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Song of Solomon

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  61,551 Ratings  ·  2,269 Reviews
Song of Solomon is a novel by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning American author Toni Morrison. The Swedish Academy cited this book when awarding Morrison the 1993 Nobel Prize in literature.

The novel follows the life of Macon "Milkman" Dead III, an African-American man living in Michigan, from birth to adulthood. The main theme is Milkman's quest for identity as he slowly t
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Paperback, 341 pages
Published November 1st 1989 by Signet Book, New American Library (Mm) (first published 1977)
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Sandra I am currently studying this novel at University, and my professor explained that in a conference in Barcelona he asked Toni Morrison how did the…moreI am currently studying this novel at University, and my professor explained that in a conference in Barcelona he asked Toni Morrison how did the novel end. Her answer was 'do you want my version?', and then she admitted that to her it was a good ending, a hopeful ending, as you say.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Rowena
Mar 06, 2016 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american

"He walked there now--strutted is the better word, for he had a high behind and an athlete' stride--thinking of names. Surely, he thought, he and his sister had some ancestor, some lithe young man with onyx skin and legs as straight as cane stalks, who had a name that was real. A name given to him at birth with love and seriousness. A name that was not a joke, nor a disguise, nor a brand name." - Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

There’s so much to say about this book. Someone described it as kalei
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Barry Pierce
Almost four whole months into 2015 and I've finally read my first four-star book. You can always trust Toni Morrison to deliver even when you think all hope is lost. I think Song of Solomon is my favourite Morrison novel thus far. This novel just flows with greatness. I feel that I enjoyed this book more than let's say, Beloved, because the time period in which this is set (the 1930s through to the 60s) is an era with which I'm relatively familiar. She references the murder of Emmett Till and th ...more
Dolors
May 14, 2014 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those not afraid of singing to the past
Shelves: read-in-2014
Have you ever considered the historical heritage and the intrinsic meaning of your name and surname? What is a proper noun if not a word that carries concentrated quintessence to depict oneself? Aren’t people named after parents or grandparents paying homage to their own ancestry somehow?
There is something miraculous about the past that the future lacks. All nations, maybe even the whole mankind, have managed to transform thousands and millions of particular fictions created by individual beings
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brian
Jan 11, 2009 brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to brian by: michelle, mindy, sandi, jessica treat, dfj, yvette, ruth, alisa,
my second toni morrison. and, again... wow. song of solomon. kind of impossible to do an all-encompassing book report, so this: while reading i returned again and again to the recent genocide in the former yugoslavia. to the first time rape had been charged as a war crime; to rape as a means of ethnic cleansing. now think about this: to cast such shame on the women who were raped and the men who were powerless to act so as to prevent continuation of the family. to leave behind a legacy of traged ...more
Aubrey
4.5/5

There's something to be said for stories. Beyond all the talk of clichés, the bemoaning of stereotypes, the intricate and obsessive breakdown of the latest wave of hyped-up mass media extravaganza that has managed to aggressively worm its way into the mob conscience. Beyond the deep-seated resignation at puzzle-piece popularity.

I don't have anything against the forthright advocates of analysis at all levels of fiction. Far from it. I simply believe that there is a time when one is able to p
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Jen
Jun 28, 2007 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-sprawling
One of my absolute favorites, partly for the following:

"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
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Jeffrey
Apr 30, 2007 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Toni Morrison is perhaps the most important writer living today and Song of Solomon is perhaps the best novel of the last 50 years of American life. Despite the high standing of both novel and author, there are many that chide both for delving too far into the world of African American mythology. The book, according to a reviewer on this very website, bitterly states that Song of Solomon is more fable than novel. Attempting to paint the novel as fable undercuts its central mission: to highlight ...more
Zanna
Milkman's father, the man with the weird name and mysterious past, teaches his son to 'own things'. His sister is 'wild', she inhabits the opposite pole. Ownership does not occur to her. When a kind woman brings her cherry jam on white bread, she weeps because the fruit she loves for the taste of sun and earth exploding, the feel of stalk and stone and bark-scraped knees, has lost these elements that forge the relationships between self and world and being that have nothing to do with property, ...more
Ken Moten
Retrospective for a Flying Man:

My first reading of Toni Morrison was nothing short of amazing, this book does so much, so well, so easily. We learn about three to four generations of one family and, in-fact, one culture. I won't be beating around the bush in this review. Though Macon "Milkman" Dead III was the default protagonist, he was also my least favorite character. The natural woman/superwoman Pilate was my second favorite character because she knew how to navigate time and space in her o
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Amanda
Feb 12, 2017 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-literature
This is the first 5 star read of the year that wasn't a reread! I'm really surprised and relieved that my first Toni Morrison was a huge success. I had assumed that her books would be too dark for me (and I think some of them might be), but SOS turned out to be just the right book for me. This novel has a parcel of amazingly odd characters who you want to hear more and more about. I would classify this as magical realism because the idea of magic hovers all throughout this text. The main plot of ...more
Rich
Jul 22, 2007 Rich rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to have given a lower rating because I simply did not enjoy the read, but there is a value to this book that I cannot deny. Powerfully written, and has great cultural insight and thought. But really, I couldn't relate very well -- perhaps that is the point in many cases. I can't explain it much better without spending more time looking at it again than I'd like to, so I'll leave it at this:

I felt enlightened. I felt like shit. All without feeling very invested.
Donna Ho Shing
Jan 05, 2015 Donna Ho Shing rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Toni Morrison can do no wrong. I love her writing. Reading her work is such an ethereal experience. The words sing to me, they lift me up, transport me to another plane. Her writing is music to my ears. Oh how I loved Solomon's Song. Intoxicating. She tells stories like none other.
Momina Masood
Sep 03, 2014 Momina Masood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
The fathers may soar...
And the children may know their names...


What a book! What an incredible journey! I cannot possibly review this book; it has me completely speechless! What a pleasure to partake in Milkman's journey, to be introduced to characters like Pilate, and to be reminded that one can fly if only one tries enough! This is my first African American and Morrison novel, and I'm so glad we'll be doing her next semester! Ecstatic and eager to fish out gems from this novel! Only hope the
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Josh
Jul 24, 2007 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could_not_finish
I love Toni Morrison, I really do, but this book reads like a standard lemon of a workshop story: every character has both an eccentric name and some striking characteristic. This one has no navel, and this one is supernaturally lucky, and this one jumps off of buildings. And there is none of the assured economy of either Beloved or my personal favorite, Jazz. Here, we have to get every detail about every damned thing until I feel like I'm choking on the stuff of the book.
Vani
Jun 08, 2016 Vani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon is an interesting read in magical realism. Through its protagonist, Macon Dead III aka Milkman, and three generations of the Dead family (I know that's a strange name to have), the reader is introduced to the life of African-Americans and how centuries of racism, oppression and subjugation has affected the psyche of these people.

Milkman is on a quest to find hidden gold when he accidentally stumbles upon his family's past. It not only helps him understand his peo
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Dan
Apr 24, 2007 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Toni Morrison is an absolute master of prose rhythms and this book is beautifully written. It reads like great literature and one can see why she's deserving of her nobel prize. But I had a serious problem with this book (which I read over ten years ago so forgive me if my memory of it is vague). The first three quarters of the book are terrific. Written in a realistic style and capturing the modern lives of its characters. The final section of the book suddenly turns into a fable, and the main ...more
Hend
Apr 29, 2013 Hend rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unique-novels
الرواية هى من نوعية الروايات التى يطلق عليها اسم
Masterpiece
ملحمة بديعة
تدخل عالم من الاغانى والفولكلور والسحر والغموض
عالم اسطورى من ميثولوجيا تصنعها تونى موريسون

هى وسيلة للحفاظ على وصلة لتاريخ العائلة المنسية. في مجتمع حيث معظم الأجيال السابقة كانوا أميين، والأغاني بدلا من كتب التاريخ تحكي قصة الماضي
ةتسجل تفاصيل حياة اجداد سابقين
وما هو مصير الاسلاف
تبقيه على الطريق لاكتشاف ذاته الضائعة

تبدا الرواية برجل يقفز من فوق السطح
السيد سميث
لقد طار رجلى
رجلى اجتاز الغيوم
رجلى عاد الى حيث يقيم

فى اليوم التالى اب
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Katie
Nov 15, 2007 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a couple of Toni Morrison's other novels, but this is the by far the best I have read. This is a stunning tale of self-discovery that follows the lives of a black family living in Michigan. The majority of the narrative revolves around Milkman, the first black child born at Mercy Hospital, and the son of a prominant and wealthy businessman. To escape the town and threat of death by the hand of his scorned lover and cousin, Hagar, he goes on a quest for treasure. He may not find what ...more
Gorfo
Mar 26, 2012 Gorfo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gorfo by: school
The fathers may soar
And the children may know their names


When I learned that school would be forcing me to read Song of Solomon I whined and groaned and cursed the name of Toni Morrison to the high heavens. I had already entered the strange and mysteriously poetic world of Toni Morrison to no avail, and I didn't believe that this book would be any better. However, I was WRONG, and now that I have finished the novel I find myself forced to bite my tongue and retract all previous negative statemen
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Kirstine
I'd just finished reading this and was sitting in my bed, pondering the story, when I picked up my phone and opened twitter. First thing I saw was the name Till, which seemed so familiar until I realized I'd read it in the book I'd just finished.

First I thought it was a bizarre coincidence that twitter would be talking about another murdered black boy with the name Till, but it's the same one from 1955. Turns out the woman, who told the court that Emmett Till had verbally and physically threaten
...more
Bruce
May 08, 2012 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Morrison’s novel gripped me. Not only is it written creatively and eloquently in terms of language, it is also compelling in terms of plot and, underlying that, sociology. The picture provided into particular black history and culture is riveting. Morrison’s technique of using current family and family dynamics to unearth and explore background issues both historical and psychological is effective, and the narrative unrolls in ways unexpected yet persuasive. Having just read Faulkner’s Light in ...more
Наталия Янева
Магическото число в литературата (и другаде, но най-вече там) е три. Три вещици, три призрака – на миналата, настоящата и бъдната Коледа, в приказките предупрежденията се пренебрегват първите два пъти, така че третият път е сполучливият (според Проп и неговата „Морфология на приказката“). „Песента на Соломон“ не изменя на тази традиция и в романа структурата на самото общество е разделена на три. От едната страна са чудачките, които разумно стоят далеч от нормалните; от другата са разумните, кои ...more
Alliyah
Feb 21, 2017 Alliyah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you finish a book and all you can say is 'wow' because it completely blew you away.
Afro Madonna ✨
Feb 04, 2017 Afro Madonna ✨ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
HOLY FUCK ! THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE BOOK NOW AND I DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANY OTHER BOOK!!!!
Wow . Wow . So many different emotions and I can't even sift through them enough to even emerge coherent . This book is ingenuity in its purest form and I do not think any words of mine could completely encapsulate how perfect it was .

Flawless Victory Toni Morrison .
description
Vale
Uno dei miei romanzi preferiti. Il canto di Salomone narra le vicende di una famiglia di colore nel sud degli Stati Uniti. Il romanzo ha un'architettura semplice: due pilastri laterali e un punto di fuga centrale.
I pilastri sono due fratelli: Macon e Pilate. Il primo è un uomo di successo, integrato nella società, un afro-americano che onora la sua nazione. La seconda, Pilate, rappresenta l'elemento sincretico: in lei convivono magia e cultura, riti ancestrali e modernità.
Il punto di fuga è Mil
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Elizabeth
Feb 24, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, beloved
Another favorite novel.

Read about Milkman Dead's journey- part cultural and part self-discovery. It is a magical and engrossing tale that uses folklore, symbols, imagery, foreshadowing, allusions, and ultimately irony to tell it (I felt as if I were at Milkman's side when he decoded a telling children's jingle).

The ending may leave some frustrated but I thought it was just right. I also recommend Toni Morrison's "Beloved." It is a darker tale but shares the same phenomenal story telling of thi
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Matt
Aug 07, 2007 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Just read it now. I have nothing new or enlightening to say about it. In time, this book and Morrison's other masterpiece, "Beloved," are sure to be as important to America's understanding of itself as "Huck Finn," "The Scarlet Letter" and "The Great Gatsby."
KerryH
Mar 11, 2016 KerryH rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
This is the second time I have read Song of Solomon and I still don't know how to review it or do it justice.

It is not merely the saga of one black American family but is also a novel that seeks to investigate how humans can experience an existence beyond the boundaries of human perception. In all the novels of Toni Morrison there is a distinctly African character that shows itself in many forms. In Song of Solomon she uses African American transgenerational oral traditions, especially ways of k
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Rebecca
Nov 12, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book takes me back to my college English classes, when I read so many books that were rich in beautiful language but poor in plot and action. There's no doubt that Morrison is a gifted writer, especially when it comes to down-to-earth, authentic dialogue. Her writing is poetic and lyrical without being abstract or fussy -- she describes real things, disgusting things, sadness and passion with an intense energy and verbal power.

But the plot of this book didn't grab me. I remember enjoying T
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Sarah
Aug 13, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alltimefavorites
this is one of those books i REFERENCE...all the time, in my head, during conversations, as in 'oh like when milkman said...' or 'that reminds me of how mason dead got his name...' also i have a lifelong fascination crush on pilate. i read the book in highschool so it's been a loooong time but i still have vivid visual memories of pilate peeling an orange on the porch in a black dress, and of the description of her voice being like pebbles knocking together. classic, epic, surprising, and beauti ...more
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Toni Morrison (born Chloe Anthony Wofford), is an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k
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More about Toni Morrison...

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“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” 2908 likes
“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.” 471 likes
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