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Paperback Song of Solomon Book

ISBN: 0452260116

ISBN13: 9780452260115

Song of Solomon

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - An official Oprah Winfrey's "The Books That Help Me Through" selection - The acclaimed Nobel Prize winner transfigures the coming-of-age story with this brilliantly... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

A little racially charged

Still it was a good story character learned about himself, friendship, and roots. I didn’t dislike it

Listed as very good

This was listed as very good but it’s highlighted throughout also with notes

great great great read

one of the best books i have ever read. the themes embedded within the story and the authentic portrayal of each characters' voice allows you to see yourself as them. i highly recommend.

A Powerful and Intricate Novel

Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon captures the reader with its first sentence. While a beautifully written story, it is one with which the reader must be prepared to invest some time. Morrison makes her reader dig past the literal meaning to find the figurative because the novel is about much more than what the surface shows. Her prose contains layered meanings that at times can be difficult to grasp due to Morrison's intricate phrasing. Song of Solomon, written in 1977, depicts a divided African American family living in northern Michigan during the 1930's. As with many of her novels, Song of Solomon hits at heavy themes. Within the novel Morrison touches on issues including race, gender, geography, age, the importance of family origins, and the value of human life. With this novel Morrison's aim was to make the reader think about the value and worth of another person's life. The novel begins outside of a residential hospital, with a man preparing to jump off the building, and women struggling to give birth on the steps below. "The next day a colored baby was born inside Mercy for the first time" (9), this colored child is the main character Macon Dead, nicknamed Milkman. Next, the reader meets the other characters in the novel, including Milkman's mother, father, sisters, aunt, and his close friend Guitar. Milkman's relationship with each of this character is essential to shaping the novel's themes. Although the novel is centered on Milkman, his story is created by the lives of those around him. Through out the novel Milkman struggles to find meaning in his life. He says, "Everybody wants something from me, you know what I mean?...Something they think I got. I don't know what it is-I mean what it is they really want" (222). Milkman's effort to find that `something' takes him in many directions, the most important of these being a journey, in an effort to prove himself in the eyes of his friend and father, in search of stolen gold. What began as lust for money and power turns into something much more for Milkman. On this particular journey he is forced to re-evaluate his life, "They were troublesome thoughts, but they wouldn't go away...his self--the cocoon that was "personality"-gave the thoughts came, unobstructed" (277). The end of this journey brings understanding, and change not only to Milkman, but to all those connected to him. The story is a skillful blend of characters and plot developments that form a complex tale of human discovery which takes the reader from birth to death, from north to south, and from emptiness to fulfillment. The beauty and power of Morrison's writing is what makes this novel so effective. Morrison's descriptive words create vivid imagery and strong themes; the most prevalent of these is the importance of family, and the value of life. Morrison presents these themes amidst a setting displayed in colorful and descriptive language. Scenes such as the first, impact the reader because of the intensity of the

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 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. Although some readers will be puzzled by the end, wanting perhaps the next sentence that explains it all, Morrison has included by her omission the real meaning of her book. Visit with it for a few moments before closing the cover.I highly recommend this book for a wide range of readers, from high school students to adults. Even though it was written in the 1970's, its themes and characters still have relevance today. Morrison is one of the world's literary gifts, and should not be missed. THE SONG OF SOLOMON is one of her best novels.

not for book clubs, but a masterpiece

this book is not for a reader who wants a simple plot or who is not willing to concentrate on the text and think about it on numerous levels. in fact, it may even be a dangerous book for people like that. i have heard morrison called a racist, and i have heard her called a degrader of her own race, and unfortunately this is because her work lacks the inane quality of so many other works today that fit so easily into simple categories. so many readers today want works that reinforce their own sense of themselves, that make broad statements that have already been made, such as 'racism is bad,' and that consequently make them feel good by presenting plots that include them on the side of right. this author's work is hardly aimed at such generic ideals. instead, morrison weaves tales that destroy the very notion of racial superiority, setting up oppositions that not only show in detail the horrors of white discimination, but also the devestating effects of internal attempts by black groups or individuals at creating a heirarchy of their own where they might be superior to other blacks. this novel is about the lunacy of existing through stereotypical perceptions, and more importantly the horrific consequences of hate from all sides and the redeeming qualities of love from all sides. it is about so much more, but at its simplest level, it is about being american. this book is not for everyone, but if you're willing to think extremely hard about each page, and not afraid to accept that something of yourself, no matter what your race or gender may be, is almost certainly going to be indicted within it, by all means devour this incredibly beautiful and powerful story with no self-illusions, because it will make you a better person to have done it. this is toni morrison's masterpiece, and quite simply one of the greatest american novels of the 20th century.

'Song' Lyricism

If you are a fan of Toni Morrison, this is your definitive book. Otherwise, you may be turned off by its broken time and biblical allusions. Either way, do not worry, for everyone can learn to appreciate Morrison's masterpiece of lyrical prose. This novel entails Milkman's journey from fractured family pride to a greedy hunt for hidden gold. Its opening may seem mysterious and inscrutable, but if the reader continues his pursuit he will find a great payoff. Morrison's works require close reading and a fair memory. I recommend reading as much as possible of her books in one sitting and while clear- and open-minded. One of the joys of taking in her poetic words lies in the shaping of the works' characters. In 'Song of Solomon,' we watch Milkman from his very infancy, learn the origins of his nickname, and are forced to wonder what has happened to him in the end. Morrison chronicles his troubled family's history, once again even delving into how the family mistakenly acquired their last name: 'Dead.' My only words of encouragement: stay focused and pay attention and appreciate what Toni Morrison does for American literature with each of her creations and the boundless effects of their words.

Song of Solomon Mentions in Our Blog

Song of Solomon in 8 Quintessentially American Authors
8 Quintessentially American Authors
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • July 03, 2020

Today's America is hard to define. A land of promise. A melting pot. A country of immigrants. A study in contrasts. We are young. We are optimistic. We are angry. We are evolving. Here are eight contemporary authors who represent and celebrate the glorious diversity of the American experience.

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