Go Tell it on the Mountain (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 4 October 2001
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His prose hit me, almost winding me with its intensity. I'd never read a novel that described loneliness and desire with such burning eloquence -- Douglas Field ― Guardian
Vivid imagery, with lavish attention to details ― The New York Times
A beautiful, enduring, spiritual song of a novel -- Andrew O'Hagan
One of the few essential novelists of our time ― New Statesman
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- Publisher : Penguin UK (4 October 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0141185910
- ISBN-13 : 978-0141185910
- Item Weight : 204 g
- Dimensions : 13 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
- Country of Origin : United Kingdom
- Best Sellers Rank: #38,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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The novel is about a black family living in Harlem, New York and covers a day in the life of John Grimes. It has many biblical references so non-Christians may find it a hard-read. It deals with deep-rooted social and patriarchal family oppression in the life of fourteen-year-old John.
Baldwin uses flashbacks to tell the story of John’s father, mother and aunt covering the last years of the 19th century into the 1930s. In the last chapter he also uses frames to narrate the transformation of John on the threshing floor of the church. Baldwin’s writing in this last chapter is truly vivid and striking.
He is successful in shouting out from a mountain top about the plight of the black people of America.
Top reviews from other countries
Obviously James Baldwin is one of the greatest writers of all time so I don’t need to preach about his masterful use of language and pacing and characterisation (although I just have 🤣) but I do want to tell you that even if you are an atheist - as I am - you can still take something from this novel. Yes, there were some dense passages on nothing more than the bible and God, and yes, these were a little tedious at times, but the bigger picture here is this family; John’s family, and how they came to be who and where they are now.
I loved how Baldwin took us effortlessly from past to present in order to explore how these characters became what they are in the present day.
I felt unsure and disconcerted while reading this because I was thinking about myself and my own life instead of just reading the words Baldwin had given me. I was constantly thinking about this poor young boy who is gay but will never get acceptance for that. And his religious awakening I saw more as a cry for help. One that will never be answered because the era in which he lives is not equipped to give him what he needs. Very sad. But then I feel this way after finishing any Baldwin novel.
The writer is very gifted and has produced several great pieces of work; including his essays. I purchased the Everyman's Library Classics Edition of the book, and it is that I would like to recommend.
The Everyman's Library Classics Editions, are really great quality editions, that don't cost the earth. They feature dust jackets, quality binding, and ribbon page markers; and the pages are quite thick, with good size print.