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Jazz (1992)

door Toni Morrison

Andere auteurs: Zie de sectie andere auteurs.

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4,239552,044 (3.62)244
In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe's wife, Violet, attacks the girl's corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of black urban life.… (meer)
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1-5 van 54 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
"In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe’s wife, Violet, attacks the girl’s corpse."

And that's how the story's first few pages begin. Love, obsession, and black urban life. The plot line is discordant, jumping between storylines and past and present. It beats with ugly remembrances of violence and broken families, torn lives. Yet the writing in this book is simply beautiful, the unnamed narrator haunting. The book seems to echo the music of Jazz itself, saying listen to me! I have very mixed emotions after finishing this book. Read it and judge for yourself. ( )
  Berly | Jan 8, 2021 |
Set predominately in 1920s New York City, Jazz follows Violet and Joe, a middle-aged couple who left the South for the City twenty years earlier. The book opens shortly after Joe kills his teenage lover, and Violet attacks her body during the funeral. Toni Morrison then takes readers into the past to understand the forces that shaped Joe and Violet and led them to that fateful day.

Jazz was Toni Morrison’s sixth novel, published five years after her previous work, Beloved. Each novel portrays a period in the history of Black people in America, with emphasis on culture over historic events. Beloved is set during slavery and its aftermath; Jazz during and after The Great Migration. In writing about the Jazz Age, Morrison very effectively imitates the jazz genre itself: the narrative can be lyrical, sometimes percussive, and subplots spin off like soloists in a jazz combo. The technique is mostly effective, although the novel faltered over one protracted “solo,” despite its satisfying resolution. This was followed by the denouement which, instead of tying up loose ends, seemed disjointed.

Only a writer of Morrison’s calibre could successfully produce two back-to-back experimental works like Beloved and Jazz. While I consider Beloved the better of the two, both are rewarding for those interested in literary form and the themes she chooses to explore. ( )
2 stem lauralkeet | Jan 5, 2021 |
I’m slightly unsure what to say about this novel. It is not destined to be a favorite of Morrison’s for me, but the writing is so damn good I don’t want to turn people off of it. It’s a fairly straightforward story about a marriage and an affair but told in a non-linear way. I don’t know much about jazz music, but I think it has a lot to do with a central melody and then instrumental and vocal riffs off that center - which perfectly describes the novel. This is Joe and Violet’s story, but then a lot comes off of that – about the city, about their pasts, about their origins, about slavery and the unfulfilled promise of the post-Civil War South and the post-World War I North... It all comes together in a sort of chaotic whole that can be disorienting at times, but then Morrison returns to Joe and Violet, and the reader finds that center again. It is really remarkable as a piece of writing, even if as a story it didn’t fully engage me.

3.75 stars ( )
5 stem katiekrug | Jan 4, 2021 |
In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe’s wife, Violet, attacks the girl’s corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of black urban life.
  CarolBurrows | Nov 19, 2020 |
This was a very difficult book to evaluate. First Toni Morrison's books are not easy reads, that is not to say that some are not great books, Toni Morrison is a great writer. She paints a scene with words as well as any author. Her stories are very solid at their worse and much better than the vast majority of authors. I loved Paradise, Beloved and Song of Solomon, none were an easy fast read. Every word was critical, skim and you lost the impact of the words and the picture and flavor they added to the story; the characters became just characters not the people Toni Morrison introduced you to.

In Jazz the words are often poetry, the picture they paint is real and full of color. The characters are very human, very real. The story strong and when it comes through the flow of the words provides tremendous insight to black life in New York City at a time shortly after WWI and just before the country fell into the deep depression. Unfortunately, at least for me, I found often the words and hence the writing often drew me away from the story and I found myself lost. I wish there was some way for me to explain it better but, for me, it made the story weaker and frustrating. My biggest frustration is this is a great story Toni Morrison has written. Maybe I am not sophisticated or learned in the art of writing to appreciate the beauty of this book. Nonetheless I cannot give it anything less than 4 stars as when in ebbed and flowed as I believed is should I found characters that were real people, stories that let me understand them and insight into a world I could never know.

For those who know and love Toni Morrison this is a must read.
( )
  can44okie | Aug 28, 2020 |
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» Andere auteurs toevoegen (19 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Toni Morrisonprimaire auteuralle editiesberekend
Vink, NettieVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
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In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe's wife, Violet, attacks the girl's corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of black urban life.

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