Beloved (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series) ハードカバー – 2006/10/17
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Toni Morrison’s Beloved is a spellbinding and dazzlingly innovative portrait of a woman haunted by the past.
Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad, yet she is still held captive by memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Meanwhile Sethe’s house has long been troubled by the angry, destructive ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.
Sethe works at beating back the past, but it makes itself heard and felt incessantly in her memory and in the lives of those around her. When a mysterious teenage girl arrives, calling herself Beloved, Sethe’s terrible secret explodes into the present.
Combining the visionary power of legend with the unassailable truth of history, Morrison’s unforgettable novel is one of the great and enduring works of American literature.
“A masterwork. . . . Wonderful. . . . I can’t imagine American literature without it.” —John Leonard, Los Angeles Times
“A triumph.” —Margaret Atwood, The New York Times Book Review
“Toni Morrison’s finest work. . . . [It] sets her apart [and] displays her prodigious talent.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Dazzling. . . . Magical. . . . An extraordinary work.” —The New York Times
“A masterpiece. . . . Magnificent. . . . Astounding. . . . Overpowering.” —Newsweek
“Brilliant. . . . Resonates from past to present.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“A brutally powerful, mesmerizing story. . . . Read it and tremble.” —People
“Toni Morrison is not just an important contemporary novelist but a major figure in our national literature.” —New York Review of Books
“A work of genuine force. . . . Beautifully written.” —The Washington Post
“There is something great in Beloved: a play of human voices, consciously exalted, perversely stressed, yet holding true. It gets you.” —The New Yorker
“A magnificent heroine . . . a glorious book.” —The Baltimore Sun
“Superb. . . . A profound and shattering story that carries the weight of history. . . . Exquisitely told.” —Cosmopolitan
“Magical . . . rich, provocative, extremely satisfying.” —Milwaukee Journal
“Beautifully written. . . . Powerful. . . . Toni Morrison has become one of America’s finest novelists.” —The Plain Dealer
“Stunning. . . A lasting achievement.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“Written with a force rarely seen in contemporary fiction. . . . One feels deep admiration.” —USA Today
“Compelling . . . . Morrison shakes that brilliant kaleidoscope of hers again, and the story of pain, endurance, poetry and power she is born to tell comes right out.” —The Village Voice
“A book worth many rereadings.” —Glamour
“In her most probing novel, Toni Morrison has demonstrated once again the stunning powers that place her in the first ranks of our living novelists.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Heart-wrenching . . . mesmerizing.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Shattering emotional power and impact.” —New York Daily News
“A rich, mythical novel . . . a triumph.” —St. Petersburg Times
“Powerful . . . voluptuous.” —New York
Since that time I have read many great books, but only a handful that left me feeling like Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre", Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," Hemingways' "The Sun Also Rises," Baldwin's "Another Country," Byron's "Don Juan," and now I can add to that list Toni Morrison's "Beloved."
Ms. Morrison's book transcends greatness and enters that rarefied stratosphere of the sublime, heavenly, and magical. "Beloved" is a masterful work of art that should be read by anyone who aspires to be a writer or a teacher. It is like DaVinci's "The Last Supper." It reaches into the past, depicting the brutality of slavery, while it's revelance remains even more powerful in the society we now live in, and like Yeats' wrote, "Neither time, nor place, nor art have moved it." It lives forever.
Beloved is a truly great book that lives up to the hype. Hard to put down. The writing is excellent. The story is not one of suffering, but one of persevering through the insufferable. It's often hard to read, with the unflinching descriptions of torture and degradation. However, I'm a tiny bit closer to understanding.
This book reads almost like poetry. It's a really, really, really heavy story- a woman escapes slavery with her four young children, only to reach freedom in Ohio right about the time the Fugitive Act was enacted. Her former owner comes for her and her children, and she makes a desperate decision to take her children's lives, rather than have them live enslaved.
As time goes on, the ghost of the daughter she killed haunts their house and makes trouble in her life. She and her living daughter, Denver, try to summon the ghost, and a few weeks later a mysterious young woman shows up and basically moves in with them.
Highly recommended- take your time and read this one bunch of times. It can be really painful. But it is beautifully written and important to read.