Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Review: Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon will probably be the last of Morrison that I will review. It's not that I don't think Morrison is a good writer, she is a phenomenal writer actually. I just do not care for her particular writing style. I feel so let down when she interrupts action with a flashback of a character's history, then never goes back to the action. I believe this style shows her incredible amount of poetic writing, but it's almost torture for the reader.  I tend to be one of those readers who will skip through pages to get back to the action, and I don't believe that is fair to Morrison because every single page is filled with incredible poetry and prose. 

My favorite example of Morrison's writing that I love is the beginning of Chapter 10 "When Hansel and Gretel stood in the forest and saw the house in the clearing before them, the little hairs at the nape of their necks must have shivered.  Their knees must have felt so weak that blinding hunger alone could have propelled them forward...A grown man can also be energized by hunger, and any weakness in his knees or irregularity in his heartbeat will disappear if he thinks his hunger is about to be assuaged.  Especially if the object of his craving is not gingerbread or chewy gumdrops, but gold."  I just love the fact that Morrison takes such an innocent childhood tale and compares it to the danger of Milkman's adventure.
Song of Solomon is about a man named Milkman who has a pretty boring life for the first 200 pages of the novel. The reader is introduced to all the key characters in depth.  We see that Milkman is kind of a moocher with no real plans in life besides drinking and hanging out with his friend Guitar.  At "part two" the reader is shown Milkman's journey to be able to "fly away" to his destiny. Milkman takes a journey into his families past for a search for gold but ends up finding something better at the end- the sense of his identity.

Overall Song of Solomon is a great concept, just really drawn out (for me). And true to Morrison's style, a lot of the action will have a giant build up and lead to nothing but a short recounted tale later on in the book (which drives me nuts).

If you read any of Morrison's other books and enjoy her style of writing, I think you will love this one because its 337 pages of metaphors, similes, and folklore.  

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