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Go Tell it on the Mountain (Penguin Modern Classics) by [James Baldwin, Andrew O'Hagan]

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Go Tell it on the Mountain (Penguin Modern Classics) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,059 ratings

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Length: 274 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Book Description

The haunting coming-of-age story that has become a major American classic, now in an Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics hardcover edition. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Amazon.com Review

First published in 1953 when James Baldwin was nearly 30, Go Tell It on the Mountain is a young man's novel, as tightly coiled as a new spring, yet tempered by a maturing man's confidence and empathy. It's not a long book, and its action spans but a single day--yet the author packs in enough emotion, detail, and intimate revelation to make his story feel like a mid-20th-century epic. Using as a frame the spiritual and moral awakening of 14-year-old John Grimes during a Saturday night service in a Harlem storefront church, Baldwin lays bare the secrets of a tormented black family during the depression. John's parents, praying beside him, both wrestle with the ghosts of their sinful pasts--Gabriel, a preacher of towering hypocrisy, fathered an illegitimate child during his first marriage down South and refused to recognize his doomed bastard son; Elizabeth fell in love with a charming, free-spirited young man, followed him to New York, became pregnant with his son, and lost him before she could reveal her condition.

Baldwin lays down the terrible symmetries of these two blighted lives as the ironic context for John's dark night of the soul. When day dawns, John believes himself saved, but his creator makes it clear that this salvation arises as much from blindness as revelation: "He was filled with a joy, a joy unspeakable, whose roots, though he would not trace them on this new day of his life, were nourished by the wellspring of a despair not yet discovered."

Though it was hailed at publication for its groundbreaking use of black idiom, what is most striking about Go Tell It on the Mountain today is its structure and its scope. In peeling back the layers of these damaged lives, Baldwin dramatizes the story of the great black migration from rural South to urban North. "Behind them was the darkness," Baldwin writes of Gabriel and Elizabeth's lost generation, "nothing but the darkness, and all around them destruction, and before them nothing but the fire--a bastard people, far from God, singing and crying in the wilderness!" This is Baldwin's music--a music in which rhapsody is rooted anguish--and there is none finer in American literature. --David Laskin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • File Size : 406 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 274 pages
  • Publisher : Penguin (4 October 2001)
  • ASIN : B002RI94MS
  • Language: : English
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,059 ratings

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