Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding audio 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.
I used to think that the best person to read a book to me would be the author I mean, who would know better than the author how a book should be read out loud? Authors like Jon Krakauer and Sidney Poitier seemed to confirm my ***umption, but that was before I listened to Ray Bradbury as an old man reading Fahrenheit 451, and before I listened to Toni Morrison reading Beloved. First of all, I HATED the book. Once I got the gist of the story, the rest of it bored the hell out of me. And second, I HATED the way Morrison read it. Long, drawn-out, mystical ramblings, stream of consciousness, and really poor phrasing, where sometimes she'd take a breath before reading the next word and then read only that word, which was apparently the end of a sentence. Well, it drove me crazy. I've wanted to read this book for a very long time, but now that I've listened to it, I don't have to read it for myself, and I won't. I guess you have to like her writing, and I guess I don't. So if you're reading this review, thinking about listening to the book, take my advice---choose another book.