Comments (12)Add a Comment
Baldwin's novels didn't keep pace with his polemics. Notes of a Native Son is superior to this novel because he gave full rein to his talent for rhetoric. The characters here go through their paces, but the tone is rather bland and I was left with a so-what feeling.
I find it hard to pick the right words to describe If Beale Street Could Talk. I feel that whatever I write won't really do it justice. It's a slim novel but it packs so many emotions - radiant love, rage, confusion, insecurity, fearlessness, despair, hope. It's raw, unflinchingly honest and beautifully written. It makes your heart soar with the love Tish and Fonny feel for each other and your skin crawl with the horrible injustice they face. And above all it manages somehow to remain hopeful - despite the ordeal, the feeling of being trapped, the poverty, the constant social injustice - you can feel its throbbing, fierce spirit that can't be broken. And Baldwin's voice is damn hard to be silenced.
Written in 1974, the story continues into today's world. A beautiful, heart breaking love story with a very sad ending. And a very unexpected ending that makes one wonder how these characters could have proceeded in their lives after all of the pain. A reinforcement of Black Lives Matter, this is a must read.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones would be a great companion read to this James Baldwin classic because it offers a very different take on a relationship disrupted by an unjust incarceration
Did not enjoy. Found it difficult to relate to the characters. It seemed obvious that the teenage female narrator was written by a man.
Amazing and powerful...definitely want to circle back around and see the movie. It would be interesting to read this title AND Jones' An American Marriage for a book group and discuss parallels!
Why does the author use Beale Street in the title of a book about New York, when Beale Street is in Memphis? The title even comes from a blues song about Memphis, that goes a bit like this:
"if Beale Street could walk, if Beale Street could talk, married men would have to pack their bags and walk."
A sad commentary on the injustice that exists in the world. Hopefully it is on the reading list of many of our politicians.
I found this book very intresting and I love the characters and how the end keeps you guessing