Customer Reviews for

Beloved

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Toni Morrison's Haunting Novel

A child is a gift which cannot be compared to any in the world, but when a child is murdered for the mother's survival, its spirit lingers on in the thoughts and nightmares of the family. Beloved by Toni Morrison is a haunting novel of a mother and daughter, their strug...
A child is a gift which cannot be compared to any in the world, but when a child is murdered for the mother's survival, its spirit lingers on in the thoughts and nightmares of the family. Beloved by Toni Morrison is a haunting novel of a mother and daughter, their struggles to survive the shadows of their past, and the secrets that hold them back in irrefutable ways. The deeply troubled main characters and bone chilling plot takes place in a haunting setting which keeps the pages turning and the reader wanting more, even after the novel has ended. MOrrison wrote this novel with spellbounding emotion that can hadrdly be compared to any work of fiction I have ever read. Morrison's brilliant masterpiece transposes the mind of the reader into the time of the Civil War, where escaped slaves are continuously disturbed by their precedent.

posted by Anonymous on February 28, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Good.

I was very apprehensive about reading Beloved. I heard nothing but bad things about it from the people I know. So I went into it with a bad attitude. After reading the first couple chapters I understood Toni's writing style and was able to really get into it. I was neve...
I was very apprehensive about reading Beloved. I heard nothing but bad things about it from the people I know. So I went into it with a bad attitude. After reading the first couple chapters I understood Toni's writing style and was able to really get into it. I was never bored and I was able to put myself in the story. During one chapter I was literally breathless when it ended! It was that real. Parts of this novel are creepy, and I think that is what makes it so unique. You will feel many emotions while reading. It's a feeling that doesn't happen very much. I do have to say, I think people who know a lot about slavery will get more out of this, as it is a book about slavery. A couple things that were mentioned confused me and I had to look them up. I think this is a great book that you should not hesitate to pick up. It is extremely unique and will keep you reading!

posted by DeDeFlowers on April 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    Toni Morrison's Haunting Novel

    A child is a gift which cannot be compared to any in the world, but when a child is murdered for the mother's survival, its spirit lingers on in the thoughts and nightmares of the family. Beloved by Toni Morrison is a haunting novel of a mother and daughter, their struggles to survive the shadows of their past, and the secrets that hold them back in irrefutable ways. The deeply troubled main characters and bone chilling plot takes place in a haunting setting which keeps the pages turning and the reader wanting more, even after the novel has ended. MOrrison wrote this novel with spellbounding emotion that can hadrdly be compared to any work of fiction I have ever read. Morrison's brilliant masterpiece transposes the mind of the reader into the time of the Civil War, where escaped slaves are continuously disturbed by their precedent.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2008

    Like nothing I've ever read before!

    There's a good reason this book won the Pulitzer Prize and is voted the #1 Work of Fiction in the last 25 Years! Amazing book and a must read!<BR/><BR/>I didn't find it confusing - but it was deep and required you to sit with it sometimes to absorb it - which also seemed to me, intentional by the writer. I loved that about it.<BR/> <BR/>I saw some say it had nothing to do with slavery and I can only tell you that it has everything to do with slavery. It has to do with it's mental and physical abuse and the effects of it. All of this book is about is slavery. <BR/><BR/>One more thing I HAVE to say... One reviewer said she, Sethe, did what she did to Beloved for her own survival. ...but that's not why she did it... she did it out of love for the child.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good.

    I was very apprehensive about reading Beloved. I heard nothing but bad things about it from the people I know. So I went into it with a bad attitude. After reading the first couple chapters I understood Toni's writing style and was able to really get into it. I was never bored and I was able to put myself in the story. During one chapter I was literally breathless when it ended! It was that real. Parts of this novel are creepy, and I think that is what makes it so unique. You will feel many emotions while reading. It's a feeling that doesn't happen very much. I do have to say, I think people who know a lot about slavery will get more out of this, as it is a book about slavery. A couple things that were mentioned confused me and I had to look them up. I think this is a great book that you should not hesitate to pick up. It is extremely unique and will keep you reading!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2008

    boring

    def. boring...thats all I can say. Now of course people are going to disagree, but this is my own opinion and some have to learn to respect that. So get over it.

    6 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2006

    Sorrow

    November 13, 2006 Arwa Abdulrahim English 132 J. L. Roderique Toni Morrison takes us back to the time after the Civil War and slavery in Beloved. She uses powerful themes and writing techniques to make that time come alive. On of her major themes is memory. Through the protagonist, Sethe, Morrison gives the reader a realistic insight on the power of memory has over a person. Beloved is based on the life of a slave woman named Margaret Garner. Margaret Garner was a slave in Kentucky but moved to Ohio after she was freed, just like Sethe. Before the story even starts, the reader is captivated by its epigraphy, ¿Sixty Million and more¿ they are four power words that gave me goose bumps when I understand the meaning behind them. Toni Morrison dedicated Beloved to the nameless, sixty million and more victims of slavery and the Middle Passage. How can four words hold so much significance? Toni Morrison truly surpassed any readers expectations. Beloved starts out by introducing the main characters and 124, the home in which Sethe lives. 124 is the center of the story. It is where everything unfolds. Throughout the story, 124 seem to have a varying atmosphere in Part One Toni Morrison describes it as Spiteful, loud in Part Two, and quiet in Part Three. The house is also described as full of venom, fury, rage, grief, and so on. I believe that the moods of 124 represent the ever changing feelings that the characters feel as they delve more into their past and confront their painful memories. Toni Morrison describes the house in a very vivid way, making it seem as if it really exists, one would think that she lived the disturbing and depressing events described in Beloved. 124 is haunted by Sethes dead daughter, whom we learn she calls Beloved. (We now know why Toni Morrison chose the title she did for this book.) The reader gets a sense of what they are in for in the first couple of pages of Beloved. In the beginning of part one, the malevolent spirit of Beloved rages in anger, which is definitely that of a baby¿s. The reader must wonder why Toni Morrison would start the story off with such a vicious event. In my opinion, she started it off in such a way to show the torment the inhabitants of 124 had to endure for eighteen years. She also mentions that Howard and Bulgar, Sethe¿s two sons, ran away from 124 shortly before Baby Suggs¿s, their grandmother, death. One day, Paul D., a friend of Sethe¿s from Sweet Home plantation, stops by to Sethe¿s house. He is disappointed to find out that Baby Suggs, whom he came to visit, is gone. Paul D¿s presence allows Sethe to finally open up about her past. We later find out that his presence had something to do with Beloveds departure. His presence also causes a change in the writing techniques that Toni Morrison uses. At that point, the reader will discover a shifting point between Sethe¿s present life and her past life. The story becomes ever so perplexing. It is hard for the reader to follow the order of events in chronological order. Beloved is, perhaps, the most confusing novel I have ever read so far. The story also takes a major turning point at Paul D¿s presence. The reader beings to see that the ghost of Beloved has mysteriously disappeared. One can help but wonder why. Paul D¿s presence must have replaced Beloveds. To Sethe, it might symbolize hope, something that she is not accustomed to. To Denver , Sethe¿s only child, however, it was devastating, though Beloved was only a ghost, she was the only thing that Denver could connect with out side of 124. After the Beloved¿s spirit was gone Denver was very upset with Paul D, but she started to get use to him being around. People used to be afraid of Denver and her mother and disrespect them. When Paul D was around he took them out and Denver liked that very much, she said that people did not look at them in the weird way that they use to. Now when they look at them they smile and even somet

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    In my opinion, Beloved, written by Toni Morrison is one of the best books I've read and would like to read and discuss in a book club. Toni Morrison is an amazing writer. If I could write like her, I would be sitting on a star and riding the heavens.

    It has been a while since I read this particular novel, but it still haunts me when I think about the story. The plot is well thought out, and the events intrique this reader.

    Beloved is the daughter's name. You must read the book to find out why this name has been chosen. The book is too good to give any secrets away.

    One thing I will say. You will not be able to put the book done once you find out why the name Beloved was chosen. The story reaps empathy of the reader, and I would add that at some stages of the tale, one might begin to hate Beloved. Feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, and yearning for the protagonist all play a part in handling this emotional writing. Go and buy the book, and write a review. And don't wait for two years to go by before you decide to do so. Thank you for reading.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2006

    I would not recommend reading this book

    The novel Beloved is not for ordinary readers who love to read book after book. The novel was boring and had no point to it. One can argue that this book is creative and different however, it is different in a bad way. Beloved does not deserve the Pulitzer Price because it is not what critics made it seem. The book supposedly talks about slavery and life for African Americans as escaped slaves or as owned slaves. Memory/rememory is also a big topic talked about in the novel. It is a complex and confusing book and is a waste of time to read. This novel is about a family haunted by ghosts. The ghosts were family members and a dog. The family split up in the beginning of the novel. The grandmother, Baby Suggs, dies. The two sons, Howard and Buglar, ran away. The only people left in the house were Denver, the daughter, and her mother Sethe. Even though the family knew the house was haunted, they still stayed because the house was the only place that they can actually call home. In the novel, the house was referrer to as 124. Later in the novel Paul D, who was part of the ¿sweet home¿ group, became part of the family. Sweet home was the house the group lived in while they were slaves. The story then continues to talk about experiences that had to do with life as slaves. Memory/rememory also played a big role in the novel. This was illustrated many times within the novel where the characters would go back to their memories and remember events that occurred in their past and in other times the characters would remember that they had that memory and would go back and remember that event or the event in which they remembered that memory. Memory/rememory is one of the topics that lost and confused the readers. The book would talk about an event that is occurring in the novel and then in the next paragraph it would jump to a flashback without giving a transition word or phrase. For instance, Paul D was talking to Sethe about living with them and then before the point got across to the reader, he had a flashback about the time he was in Georgia in prison. He remembered how his neck connected to the axel and how his ankles fastened with iron and his hands clamped. This is only one way of how the book is confusing. Another way of how the book confuses readers is by the way the characters come into the story. The book brings a character into the story and the story keeps going. Then later in the story, the reader has a brief idea of who the character is and how the character relates to the story or a specific part of the story. For example, when Paul D first comes into the story, who he was and his relationship to Sethe was not talked about. Later on Sethe talks about who he is and how they knew each etc. This book is complex because it uses difficult language that makes the reader guess on what the author tries to say. For example, the first sentence in the book was ¿124 was spiteful.¿ Readers do not begin to understand what ¿124¿ is until a few pages later and even then, the reader has to assume that 124 is the house that the characters are living in because the book is not clear about it. The book also uses sophisticated language and metaphors that are difficult to understand. It is not concrete. Many events that occur in the novel do not exist. For example in an early part of the story the house was attacked by ghosts and objects inside the house were thrown around and at people and while that was going on, Paul D was fighting with one of the ghosts. The complexity of the book goes further than jumping from one point to another or from one event to another. At times, it even goes back and forth talking about two different subjects. Readers that are not used to this style of writing will get lost and that can result in one of few outcomes. The most common outcome would be to stop reading the book and watch the movie adaptation of the book. Tha

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2005

    Read it only if you're forced.

    I want to start off saying that I love classical novels, so don't think me simple minded, Beloved started out strong, with one voice and a good strong potential for a story, but then it entered into the land of confusion. It got impossible to keep up with all the different voices narrating the novel, all the constant jumps in timelines as well, aided it in that. If the author had just kept to one or two voices instead of jumping constantly without any warning at all, it would have been better. Towards the end it got tedious to read as well. Her writing in the beginning, I felt, was strong and to the point, towards the middle and end it wound up that you needed some form of decoder to figure out what she was talking about. I hope her other novels aren't like this.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Provoking

    Overall I had a hard time with this book. It was a very slow read for me, often talking itself in circles and leaving me confused. Still, I found the story very interesting and thought provoking. I felt awful for Sethe and her family and for the trials they had to endure. Even though, as I mentioned above, I felt that the 'slavery' theme often got overshadowed, I was still struck by the awful fact that slavery did exist (still exists some places in the world) and just how awful it was. Even the "good" slave owners (of "Sweet Home" where Sethe ran from) were despicable and made me shrink in shame.

    It was a good book, but hard to read. I don't know how good the movie was, but if it's true enough to the book, I might recommend watching that rather than trying to push through the book.

    Still, it's worth reading if only to get a new insight into the world of slavery and racism that raged (and still lingers) in America and the world.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2002

    Beloved...how about bewildered

    As a reader you feel horribly confused throughout this entire novel. Beloved is a realistic fiction novel about a woman¿s struggles after being freed from slavery. Toni Morrison, the author, makes it almost impossible to understand what¿s going on. What made this novel confusing was: never knowing who is talking, having flashbacks at odd moments, and having a very local color language. The main character Sethe becomes haunted by the spirit of her deceased daughter and her troubled past. Beloved is a novel about a mothers heartache and if she raised her daughter right before she died. And if not was it too late to fix the past. When I read this book I got lost so many times. Sometimes you have to read things over and over again. Toni Morrison needed to break down her paragraphs into less complex sentences. Most of the paragraphs had too many ideas running through them. With all of these ideas there could be many different interpretations of this book. Don¿t read this book ever unless you have to. I would recommend reading The Grapes of Wrath any day over this.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2002

    BeHated

    Toni Morrison ought to be ashamed of herself for writing such weirdness. This is one of the most horrible books ever written. As a matter of fact, all of Morrison's writing is horrendous. I don't understand, for the life of me why Oprah encourages such horrific writing. Toni Morrison is highly and extremely overrated.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2002

    Not worth your time

    I must say that I just felt cheated by this one. The plot if there was one made absolutely no sense. It was extremely confusing and not worth my time to try and figure out. I am however, happy to know that I am not the only person that experienced this confusion. I thought that I would watch the movie to make sense of it but that was just as bad. Oprah should be ashamed of herself for promoting this nonsense. Sorry, but you should have went back to the drawing board on this one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    I thought this was one of the best books I ever read. I have se

    I thought this was one of the best books I ever read. I have seen the movie a few times and loved it, thinking this was one of Oprah Winfrey's best works. But when I read the book I could just see the characters in the movie and they were perfectly selected. I think Thandi Newton should have won an award for her portrayal of Beloved. Toni Morrison's writing is beautiful and so revealing of her characters, as well as being one of the best descriptions of slavery before and after the Civil War when it was supposed to be ended. I will keep this book for future readings as it was so exciting I couldn't put it down and hated to see it end. I am looking forward to reading more of her books which I hope are equally good, as they couldn't be better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    confusing

    this book was good but not as great as many people say it is. it is too abstract and many of the things that are written shouldnt have been written in the first place

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    The most moving, soulful story of the slavery experience I have ever read.

    The characters and their experiences were almost too real to bear. I don't think anyone could ever feel the horror, the pain or the fear the characters must have felt without actually having lived it or had a family member tell it. And yet there was hope and love. I'm so glad to have read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Wonderful read, metaphorical? and expert.

    I am enjoying the novel. I can follow it pretty good, the plot is somewhat clear and the characters are full bodied. The Black experience towards the end of the Civil War and after is shocking and stunning 'bad', the writing is the writing.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    AWESOME!!!

    Beloved was undescribeable. Morrison's use of words to describe events and charectres in the book is gorgeous. I've read it numerous times and each time i fall inlove over and over again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2006

    The book review of Beloved

    Book Review of Beloved Beloved is a book that when you look at the cover the first thing that probably comes to people¿s mind is that the book might by boring. Beloved is anything, but boring. The novel is very interesting and everyone should read it at least once. This novel is by Toni Morrison and in the novel it starts off with a foreword, which tells how the author came about. The story is based on a lady name Margaret Gardner and she adds in some of her own ideas and plots. The novel takes place back during slavery time, therefore, it has many racial actions and the death of many loved ones. It also has some small aspects of the story such as structure metaphors and many other events that happen. In this story a major event happened that changed many lives forever. ¿ When the four horseman came schoolteacher, one nephew, one slave catcher and a sheriff the house on Bluestone Road was quiet they thought they were too late.¿ ¿Inside, two boys bled in the sawdust and dirt at the feet of a nigger woman holding a blood- soaked child to her chest with one hand and an infant by the heels in the other. She did not look at them she simply swung the baby toward the wall planks, missed and tried to connect a second time, when out of nowhere in the tricking time the men spent starting at what there was to stare at the old nigger boy, still mewing, ran through the door behind them and snatched the baby from the arc of it¿s mother¿s swing.¿ ¿ Right off it was clear, to schoolteacher especially, that there was nothing there to claim.¿ The only children that survived that horrible tragedy was three kids and one of the children died. Not only did she have to deal with that lost, but she always loses her husband, which no one know what happened to him. In the novel it says ¿Yet it was to the Clearing that Sethe determined to go to pay tribute to Halle. Before the light changed, while it was still the green blessed place she remembered: misty with plant steam and the decay of berries.¿Through the story an old friend came back into her life and his name was Paul D,however at this point of time their friendship became more. Paul D who is also a victim of this racism and the lost of loved ones. ¿ Mister, he looked so¿free. Better than me. Stronger, together. Son a bitch couldn¿t even get out the shell by hisself but he was still and I was¿¿ Paul D stopped and squeezed his left hand with his right. He held it that way long enough for it and the world to quiet down and let him go on.¿ ¿ A fully dressed woman walked out of the water. She barely gained the dry bank of the stream before she sat down and leaned against a mulberry tree. All day and all night she sat there, her head resting on the trunk in a position abandoned enough to crack the brim in her straw hat.¿ However,Sethe doesn¿t know where came from or why she came, but she takes her into the comfort of her home. They found out that her name was Beloved. Denver knew who Beloved was and Paul D is very uneasy around her, he thinks she¿s evil. He tries to stay away from her as much as possible. As time went on Sethe began to realize who she was she was the daughter of Sethe who died. Beloved caused many problems that affected everyone¿s life. As a result at the end of the story a group of church women came to the house and stood outside in the front and prayed until Beloved came out the house. At the end Beloved vanished away and no one ever saw her again and everything was at peace and went back to normal. Another aspec

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2002

    most difficult thing to read

    This book was assigned to our class to be our summer reading before we went begin the new school year. I am to be a Junior in High School when I return and this book was by far the most overrated and impossible book to read. I've read many books in previous years that I have enjoyed such as 'The Great Gatsby.' I don't see how this book was so highly acclaimed by critics. For some reason I never found my self interested when reading this book. These are one of those books that should be simply passed up.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2002

    Boring Beloved

    Toni Morrison's novel Beloved creeps along slowly through a confusing series of events occuring in flashbacks. From beasteality to infanticide, this novel simply did not catch my attention. I found it extremely difficult to not put down. Morrison's characters effectively portray her messages about the difficult lives of escaped slaves, but they do not satisfy the casual reader. The author tries to show how a family of escaped slaves thinks and acts and why. The problem is, little of it sounds logical. Who would really kill their own child or have intercourse with cows? In addition, the book is very straining on the mind. It is hard to follow the story as Morrison seems to flip through time at random places and with little warning or explanation. You may enjoy this book if you like deep, close reading. Personally, I couldn't keep up with all the characters and often had to keep re-reading sections of the book. The book is not overly vulgar, just a few scenes that should disgust the average reader. Beloved's confusing organization and syntax complicates everything for the reader. The important events and passages often are too subtle to even notice. For that reason, I missed out on a lot of what was going on when I first started reading. Overall I do not recommend this book to anyone except those who truly enjoy a detailed and high level novel. Anyone just looking for a book to enjoy o

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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