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Linden Hills (Contemporary American Fiction) [Paperback]

Gloria Naylor
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Feb 1995 Contemporary American Fiction
Linden Hills is an exclusive private residential estate in America. Intended as a symbol of black equality, it is in fact an infernal place, and the layers of hypocrisy and self-destruction which are its foundation become exposed. The author's other novels include "The Women of Brewster Place".
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Australia; Reprint edition (Feb 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140088296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140088298
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All that glitters is not gold 23 Mar 2012
This is a tale of affluent Black America and its complex duality of life. The essence of this story is "all that glitters is not gold", displays itself constantly. The concept of outward success and not being true to your inner self is transparent. The theme is full of interesting tortured characters, who all live in the elusive and exclusive Linden Hills. A Variety of figures that include a preacher, widower, professor, mortician and more, it is a thought provoking read. With a worthy moral message of having inner and outer honesty.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique and original novel � I wholeheartedly recommend it. 4 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
In this thought-provoking and beautifully written novel, Gloria Naylor explores complex issues of social class within the parameters of a black affluent community. While on the outside the residents of Linden Hills seem to revel in the glamorous lifestyles and social status they work so hard to obtain, the reality is quite different. Naylor allows the reader a glimpse behind the Porches and the Beverly Hills style mansions into the souls of several Linden Hills residents. With each one of their stories we begin to understand the price paid for material success. Naylor makes some interesting connections between the accumulation of wealth and loss of racial identity. A unique and original novel - I wholeheartedly recommend it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Layers of hell 3 May 2002
By Genevieve M. Ellerbee - Published on Amazon.com
I first read this book for an AP english class my senior year of high school, shortly after we had read _The Inferno_. It's a very beautiful book, although indeed sometimes the gorgeous writing is describing some very painful things. Naylor seems to have the ability to delineate her character's inner self with very revealing language - the pastor who serves his flock but also is an alcoholic, the young gay man who must marry a woman or risk losing a prosperous future. The story deals with how people trap themselves, put themselves into hell - the Satan-figure hardly needs to act to ensnare them because they're too busy snaring themselves. Very powerful, very moving, very good book that reads smoothly.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking! Explosive! Gritty and Compelling 20 July 2000
By Tolonda Westbrook - Published on Amazon.com
This was the second novel of Gloria Naylor's that was assigned to me by Dr.Taylor-Thompson(Texas Southern U.) and at first I found it to be a strange and complex book. I often talked with Dr.Thompson to make sure I was getting the point. To my surprise I was and started to enjoy the book once I realized what was going on. The story I've been told mirrors that of Amiri Baraka's(LeRoi Jones)Dante's Inferno, which I also plan to read.
What I found so compelling about this story was how the residence seem to believe they were nothing if they didn't live on certain streets within Linden Hills, an affluent African American suburb. They were educated, money hunger and strange all in one. Willie the main character and narrator, along with his bestfriend Lester take us on a journey beyond the walls of these strange peoples homes and into their lives for an unforgettable experience. They introduce us to people like Luther Nedeed, Willa Prescott-Nedeed, Xavier Donnell, Rev.Michael T.Hollis and Laurel Dumont to name a few. What the story reveals is greed, the need for power and more power and the hierachy of what they believed life to truly be. I'm planning and looking forward to reading this book again. Naylor's style of writing maybe complex at first but, you'll soon get over that and find the book very thought-provoking. You'll then be hooked ready to read her other wondeful novels. I recommend this book to all, especially english teachers in middle school and beyond for their students
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complex Novel Based on Dante's Inferno 5 Dec 2000
By Shannon M Maguire - Published on Amazon.com
Naylor's work is genius, but to truly enjoy it, readers must first check out Dante's Inferno. Linden Hills parallels this book, describing the nine levels of Hell that exist in the African-American suburb. Naylor takes the readers through each level, getting closer to the final and most evil level, where Luther resides. Linden Hills is a complex novel incorporating African-Americans' struggles with the American dream, accepting inevitable evils that accompany the search for this dream, and the lengths people go to for power and wealth. Many readers say this book is depressing, however, to fully understand the purpose and meaning of it, you must read Dante's Inferno.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting 10 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I have to admit, when I first started reading this book, I thought it was weird. Then I realized what was going on and thought it was one of the best books I've read in a long time. Now I plan to read the rest of Gloria Naylor's books. Very though provoking and real. Everyone should read this book. Everyone!!
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