the reader to go through the emotions of the main character (Umfumdisi) on his desperate search to find his son. You will experience the beauty of South Africa, just as you will know the grim of its land. I appreciated the introduction to native words and their meanings, to native traditions and their customs. This was more than a good read, it was an experience. (From the words of Cry, the beloved country - "Go well and stay well").
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff, March 26 2004
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NorthofCB (Bells, TN United States) - See all my reviews
Patton struck gold with this heartfelt description of oppression and hope, "Cry, The Beloved Country." Inspired by the writing style presented in "The Grapes of Wrath," "Cry" follows a South African priest that leaves his beloved country home to go to Johannesburg to search for his missing son. Along the way, he meets people from all walks of life, and Patton does a masterful job in displaying their mixed emotions: fear, hope etc... The ending would bring any soft-hearted "Joe" to tears. Wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Africa A Legacy, March 21 2004
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C. Reiche "crr1963" (Ann Arbor, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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I own this book on audio and it by far one of the best I have ever read. I must read it again as I don't know if Absaloms Child repeated his acts of murder or if it was written in flashbacks, but I was totally rivited to the story every minute.
The story definitely left an impression on me though it was fiction I felt as if it had actually taken place.
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4.0 out of 5 stars beautifully simple, March 20 2004
By A Customer
Browsing through other reviews, I noticed that many criticized Paton's style as "difficult to read" and not well-written. I disagree. The simplicity of the language mirrors the simplicity of its main character. Furthermore, it provided a contrast to the complex emotions, politics etc. and thus served to emphasize their complexity. Like other reviewers, it took me a while to finish the book -- I put it down for a few weeks because it seemed to depressing to finish at the time. When I picked it back up, it took me less than 2 hours to finish, and I'm glad I did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very few books like this, March 20 2004
By A Customer
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." McCrae's BARK OF THE DOGWOOD or Styron's SOPHIE'S CHOICE comes to mind, and those two, along with CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY are the only three I can think of off the top of my head. By far, CRY is my favorite of these three, and the most moving. Not to take anything away from the others, but CRY has a depth and feeling like no other novel I know of.
I'm not usually one for an Oprah pick, having avoided the list since I felt she had some lapses in judgment, but CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY is a sure fire hit and not to be missed.
Note: There have been several movies made of this, and the 1995 one is probably the best.
Also recommended: "Raising Fences" and "Bark of the Dogwood"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, March 17 2004
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J. Leong (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
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I was originally forced to by this book as an essential requirement for my history class. But as I read the first page, I was captivated. It no longer became a chore for me to sit at home and read this book. I thought it was brilliant. This story takes you back into the segregation between the whites and blacks - the aparthied. It's completely unforgettable and very moving. And just by reading this book, you get a feel of what it was like for a poor, black family. People can disagree soley based on the author's lack of quotation marks, but you have to bear in mind that this story was translated, and somethings aren't going to sound like formal english.
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5.0 out of 5 stars South Africa at its heart, Feb. 29 2004
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Amazon Customer "ladeitra79" (san jose, ca United States) - See all my reviews
This book takes you into the heart of South Africa. You see the different perspectives of all those living through some of the same situations. You see the main characters vision of South Africa through the church. You see how poverty can change ones outlook on life in general. Poverty will make one make decisions that they wouldn't normally make. You see how a tragedy can bring neighbors together during a tough time. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to see South Africa through the eyes of South Africa.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect and outstanding, Feb. 20 2004
By A Customer
What a gem. A perfect novel. The characters are unforgettable. The writing is exquisite. The imagery is scenic, rich, resonant. Most important, the story is actually important. The novel made me grieve for the lost quality in so much modern literature, which often pales in comparison to this classic work. Can't believe I was never asked in high school or college to read this wondrous work. What a gem.
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Cry, the Beloved Country: A Story of Comfort in Desolation
Cry, the Beloved Country: A Story of Comfort in Desolation by Alan Paton (Paperback - Dec 4 2002)
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