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In Search of Satisfaction

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  2,173 ratings  ·  69 reviews
The folk flavor of her storytelling has earned herconstant comparison to Langston Hughes and ZoraNeale Hurston, but through four collections ofshort stories and two novels, J. California Cooperhas proven that hers is a wholly original talent--one that embraces readers in an ever-wideningcircle from one book to the next. With InSearch Of Satisfaction, Coopergracefully portr ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Anchor (first published September 1st 1994)
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Demetria
I think J. California Cooper is the kind of writer who you have to love or hate. I happen to love her. Her style of writing is really unique. There's this over-arching spiritual quality to all of her work that is both explicit and implicit. She also has a lot of little nuggets of wisdom and clever literary devices sprinkled throughout her work. Like all great books, you can get something different from her writing every time you read it. "In Search of Satisfaction" has a wonderful cast of rich c ...more
Christina
This was the first full novel I read by J. California Cooper. Initially I was disappointed to find that this was not a collection of short stories, but I soon became enthralled with the drama of the Krupt and Befoe families.

These families and the people surrounding them were all in search of some type of satisfaction, and they did not care how they got the satisfaction. These people went out of their way to be devious, sneaky, conniving, mean, and downright hateful. The devil was prevalent all
...more
Monique
I read this book about 10 years ago, it sparked something in me then. The idea of constantly searching for satisfaction led me to seeking happiness for myself. As I read it now, I'm grateful for new understanding - that our family is more than blood as we are connected to each other through Jesus.

The story takes you through all emotions. The drama builds and the mystery of the tale will take you by surprise. Definitely one of the best books I've ever read. Thank you OOSA for suggesting we read a
...more
Fleshia Campbell
J. California Cooper is one of the best African American writers that I know of her work is wonderful and all of her books are definitely worth readng.
Andrea
What a sad thing it would've been to miss out on reading this book. I loved it and recommend it to all to read. Everyone can get something from it.
Elaine
Fiction.. uhmmm.. What a read!!! takes you right into the pages and shakes up your own conscious. you'll never do anything wrong again.
Nardsbaby Reader
Abeyance

Yoville is a small, legal township founded by the rich for their own personal use. When slavery ended, some of the rich who lived in Yoville moved farther east while most returned seasonally, making Yoville a dying town.


Josephus Josephus, a former slave, had nowhere else to go so he stayed on with the Krupt family. Josephus fathered two daughters with two different women. His daughter Ruth was being raised by her mother Bessel and another man. Yinyang was born to the mistress of the plan
...more
Christa
I'm kind of torn by this book--during some parts, I couldn't wait to turn the next page, but in others, I found it plodding on and my eyes skimming.

This isn't an exceptionally long book (my ebook copy had 347 pages), but it felt a lot longer. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. One of the reasons it felt so long is because the author traced the story over many years through many different characters--it was definitely a sprawling story.

The book had everything: greed, envy, anger, lust, and
...more
Janice
Following the paths of two families through post-Civil War mostly South, this is an illuminating and engrossing read about love and hate and good and evil. It is an everyday reminder that so many of us are already fortunate to have all of the non-material essentials in our own lives to find happiness and satisfaction. A very good read and an opportunity for self-reflection.
Linda
i like to come up with my own verbage to review the books i have read but one of the reviews on the book cover said that this book was "unabashedly preachy" and that phrase captures the essence of the book for me. it was an interesting read--lots of death that starts right away to characters that i was immediately fond of. darn, i hate it when that happens but it does capture my attention. lots of satan, satan, satan. overtones of southern baptist swarm my thoughts. some very black and white thi ...more
Shayla
All of these characters are looking for satisfaction, which I interpreted as love and independence. But each character seeks this satisfaction through different means, stealing, lying, killing, etc. to get these things.

At times I tired of Satan's role in the novel, and Cooper's attention to small things, like the spider living in the windowsill or the bug in the shack. I suppose she was trying to demonstrate that all living things, including the smallest insect are looking for satisfaction, but
...more
Diana
I was amazed by this book because of the detail of the characters, I felt like I knew each person in real life and had a love/hate relationship with them. I didn't like the references at first but as the book progressed I understood why the author went in the direction she went in. In the end, this book seemed to have a message that I need to remember in my everyday life. Follow the ten commandments and appreciate life everyday. Satan cannot pervert or harm, but he can only tempt us. These chara ...more
Wanda
This is one of my favorite books. I have read In Search of Satisfaction at least 4x. I feel a different way after each reading.
Shollis hollis
Quintessential short story supremacy.... A silent star
Jacq Francois
As always, J. California Cooper is a phenomenal author, especially in portraying not only the Black experience, but also the human experience in the constant yearning for love, identity, & of course, satisfaction. These characters are fictional, but you've met, hugged & ran to/from these people. I'm still in awe of Cooper's godly gift.
Caren
I couldn't figure out who the narrator was. She was an old story-teller and brought in the morality of each decision. The story was juicy enough to keep you reading, though I didn't care for the writing style.
LaKesha
This book was recommended to me by a very good friend. I felt compelled to read it....I wanted to enjoy it, however I felt it was a very slow read. I did appreciate the lessons learned from each of the stories told throughout the book. Toward the end of the book, the lessons became clearer. It was difficult for me to get into J. California Cooper's writing style. I ultimately enjoyed the clear-cut message from this work.
Stephanie Flynn
Overall an ok story. Slow in parts. And a bit too preachy at times
Pattoncox2
This book is a ten one of my all time favorite books. I read it over twenty years ago and still remember each character. I love the way Ms Cooper weaves a story like a spider making a web intricate and beautiful traps you and you can't get out or let you until she finally releases her grip. It is like she is sitting on your sofa reading to you and you are her only audience. One of the best of her many books.
Jhunter
This is the first book I have read by J. California Cooper. Though I found the overall storylines to be compelling and the characters interesting, I found there to be way to many characters, many of which who were only partly developed then quickly discarded. After reading the book I myself was unsatisfied. I find Cooper to be a very eclectic writer in her own right but I'm not sure if I would recommend this book.
Donna
This was my first book by J California Cooper. Wow!! what a storyteller she is. This book weaved together a family born during the slavery era. It told their struggles and their successes. I just loved the way she weaved together the families. By the time the book ended everyone was related to everyone. You really need to read this book. There's just too much going on for me to give you a detailed review.
Shug
this book was truly thought provoking. loved it so much, I'm ready to read it again!
Tori
THIS BOOK gave me chills. It's one of those books that you cannot put down even though you want to...you feel like you need to ... but you can't. It is disturbing, engaging, infuriating and enticing. I love J. California Cooper because her writing style leaves you haunted -- her stories live on long after you complete her books.
Scott
Another great read by Ms. Cooper. It is hard to compare this novel to her Family, but it is just as good!

The characters in this novel are very alive and rich... one becomes vested easily in the story and its path. The two sisters, daughters of a freed slave, have very different backgrounds and are unforgettable.
Kimberly
I think this book could have been so much more. The basic story was ok, but the preching seemed too forced and of course sexist. For example, true to form, only the virginity of the women warranted any discussion and concern. NEVER, EVER the men. The dialouge did not seem authentic for the time period. Oh well.
Sydelle
The writer is an amazing storyteller. She wove the short stories into one story very well The tug of good over evil, money over poverty, God over the devil was interesting. Hosanna was my hero of the story especially during that conversation with Miz Befoe Befoe! I would read another of her books again.
Andi
Still reading, but the story line is catchy. I really want to see what will happen next to each character. Unfortunately, the downside of J. California Cooper is that she preaches so much...More characers less preaching. Maybe I'll like it more as get further into the book.
Nkanyezi Payne
I really love this book, it is one of my favorites. It deals with life from a unique perspective, but as we all know life has universal concepts that everyone must abide by and live by. It is a great read for everyone, but children (of course).
Latavia
This book was weird and great all at the same time...lots of incest, love,greed, envy, and lots of sex. The characters were plentiful. I loved the underlying Satan/GOD theme. This book was really good and I would recommend it to others.
Teylo
Very well written.

This book was entertaining and even thought I did not like the ending, it did just what it should - generated self reflection and contemplation.

This was an excellent conversation piece for my bookclub.
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J. California Cooper first found acclaim as a playwright. The author of seventeen plays, she was named Black Playwright of the Year in 1978. It was through her work in the theater that she caught the attention of acclaimed poet and novelist Alice Walker. Encouraged by Walker to turn her popular storytelling skills to fiction, Cooper wrote her first collection of short stories, A Piece of Mine, in ...more
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“I was foolish because I believed in you. You are a fool because you believe in yourself!” 22 likes
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