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Go Tell It on the Mountain [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

James Baldwin , Adam Lazarre-White
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 21.20
Price: 18.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Jan 2013
"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!" First published in 1953, Baldwin's first novel is a short but intense, semi-autobiographical exploration of the troubled life of the Grimes family in Harlem during the Depression.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 7 pages
  • Publisher: Audiogo; Unabridged edition (15 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620645432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620645437
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 13 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,791,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Born in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin had an early career as a teenage preacher. He lived in Paris from 1948-1956 and his first novels, the autobiographical GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN and GIOVANNI'S ROOM established him as a promising novelist and anticipated some of the themes of his later works, such as racism and sexuality. He became a prominent spokesperson for racial equality, especially during the civil rights movement. He lived in France during his last years. Baldwin died in 1987. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
EVERYONE had always said that John would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
This was my second reading of James Baldwin's initial novel, first read 40 some years ago, and it rang even more powerful the second time around. Baldwin is the essential chronicler of the Black American experience, in all its anguish. The novel was first published in 1953, and was primarily set in mid-Depression Harlem, with flashbacks to the rural southern antecedents of the main characters, reaching all the way back to the days of slavery. It was Florence, who must have been approaching 60, whose mother was a slave and who "lost two children to the auction block." Baldwin only briefly sketches Florence's mother, but this slender fact seemed to explain so much of the tragic and often dysfunctional family life of the descendents of those families which had been forcibly broken up.

Religion is a major theme in the novel; that particular raucous, tambourine shaking, speaking-in-tongues spirituality espoused in store-front churches that set out the folding chairs before the service. It sure does help to know the Bible to understand many of the references. If I found any weakness in the novel, and perhaps it is a personal weakness instead, it was the lengthy passages of pure "preachin'", but I persevered, knowing that it really did give the flavor of an authentic experience. Baldwin depicts a world of good and evil, with the church as the vehicle to salvation, but he is also relentless in describing the hypocritical lives of the preachers, especially Gabriel, who "falls" and falls again.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern classic 24 Feb 2003
James Baldwins first novel, in which he deals with issues he had with his father, religion and his sexuality, though it is definitely not a autobiographical account of his life.
It concerns a young black boyin harlem called Johnny Grimes, destined to become a preahcer like his father, but he has doubts, and struggles with a hatred for his father, and an attraction towards an older boy in the congregation. However, the narrative jumps from him through the novel, and we learn about the past of his father, his mother and his auntie.
This is a wondefully emotive and affecting book, with an underlying sense of sadness running throughout, written in a beautifully lyrical style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic 28 Oct 2009
Go Tell it on the Mountain was the first novel published by well known writer James Baldwin. Loosely based on his own life, it tells the story of John, a 14-year-old boy and his family growing up Christian and African-American in Harlem, New York. The novel examines the hypocrisy of many church followers--a woman who has a child out-of-wedlock with a man she loves seems much less sinful than a fervent preacher with a hidden bastard.

The novel also looks at domestic violence, gender relatons, and of course, racial relations. I don't believe there were any white characters in this book, but there was racism all the same. People called each other racial epithets, some women used bleaching creams to try and look whiter, and they discriminate against each other based on the hue of their skin.

James Baldwin knows how to tell a tale. On some level, I empathized with every character. Baldwin has been criticized by making "uneducated" peoples' thoughts too poetic, but it makes the prose lovely to read--and who's to say you must be educated to be poetic? It's very different from Giovanni's Room, the other James Baldwin work I've read. I'd definitely recommend it as essential American literature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Having just read this book, I realise that it is possible to be a little over enthusiastic. So, I shall try to stand back far enough to give a proper critique.

The book is simple, yet complicated. It deals with the lives of four main characters, but focused on John - a teenage boy. The book discusses their journeys and histories, and how these come to impact one another, as well as how previous `sins' stay with.

Also, in these stories you learn about black segregation, racism, family pressures, as well as an examination of the black church (I say that as a white Englishman, the lines may be less obvious in the USA).

It can at times be difficult to follow, as the story jumps around a bit; but this is overcome with the beauty of his prose. It, even after many years, maintains a hard-edged electricity about it. This is true for both dialogue and the narrative. You can feel the rhythmic pulses in their speech, and the narrative, glides; painting wonderful imagery through use of metaphor. In some ways this is a collection of poems. A very beautifully written book and one I would recommend to everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good 24 Feb 2008
Despite everyone telling me what a powerful book this was and what a life changing impact it had on them and their views I found this not to be the case. Perhaps I just lack the context of growing up the civil rights era though. That's not to say this is by any means a bad book. It's an interesting read detailing the lives of various members of one family, the mistakes they make and their turning away and return to the Lord. The complex father son relationship is especially well written about and contains perhaps the most autobiographical part of the novel. It shows their fallings and explains their harshness, the characters are engaging and it paints a vivid picture of the black community in America during the early to middle twentieth century particularly with their relationship to the church.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars religion and all its hypocrisy
book about the struggle of a young black teen boy against his fanatic religious father. What first seems to be as a fight of a boy against the will of its parents result in a flash... Read more
Published 2 months ago by laros76
2.0 out of 5 stars not a favourite!
Read this novel for a book club.
Good to have read an Author I had not come across before-Baldwin could write!
but the SUBJECT matter was not of any interest to me.
Published 3 months ago by cookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
Having seen in London black American writer James Baldwin's play The Amen Corner, which was absolutely brilliant and beautifully acted, I went on to read Go Tell it on the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Austen
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly powerful writing
A powerful, agonising, coming of age story of a 14 year old black boy in 1930's Harlem. He is struggling with his transition to manhood, and raging against both his heavenly and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Four Violets
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
A classic novel which reminds us of the iniquities of segregation in the US. Baldwin's lyrical language
strongly influenced by gospel church and the bible still works His... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Bertha Barlow
4.0 out of 5 stars Book club choice
Book was chosen by my book club. As per my usual practice for such choices its all about getting a copy in reasonable condition at cheapest possible price. Read more
Published on 26 Dec 2011 by Mr. Stephen Mardon
4.0 out of 5 stars his first and best novel
I came to Baldwin through his essays, which are vivid, incisive, and full of raw emotion. By contrast, most of his novels are mediocre. Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by rob crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars Baldwin's first and best novel
Much of this novel is based on real life experiences of Baldwin and his family. The story focuses on the conflict between a young boy, John Grimes, and his father who is a... Read more
Published on 2 May 2001
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