Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon

Paperback - 2004
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New York Times Bestseller

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.

"You can't go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison. Beloved , Song of Solomo n, The Bluest Eye , Sula , everything else -- they're transcendent, all of them. You'll be glad you read them."--Barack Obama
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2004.
ISBN: 9781400033423
140003342X
Branch Call Number: FICTION MORRISON
FICTION MORRISON
Characteristics: xiii, 337 p. ; 20 cm.

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Irzabeta
Jul 19, 2020

Prior to this book, I had only read one other work by Toni Morrison and that was Beloved. Beloved is a story that can leave you scarred (if you've read it, then you'll know what I mean.) So I was a bit nervous about reading Song of Solomon. In the end, I'm glad I did as I was flipping the pages so fast as I headed towards the end. I had to know what happened.

Song of Solomon follows the life of Macon "Milkman" Dead III from his birth in the 1930s to young manhood in the early 1960s. We watch as he interacts with his family, learns the secrets of his best friend Guitar and confronts the mysteries surrounding his father's origins. All of the characters are black and race is one of the themes of this book. It's a relevant book for our times and there were a number of conversations that sounded like something I had just heard a few days before. A reminder of how many things have not changed.

However, one thing surprised me. I think that I have become so in awe of Toni Morrison that I didn't realize how good of a storyteller she is. I loved the exploration of the relationships in this book. I loved how multi-faceted the characters were. I think I only liked one character, but I was interested in what happened to all of them.

One final note. The characters with the most "screen time" in this book are all male. Morrison states in the preface that writing from the male perspective was new for her. I think she does a great job, but I still felt that the most powerful and memorable characters were the females. In particular, Milkman's aunt Pilate really steals the show. And the the sole scene in which Milkman's sister Lena finally speaks and reveals her point of view....wow.

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LucasHill
Sep 02, 2019

I have no clever words to describe what a masterpiece this is. Ms. Morrison's words contain the world. I have fond memories of reading it in high school, but I needed to be an adult to discover its real value, whis is immeasurable.

RogerDeBlanck Jan 31, 2018

With the publication of her third novel Song of Solomon in 1977, Morrison established herself as one of the preeminent writers of her time. The book was her first to earn widespread commercial success, and it also won Morrison her first major literary achievement, the National Book Critics Circle Award. Song of Solomon is a grand and sweeping narrative that explores the tremendous vibrancy of family heritage. With her trademark talent for creating memorable characters, Morrison charts the journey of the novel’s central protagonist, Milkman Dead, as he sets out in search of the roots to his family lineage. As very few writers can, Morrison brings to life a black community filled with myth and magic, love and hate, and good and evil. The lyricism of her language allows the story to extend beyond a specific time and place to encapsulate a world of ghosts and visions that evokes the same type of power found in the works of Faulkner and Steinbeck. With the success of Song of Solomon, Morrison elevated her status to one of America’s most important 20th Century literary figures.

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klattka
Jan 31, 2017

It appeared the downloadable audio book version skipped section of the book and it therefore made it very confusing and difficult to follow.

d
demonic25
Jul 27, 2016

The beginning is kind of boring, but the end is really good. Keep reading, it gets better!

MarioEnriqueRiosPinot Nov 18, 2014

“You can't own a human being. You can't lose what you don't own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don't, do you? And neither does he. You're turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can't value you more than you value yourself.”
― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon "

I really like this novel.

nicholasflamel Jun 21, 2013

This book is truly magnificent. Morrison's allusions to the unjustified discrimination and violence that African Americans faced over the course of history is vividly implemented into the novel, signifying a unique background that influences a young black man, Macon "Milkman" Dead to go on a journey in search of his identity. Morrison's symbolism, motifs, and unique writing style (magical realism), sways the reader forward as they too will make a journey quite like Milkman's.

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MCinnamon
Mar 18, 2013

An excellent novel, one of the many gems in the Everyman's Library. They publish many nobel prize winners and old classics. Back to this novel, i found the characters rich and unique. The story never bogs down at any time and it was a joy to read. Its about freedom in the north for former black slaves, the work it takes to me an equal among whites, leaving all the southern baggage behind but at a cost of the sence of family. Ony after returning south do they realize what they are missing in their lives.

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tmilini
May 18, 2010

This is an excellent and beautiful story.

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FavouriteFiction Oct 14, 2009

While trying to hide his Southern working class roots Macon Dead, an upper-class black businessman, insulates his family from the danger and despair of the rank and file blacks with whom he shares the neighbourhood. The plan drives his son, nicknamed "Milkman" into the arms of a violent, lower-class woman, and into a clandestine circle of blacks who repay white violence in kind.

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