Stasha's Reviews > Jazz

Jazz by Toni Morrison
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's review
Nov 14, 2010

it was ok
Read from October 25 to November 13, 2010

I'm really intrigued by life in 1920s America, so I thought that this book was right up my alley. It started out nicely, but eventually, I got tired of not seeing any conversation at the beginning of the novel. I suppose it was the writer's intention to be as descriptive as possible.Later on though, I realised that the narrator of the story was never mentioned,which kind of put me off, because they were observing and recalling the whole situation from a witness's point of view.At one point, I even thought that it was Dorcas'friend Felice, but I was wrong... I must mention,however,that I did enjoy the language used by the characters, some of which I recognise is still in use today.

Somewhere in the middle, the book started to pick up, describing events surrounding the affair between Joe Trace and Dorcas, his 18-year-old lover. I liked the fact that flashbacks were used, but then at times I felt lost because at times, it seemed like the story only dragged and dragged with seemingly unimportant details. Joe's past threw me off at one point, because some of the information, I found, was irrelevant to the novel. I was like,"Hurry up and get to the point already!" But perhaps, it was the author's way of getting the reader to have a feel of life at that time.

On the contrary,there were other aspects to the story that I enjoyed.For example,Joe's wife, Violet, developed a budding friendship with Dorcas'aunt, Ms. Manfred, after her untimely death. Also, it was so ironic that it took an extramarital affair to break down their walls of lack of communication; by the end of the novel, they were one very happy couple.

I think it would be interesting to see a film version of this story.Perhaps then, all the parts that I was unsure about will all fall into place.

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