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Song of Solomon

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  72,979 ratings  ·  2,784 reviews
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the ...more
Paperback, 337 pages
Published June 8th 2004 by Vintage (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)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) That depends on a) how quickly you read and b) how much time you have to give it. No one can answer the question but yourself, as no one knows your…moreThat depends on a) how quickly you read and b) how much time you have to give it. No one can answer the question but yourself, as no one knows your powers of assimilation.(less)

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4.03  · 
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 ·  72,979 ratings  ·  2,784 reviews

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Mar 06, 2016 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
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
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those not afraid of singing to the past
Shelves: read-in-2014, dost
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

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
Jun 28, 2007 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
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon


I liked all of it and loved much of it. It is an amazing piece of literature with beautifully realized characters. Originally, I felt this book was on par with The Bluest Eye, but still not as strong as Beloved. I now think they are ALL great Morrison novels. The further I get from this book, the bigger and the bolder the shadow it casts. I love how Morrison writes and how she juggles big themes (d
Apr 30, 2007 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
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
B. P. Rinehart
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
Feb 12, 2017 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
Jul 22, 2007 rated it liked it
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.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: discoverers
**In these brief moments I have of electricity and internet, through this Irma craze, I present my reading thoughts...**

“Fly and mercy,” Toni Morrison writes in the foreword of this book. “Both terms are central to the narrative: flight as escape or confrontation; mercy the unspoken wish of the novel’s population.”

Flight as a theme was abundantly clear to me at first read: Pilate, the shunned woman without a navel, who uses flight as a means of survival; Macon Dead, her money-conscious brother
Bill Khaemba

For years I have heard Morrison's name float around, all the praises of how she approaches important social issues through a historical lens and I was so excited when I finally got my hands on this book.Following a black middle-class family through a pivotal moment in America history, we zoom in and explore the complex interactions with each other and the community. Through the last born's perspective, the reader uncovers some dark unsettling secrets that have haunted the family for generations

Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing

This beautifully written book about a black family living in Michigan has a little of everything - magic, ghosts, eccentrics, murderers, lovers, and more.

Jumping back and forth in time. it tells the story of Milkman Dead, who after growing up indulged and self-centered in a northern, industrial city comes to discover something of his ancestry and roots in the rural south. A fascinating story filled with wonderful interesting characters. 💖

Highly recommended to fans of literary fiction.
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
Apr 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Donna Ho Shing
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 24, 2007 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.
Momina Masood
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: unique-novels
الرواية هى من نوعية الروايات التى يطلق عليها اسم
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
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
3/1/2019: I just wanted to stop by and say that this is the most amazing novel I've ever read!

Review from 2/20/2018:
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No sé si seré capaz de hacerle una reseña a este libro (supongo que sí), pero de momento sepan que es maravilloso y que, aunque en algunos tramos parezca pesado, está genial. El final es increíble y da la sensación de circularidad, algo que me encanta en los libros. Se termina donde empieza. Hay que leer a Toni Morrison alguna vez en la vida.
This book is exceptional. It will take months to digest what I've just read. Toni Morrison weaves so many brilliant elements into her work that I'm tempted to seek out professional literary analysis to help me understand the allusions and powerful strands of meaning shot throughout. And by powerful, I mean POWERFUL - her words can take flight, can break chains, can rhapsodize and destroy in equal measure.

Ultimately there are themes at work here which depict flight (escape), though every attempt
"On autumn nights, in some parts of the city, the wind from the lake brings a sweetish smell to shore … there was this heavy spice-sweet smell that made you think of the East and striped tents and the sha-sha-sha of leg bracelets. The people who lived near the lake hadn’t noticed the smell for a long time now because when air conditioners came, they shut their windows and slept a light surface sleep under the motor’s drone. So the ginger sugar blew unnoticed through the streets, around the trees ...more
Nov 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 12, 2011 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
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great book. One of a kind. A time it seems strange, how it's jumping to different time and in and out of people's thought. But asI read on I began to see and appreciate the style of writing.
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Book Review 1 8 Apr 10, 2018 09:25PM  
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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
“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” 3172 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.” 556 likes
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