“it was good i just didnt like the way thry spoke”Jamie Richardson wrote this review Monday, March 19, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A man of God caught in a web.”Shelley S wrote this review Thursday, March 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a beautifully written novel with a hard hitting moral to it, at points it brought tears to my eyes and at other points great hope for the future of South Africa which sadly as far as I can see have not yet come to pass.
At its heart it is a story about humanity.”
“This book is about the land of South Africa and starts with “There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills…..” It tells the story of South Africa’s tragic history. Alan Paton was a principal of a South African reformatory for young offenders. He began writing the book while on a tour of correctional facilities. He began writing in Norway and finished in the United States. It took him only three months to write it. It was his first novel. The title tells us that there is a tragedy. There is a tragedy of what has happened to the beautiful land, there is the tragedy of what has happened to the tribes, the family, the young and the old and the loss of tradition. Stephen Kumalo is a Zulu pastor from the hills. He makes a trip to Johannesbury to find his sister and his son, Absalom. Stephen finds his son in a prison because he has killed a European (white) reformer. The reader also meets the father of the slain reformer. His name is Jarvis. Both men are grieving for their lost sons, both father’s are on a journey to understand why their sons lives ended as a tragedy. The two father’s lives become entwined and their ways of coping with grief offers hope for change. This novel gives a picture of apartheid and ends with faith that there will be dawn of emancipation. ”Kristel wrote this review Tuesday, March 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“4 stars. This is the story of a small town parson in South Africa. He goes to Johannesburg "the city of evil" to find his only son. We follow him through the city searching for his son. When he finds him it is bittersweet. The story sounded good when I first picked up this book, but I didn't realize then that I would like it as much as I do now. The writing is simplistic and beautiful. I really enjoyed this book.
Favorite quote--"I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they turn to loving they will find we are turned to hating." Msimangu”
“Set in Africa, the book goes between the economic and political climate surrounding Johannesburg and the lives of the main characters. Very well written, and fairly interesting, but it didn't really hold my interest like I expected. ”Zombie Kitten wrote this review Thursday, February 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Beautiful, haunting, lyrical writing. Beautifully simple, yet a wheels within wheels kind of story, moving relentlessly to an inevitable conclusion. Yet I was left with a few surprises and hope....”kmehta wrote this review Monday, February 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Could very well be the best novel I have ever read. The story is wonderful and the language is amazing. I listened to and read this book and the audio version (Blackstone Audio with narrator Michael York) was wonderful. ”Nancy Rankin wrote this review Sunday, January 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This story is written in the 1940s concerned South Africa and apartheid. All that goes on in the story reflects the struggle regarding the breakdown of the African tribes and the urbanization of the native blacks It brings up some thought-provoking issues. It is well written but somewhat plodding.”Maryquilter wrote this review Saturday, January 14, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The author wrote this novel to make the world aware of problems in his "beloved country," South Africa. It was first published in 1948, when the separation policy was introduced that became known as apartheid. In his author's note, Paton referred to several events in the book as "a compound of truth and fiction," and wrote that even though the story is not true, "considered as a social record it is the plain and simple truth."
He uses the story of a native village parson, Stephen Kumalo, to reveal the country's record of racial injustices and the problems village natives faced when they left their families to go to the city far from home to find work. The parson's own family is broken since his brother went to Johannesburg to work. When his brother-in-law left for work in the gold mines but never returned, Kumalo's sister took her child and also left for the city to find her husband, then Kumalo's only child, his son, went to find her and he disappeared. As the story begins, Kumalo has not heard from his family members for some time, but he has received word that his sister is sick, so he also leaves for Johannesberg in hopes of restoring his family. The parson is quickly educated on the problems of poverty and homelessness in the big city, where everyone lives in fear of becoming a crime victim. He's also befriended by several good and kind people, both native and white, even as he faces devastating news of his son.
There are essentially two stories here. The first is of the parson's search for his family and the problems of natives in the city, and the second is the one of the parson's return home and the problems of the natives in his village, where help comes from an unexpected source.
The characterization of the parson is perfect. He's portrayed as a good person, but he's also given enough faults to make him real. He's sometimes vain, sometimes angry, and told more than one lie over the course of the story. The writing style is also perfect, simple and straight-forward without a word wasted. I was also pleasantly surprised by the book's sense of hope. I was afraid it would be dark and hopeless, like the more contemporary Say You're One of Them. But reading the book more than 60 years after it was published, and knowing how slowly things changed, I wonder if the author didn't lose hope many times before his death in 1988.”