Going to Meet the Man: Library Edition Audio CD – Import, 1 February 2011
Mass Market Paperback, Import
|Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged||
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All of these tales have an undeniable urgency, power, and anger...Symphonic in structure, mixing religious and sexual motifs, encompassing various shades of characters and situations...memorable in every sense; funny, sad, colorful, it is a triumphant performance.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Dion Graham's reading requires him to master an array of voices: hellfire-preaching ministers, deliciously profane Harlem locals, ...kittenish women. Graham ranges from tremulous exertion to sudden flashes of rage, his reading flecked by an exhaustion that creeps in at the margins of Baldwin's prose. Baldwin's protagonists are weary of a world that allows them no respite from racism and hatred, and Graham echoes that weariness, his voice hushed and low, its register reflecting their struggle to survive.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Many of these situations don't occur in quite the same ways now, but narrator Dion Graham makes them timely and universally human...a heartbreaking performance...Graham's reading pulls the listener back to a time when [these stories] were fresh, raw wounds.-- "AudioFile"
Timeless in its treatment of youthful innocence, prejudice, addiction, loneliness, fear, and human suffering...Dion Graham is masterly in his rendering of the vast array of characters in these eight disparate tales. Highly recommended.-- "Library Journal"
About the Author
James Baldwin (1924-1987), acclaimed New York Times bestselling author, was educated in New York. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, received excellent reviews and was immediately recognized as establishing a profound and permanent new voice in American letters. The appearance of The Fire Next Time in 1963, just as the civil rights movement was exploding across the American South, galvanized the nation and continues to reverberate as perhaps the most prophetic and defining statement ever written of the continuing costs of Americans' refusal to face their own history. It became a national bestseller, and Baldwin was featured on the cover of Time. The next year, he was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and collaborated with the photographer Richard Avedon on Nothing Personal, a series of portraits of America intended as a eulogy for the slain Medger Evers. His other collaborations include A Rap on Race with Margaret Mead and A Dialogue with the poet-activist Nikki Giovanni. He also adapted Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X into One Day When I Was Lost. He was made a commander of the French Legion of Honor a year before his death, one honor among many he achieved in his life.
Dion Graham, from HBO's The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. Winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.
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- Audio CD : 7 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0792776437
- ISBN-13 : 978-0792776437
- Dimensions : 15.75 x 4.06 x 18.54 cm
- Item Weight : 295 g
- Publisher : Sound Library; Unabridged edition (1 February 2011)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
This isn't my favourite work by this writer, but still great and I would recommend.
The book is a collection of short stories: The Rockpile, The Outing, The Man Child, Previous condition, Sonny's blues, Come out of the Wilderness and, of course, Going to Meet the Man. These stories explore the nuances of human condition: love, racism and murder.
My favourite stories are This Morning, This Evening, So Soon and Going to Meet the Man. In `This Morning', a successful Paris-based Black American musician/actor plans to return to the US with his Swedish wife, Harriet, and their mixed race son, Paul. As our musician comes to terms with his return to the Old Country, his fears (and history) now become apparent; Europe was not just an escape from a stifling American form of racism but his redemption. He had become a man in every sense of the word in Europe. Alas, this was an opportunity that was denied him in the US. However, he wistfully contemplates his decision and decides to return to the US all the same.
Going to Meet the Man was simply haunting. It is set sometime in the 1950's in the American South. The Civil Rights movement is in full swing and Black protesters engage in a sit-in and singing session at the jailhouse, where one of their lot has been arrested. The Deputy Sheriff, Jesse, handles the situation the only way that he knows how to: with extreme violence. Alas, violence does not work. The Sheriff then remembers an event from his childhood: the lynching of a black man.
Baldwin does not describe the circumstances that led to the lynching. Instead, his description of the macabre, barbarous, dark lynching `party' itself is laid out in exquisite detail. Young Jesse thought that the black body hanging from the tree was the `most beautiful and most terrible' thing that he had ever seen. One sees the lynching through the eyes of an eight-year old boy. It is fascinating, wicked, twisted and somehow captivating. The lynching is over almost as soon as it had begun. The folks retire and have a picnic after the event. What a bizarre affair! All I could think about when reading this story was the song, Strange Fruit by Billie Holliday.
Going to Meet the Man is the first Baldwin novel that I have read. He, like Langston Hughes, my favourite American author, uses the metaphor of escape to Europe (to France) in order to discover oneself. Yes, Europe was not perfect but the Old World had done away with lynching by the 1930's. Baldwin is a master story teller. In Going to Meet the Man, while he uses words to paint a most haunting portrait of man at his worst yet there is no judgment. The reader has to distil his own meaning from the work. At the end of the story, it was not clear to me who the victim was - the black man who was lynched or the child who was made to witness and internalise such a horrible event.