Beloved by Toni Morrison

81%

19 Critic Reviews

Morrison traces the shifting shapes of suffering and mythic accommodations, through the shell of psychosis to the core of a victim's dark violence, with a lyrical insistence and a clear sense of the time when a beleaguered peoples' "only grace. . .was the grace they could imagine.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
 

About Toni Morrison

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Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and, most recently, Home. She has also received the National Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction. In addition to Desdemona her theatrical work includes writing the text for Margaret Garner (music composed by Richard Danielpour) and Dreaming Emmett, an published play directed by Gilbert Moses and performed at the Marketplace Capitol Repertory Theater of Albany. Ms. Morrison has written lyrics for Kathleen Battle (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Sylvia McNair, Jessye Norman, and Andre Previn. Ms. Morrison founded the Princeton Atelier which for fifteen years has brought actors, composers, writers, and artists of all genres together to work with students on the artists' own projects. Several of her novels including The Bluest Eye have been adapted for the stage.Rokia Traoré is a Victoires de la Musique award-winning Malian singer, songwriter and guitarist.Peter Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the performing arts in America and abroad. A visionary artist, Sellars is known for his groundbreaking interpretations of classic works.
 
Published January 1, 1988 by Pan Books 1988. (Picador). 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, History, Children's Books. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Beloved
All: 19 | Positive: 17 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
on Sep 30 2011

Morrison traces the shifting shapes of suffering and mythic accommodations, through the shell of psychosis to the core of a victim's dark violence, with a lyrical insistence and a clear sense of the time when a beleaguered peoples' "only grace. . .was the grace they could imagine.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Mandy Southgate on Jun 28 2010

Beloved is indeed one of the best works of literary fiction I have ever read. It is not an easy book, but if you persevere, it is certainly a rewarding experience. I would recommend it to all lovers of good fiction.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Mandy Southgate on Jun 28 2010

Beloved is indeed one of the best works of literary fiction I have ever read. It is not an easy book, but if you persevere, it is certainly a rewarding experience. I would recommend it to all lovers of good fiction.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Jul 26 2008

In the final analysis, the importance of this book is no longer a matter of good or bad writing, and perhaps never was. For twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings, this is the book that spurred them into dialogues on race and gender and other thorny issues that still haunt our national debate just as the ghost of Beloved haunts Morrison’s novel.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Jul 26 2008

...this book will continue to loom large over current day American fiction. And it is testimony to the strength of the “canon” that it can (once again) make room for such an anti-canonical work, and even give it a prized place at the head of the table.

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Slate

Excellent
Reviewed by Stephen Metcalf on May 18 2006

Beloved is indeed a work of genius. No other American novel of the past 25 years has so elegantly mapped the psychobiography of its ideal reader.

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Stuff

Good
Reviewed by Karen Tay on Feb 21 2013

Indeed, it's not an easy book to read, but I don't think Morrison's intention as a writer is to write little jewels of stories that will lull you to sleep on rainbow clouds...A great and worthy novel, and a story that will stay with you for lifetimes.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Sam S. on Apr 30 2014

Though the themes in the story clearly have a lasting emotional impact, Morrison’s Beloved is a thought-provoking novel in a class of its own. For both historical and literary value, it is a masterpiece definitely worth reading.

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Quick Book Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by David Ben Efraim on Aug 29 2013

...in the end, it makes for an educative and entertaining novel that will hook you in and make you keep reading just to find out what hardships Sethe and her people had to face.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
on Apr 30 2014

As to Morrison's style, I suppose that she is trying to render her tale in a sort of afro-mystic manner. I found it merely annoying.

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Book Journey

Good
Reviewed by Sheila (Book Journey) on Sep 28 2011

Overall Beloved is a disturbing read. Not always, in a bad way. This book made me think about the slavery in our history and the lengths people went to escape it.

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Rebecca Reads

Good
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Sep 17 2009

By telling the heart-wrenching story of just one family of escape slaves, Toni Morrison captures, in Beloved, a part of the black American collective memory (Sixty million and more). Like Sethe (and yet so unlike her), a horrible past haunts America’s past. This book is violent, but it is ultimately universal.

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Leeswammes' Blog

Above average
Reviewed by Leeswammes on Jul 18 2012

In all, I didn’t love this story. It was too odd for me and I didn’t appreciate the writing, Pullitzer prize (1988) notwithstanding.

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Sarah Says Read

Good
Reviewed by Sarah on Oct 02 2013

The whole point of the book is the horrible, upsetting things that happen and students should read it and discuss it. It’s a tragic story, full of pain and sadness and regret, and that’s why it’s a really good book.

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ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Good
Reviewed by Lisa Hill on Jun 27 2009

Beloved is rich in symbolism, themes and moral dilemmas (and there are probably countless websites analysing it) – but for me the raw experience of reading it has changed the way I think about slavery forever.

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Estella's Revenge

Good
on Apr 16 2014

There were times Beloved turned my stomach with its scenes are barbarism, and there were times it made my feelings soar. The writing was just amazing, and the overall plotting was excellent.

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Literary R&R

Good
Reviewed by Kathy on Oct 27 2013

This is an amazing book, written artfully and passionately by Toni Morrison. It's one I think any student of literature should put on their lifetime bucket list of must-reads.

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http://bibliophilescorner.blogspot.com

Good
Reviewed by Olga J. on Aug 18 2013

...Are you looking for a simple escapist story? Then no, you won't enjoy this novel. Are you looking for something to feed your brain and be beautiful at the same time? Then yes, this novel is for you.

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The Reader's Refuge

Above average
Reviewed by Alyssa on Jul 06 2012

However,while it is brilliant, it is not the type of story that interests me. It is completely character-driven with very little plot. There was nothing for me to grab onto. While the characters are perfectly depicted, I wasn't able to fall in love with them.

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Reader Rating for Beloved
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1249 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Beata 26 Apr 2013

Rated the book as 2 out of 5

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Barton Yahwoo 24 Jun 2013

Rated the book as 1.5 out of 5

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