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Jazz (The Trilogy #2)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  16,330 Ratings  ·  816 Reviews

Joe Trace – in his fifties, door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, erstwhile devoted husband – shoots dead his lover of three months, the impetuous, eighteen-year-old Dorcas. At the funeral, his determined, hard-working wife, Violet, who is given to stumbling into dark mental cracks, tries with a knife to disfigure t
Paperback, 229 pages
Published 2005 by Vintage (first published 1992)
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Hana Alharastani The order is Beloved, Jazz, and then Paradise. They're on my reading list for this summer. :)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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mark monday
Sep 01, 2013 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
got lost in all the lovely words, loved getting lost. minor note but major emotions. narrative glides down perfect prose pathways and through poetic passages to different destinations, into one mind and out of another, into many minds, past future past future, man. who knows where the next road goes, probably somewhere bad, tragedy and bloodshed and murder and all kinds of fucked up and twisted emotions, but it all reads so pretty. can I understand such things? I don't know but I can try. this i ...more
2 stars

"I'm crazy about this City. Daylight slants like a razor cutting the buildings in half. In the top half I see looking faces and it's not easy to tell which are people, which the work of stonemasons. Below is a shadow where any blasé thing takes place: clarinets and lovemaking, fists and the voices of sorrowful women. A city like this one makes me dream tall and feel in on things."

Oh, how I adore the lyricism of Toni Morrison. I have had Jazz on my shelf for quite some time now, and follow
Jun 05, 2016 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american

“I’m crazy about this City. Daylight slants like a razor cutting the buildings in half. In the top half I see looking faces and it’s not easy to tell which are people, which the work of stonemasons. Below is shadow were any blasé thing takes place: clarinets and lovemaking, fists and the voices of sorrowful women. A city like this one makes me dream tall and feel in on things. Hep. It’s the bright steel rocking above the shade below that does it.”- Toni Morrison, Jazz

Wynston Marsalis said, “Jaz
The music happens in the background… while the folks are front and centre, every blemish inside and out on view, though modestly shaded and wrapped in gentlest understanding. Part of that understanding is history, not excavated, but unfurled or traced carefully with one finger, because it is still alive and hurting. Kinship structures the story, which curls around time, helical, branching... it is a sinewy vine, hacked at in places yet blossoming out, covering itself with fresh, lush, resurgent ...more
Jan 15, 2009 brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to brian by: alisa
jazz. the 3rd morrison in my plan to knock ‘em all out over the next month or so…significantly weaker than the other two i’ve read, but still... it’s almost a shame that morrison writes about such incendiary and zeitgeisty stuff as you pull back much of the (mostly) nonsensical cultural criticism that surrounds her, her work, and her readers and she’s just a first class storyteller. just a great, great writer. amongst all the tragedy and despair, there’s a joyfulness in the work (and, for me, on ...more
Ems Dawson
Feb 28, 2011 Ems Dawson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books of all time!

I was lucky enough to study this book during 6th form college with a good teacher. Instead of butchering its beauty she illuminated it; leading us through the more complex prose (their beauty all more appreciated due to a deeper level of understanding) and highlighting some of the more obscure elements that might have gone unnoticed (or perhaps not understood).

At 16, though not niave, I was perhaps unaware of the many elements and angles of understanding rela
Ahmad Sharabiani
155. Jazz, Toni Morrison
جاز - تونی موریسون (آفرینه) ادبیات آمریکا
عنوان: جاز؛ نویسنده: تونی موریسون؛ مترجم: سهیل سمی؛ تهران، آفرینه، 1379؛ در 240 ص؛ شابک: 9646191444؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - قرن 20 م
سبک پسامدرن، با زبانی استعاری
توصیفی از جامعه رنگین پوستان امریكای در دهه های بیست و سی از قرن نوزدهم، روایتی از نسلی که با پشت سر نهادن جنگ، و درگیرشدن با پیامدهاییش، در جستجوی فضایی آرام برای زیستن است
Momina Masood
“We born around the same time, me and you,” said Violet. “We women, me and you. Tell me something real. Don’t just say I’m grown and ought to know. I don’t. I’m fifty and I don’t know nothing. What about it? Do I stay with him? I want to, I think. I want... well, I didn't always... now I want. I want some fat in this life.”

“Wake up. Fat or lean, you got just one. This is it.”

“You don’t know either, do you?”

“I know enough to know how to behave.”

“Is that it? Is that all it is?”

Perhaps, someo
Mar 31, 2009 Sandi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like Toni Morrison. Beloved is one of my top 10 favorite books of all time. My first Morrison, The Bluest Eye, took me by surprise with it's power. I appreciated the rhythm of Jazz, but couldn't connect to the story.
Jul 25, 2011 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-studies
Anyone who has been through adversity knows the view. It’s that view of life stripped down to nothing but the basic. All you’re left with is your breath, and sometimes that feels like it’s slipping away. But you still have something, even if it’s ugly, even if it has no map, even if no one cares. What happens next is a choice. You can choose to take the basics of life that are left and build around them. What you weave becomes something on your terms. Why else does adversity create some of the b ...more
Daniel Clausen
Jun 19, 2015 Daniel Clausen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It’s a mature book in every way. Perhaps older and less ambitious than Beloved or other of Toni Morrison’s books. The maturity really shines in the later chapters where we get to know the narrator and the relationship between Joe and Violent in more depth. We don’t need an explosive end, only to know that life moves on in rhythms and rhymes we -- as authors and readers -- don’t completely understand.

I was convinced that the narrator was another personality of Violet -- that the narrator lived i
Maggie Campbell
Jul 11, 2007 Maggie Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"...and when she got back to her apartment she took the birds from their cages and set them out the windows to freeze or fly, including the parrot that said, 'I love you.'"

"Maybe she thought she could solve the mystery of love that way. Good luck and let me know."

" have to be clever to figure out how to be welcoming and defensive at the same time. When to love something and when to quit. If you don't know how, you can end up out of control or controlled by some outside thing..."

"You are th
Apr 16, 2015 Trudy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: april-challenge
Audio version. I listened to this book once and then immediately began again. I loved Toni's voice and the good jazz music infused through the novel, however that is only part of my reason for rereading. I needed to listen twice to even begin to comprehend the depth of the issues presented here. I read this book as a young woman , but did not understand it at all and as a result found it very difficult to read. Even now, it is not an easy read, an extremely beautiful read, but not easy.
The th
Toni Morrison wrote a trilogy exploring African-American history through three crucial periods. The brilliant Beloved was in slavery times. The third book, Paradise, I don't know about - 50s? - I haven't read it yet. And Jazz tackles the Harlem Renaissance, which is very exciting to me because that was an awesome time and place.

My issue is that it doesn't actually spend very much time in Harlem in the 20s. Morrison is interested in the Great Migration - the process by which all these black peopl
رغد قاسم
هذهِ الرواية تمثل صدمة جمالية، جمال لا عهد لي بهِ في كل ما قرأتهُ سابقاً، جمالٌ قادم ٌ من البشاعة والقسوة في الحياة، قسوة تم الإعتياد عليها بشكل لا يُفهم، لا أحد يفهم كمّ ما يتحمله الإنسان، ما تحمله العرق الأسود بالذات من الإضطهاد.
هناك أيضاً ما يُميز هذا الكاتبة، هذهِ التوني موريسون العظيمة؛ وهو أسلوبها السردي بدمج حكايات الشخصيات والتلاعب بحرفية في السرد وصوت السارد.
توني موريسون تنسج خلال هذا التلاعب حكاية العِرق الأسود، نسجاً موسيقياً، بموسيقى تجعلك تركض وراء الحكاية ركضاً ومهما كانت أذنك ال
Feb 02, 2009 Hollis rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Just as 'Beloved' dealt with maternal love, in this work Morrison turns to jealousy and romantic love and produces another brilliant novel: poetic, vivid, sensual. Looking at the negative comments that some of the reviewers have given I think they mainly boil down to the effect that Morrison is difficult to read. If you're not willing to put in some effort and to actually use your imagination, then you had better return this to the book-store and swap it for that Stephen King novel you had your ...more
Here we have a rather twisted love triangle consisting of Joe and Joe's wife, Violet (often referred to as Violent due to some of her actions), and Joe's young lover, Dorcas. The narrative has more to do with jazz than the actual story, in that it flows musically (yet discordantly at times), reminiscent of jazz/blues music. Jumping from 1920s Harlem to the antebellum South, there is an exceptional amount of history in this rather small book.

I felt rather disconnected from the story itself, never
This is tied with Song of Solomon as the best Toni Morrison novel I have read. Such exquisite writing!
Jan 22, 2017 Joni rated it it was amazing
Synopsis: Joe shoots his 18-year-old girlfriend Dorcas in the shoulder at a party because she is dancing with another man after she has told him she is not interested in him anymore. The latter refuses help and bleeds to death. Joe’s wife, Violet, goes to the funeral and mutilates the corpse with a knife after which she is nicknamed “Violent”.
Violet starts visiting Dorcas’s aunt Alice, and surprisingly, the two women become friends, bonding over a shared tragedy. The reader learns more about bot
Shinjini Dey
Cities for the telling, details from Morrison.
In love that gazes and is gazed upon, that curdles and lies wasting in the longing and heat. In fast whispers and subsumed anger, in conditional jealousy of the woman meets man meets another woman so now who fights for whom? Which love do you save with the condition that it will save you?
I do not trust love that molts you, that gives you new skin, that drags a mirror over your face so you recognize yourself in tokens.
(Is this mine? Is this mine?)
Ivana Split
May 25, 2016 Ivana Split rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jazz by Toni Morrisson is an amazingly profound novel, beautifully written and masterfully constructed...It is full of mystery, meaning and perplexity. It is just as haunting, sad, powerful and tragic as Beloved was. It is a magical and unique as the genre of music it was named after. What an amazing novel it truly is! This novel had me at its foreword (in edition I read there was this fascinating foreword written by Morrison herself in which she compared novel with jazz music).

Think of this! Wh
Sahar Goudarzi
Jan 12, 2016 Sahar Goudarzi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
او را می شناسم. با دسته ای پرنده در خیابان لینوکس زندگی می کرد. شوهرش را هم می شناسم. عاشق دختری هجده ساله شد. عشقش چنان عمیق و جن زده بود که هم غمگینش می کرد و هم شاد, طوری که عاقبت برای حفظ این احساس او را با تیر زد! وقتی همسرش – اسمش ویولت است – به مراسم تشییع جنازه رفت تا دخترک را ببیند و صورت بی جانش را ببرد, پرتش کردند روی زمین و از کلیسا بیرون انداختند.بعد, از میان آن همه برف دوید و وقتی به آپارتمانش رسید, پرنده ها را از قفس درآورد و از پنجره آزاد کرد ؛ یا باید یخ می زدند یا پرواز می کردن ...more
Feb 25, 2008 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roger DeBlanck
Jan 25, 2012 Roger DeBlanck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
Jazz is perhaps Morrison’s most unique and elusive novel. Nearly five years after winning the Pulitzer for Beloved and a year before she received the Nobel Prize, Jazz was published in 1992. The novel solidified Morrison’s reputation as a writer whose daring has no bounds. In this story, she offers readers a maze of narratives that branch out, but always remain connected like a tree. Alternating between the country and the city and between the past and the present, Jazz tells the story of Joe an ...more
Dec 22, 2012 Holly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-novels

Overview: Joe Trace is a middle aged married man (Violet, wife) who has an affair with an 18 year old Dorkas and shoots her over anguish of her breaking up with him.

Characters: The first half of the book looked at Violet and touched on the affair and general growing up aspects in what I would call a simple to read type writing. However, the second half of the book was almost written by a different author. I actually had to read 10% of the book again because I had difficulty understandin
May 13, 2011 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jazz is the story of a couple living in Harlem during the Jazz Age, and by the "Jazz Age" I don't mean F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jazz Age--it is anything but that. Joe and Violet's relationship is virtually falling apart, due to some adultery and murder, which makes for a juicy start to the story. Morrison then takes us on a journey back a few generations, where we see that Joe and Violet's stormy relationship is the cause of generations worth of disfunction. It's a fascinating study of "the sins of ...more
Nov 17, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I laughed but before I could agree with the hairdressers that she was crazy, she said, 'What's the world for if you can't make it up the way you want it?'
"'The way I want it?'
"'Yeah. The way you want it. Don't you want it to be something more than what it is?'
"'What's the point? I can't change it.'
"'That's the point. If you don't, it will change you and it'll be your fault cause you let it. I let it. And messed up my life.'
"'Messed it up how?'
"'Forgot it.'
"'Forgot it was mine. My life
The language of this book is so beautiful, which makes an interesting counter-point to the lives of the characters which often are so far from beautiful. The structure of the narrative can feel a little disjointed at times as Morrison jumps from time to time, narrator to narrator. Despite this she weaves a moving tale with light and shade like the eponymous music for which the story is named. I highly recommend the audiobook, which for me really made the poetry and rhythm of the words more appar ...more
Bezimena knjizevna zadruga
Ako ste raspoloženi za dobru knjigu, sa precizno razrađenom pričom, slobodno preskočite ovu. Ako hoćete nešto razbijeno na hiljade sitnih delova,nešto potpuno ludo, prljavo i iščašeno, presavršeno napisano, čitajte Džez.

Mar 04, 2017 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to Hachette Audiobook, but that edition was not listed.
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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
More about Toni Morrison...

Other Books in the Series

The Trilogy (3 books)
  • Beloved
  • Paradise

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“Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it.” 702 likes
“Pain. I seem to have an affection, a kind of sweettooth for it. Bolts of lightning, little rivulets of thunder.
And I the eye of the storm.”
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