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Cry, The Beloved County PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Cry, The Beloved County
Author: Alan Paton
Publisher: Published 1987 by Scribner (first published 1948)
ISBN: 9780965845526
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

60726.Cry_The_Beloved_County.pdf

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Cry, the Beloved Country, the most famous and important novel in South Africa’s history, was an immediate worldwide bestseller in 1948. Alan Paton’s impassioned novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law is a work of searing beauty. Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him n Cry, the Beloved Country, the most famous and important novel in South Africa’s history, was an immediate worldwide bestseller in 1948. Alan Paton’s impassioned novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law is a work of searing beauty. Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much. The eminent literary critic Lewis Gannett wrote, “We have had many novels from statesmen and reformers, almost all bad; many novels from poets, almost all thin. In Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country the statesman, the poet and the novelist meet in a unique harmony.” Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.

30 review for Cry, The Beloved County

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    This is a classic, written by a white South African about a time before apartheid. Two fathers, one white, one black and their sons. It is stylistically unusual. Quotes are not used, for example. Conversation is indicated by leading dashes. Also the speech is quite formal most of the time, which conveys some of the culture of the place, I expect. Dark forces are abroad, but hope shows its face here as well, as there are leaders trying to prevent a descent into the madness to come. Zulu pastor St This is a classic, written by a white South African about a time before apartheid. Two fathers, one white, one black and their sons. It is stylistically unusual. Quotes are not used, for example. Conversation is indicated by leading dashes. Also the speech is quite formal most of the time, which conveys some of the culture of the place, I expect. Dark forces are abroad, but hope shows its face here as well, as there are leaders trying to prevent a descent into the madness to come. Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absolom are the focus. Absolom, as an adult, leaves to go to the big city, Jo’burg. He falls in with a bad crowd and is involved in a robbery. He unintentionally shoots a man who surprises them. The man, an idealistic white, is the son of Kumalo’s neighbor out in the country. Kumalo goes in search of his missing son, only to find him, and this horror, at the same time. Characters are portrayed sympathetically, white and black. There is much shared fatherly pain, much humanity here. It is indeed a classic.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    A few years ago, after twenty years out of high school, I made a point to start rereading all of the classics assigned to me in school. It has been an arduous yet uplifting task as I have experienced these classic books again through an adult mind. In this the third year that I am participating in classics bingo, I took the opportunity to revisit another high school book for the classic of the 20th century square. Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country seventy years later is still considered the A few years ago, after twenty years out of high school, I made a point to start rereading all of the classics assigned to me in school. It has been an arduous yet uplifting task as I have experienced these classic books again through an adult mind. In this the third year that I am participating in classics bingo, I took the opportunity to revisit another high school book for the classic of the 20th century square. Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country seventy years later is still considered the greatest South African novel ever written. It exposes worldwide readers to the race relations that the country has experienced during the modern era and the gap that still exists today. The message that Paton writes can go along way toward the issues that modern nations experience to this day. Stephen Kumalo is a simple parson who lives in the village of Ndotsheni. Although he and his wife have always been happy with their lot in life, his siblings John and Gertrude as well as his son Absalom were enticed by the bright lights of Johannesburg. Paton describes Ndotsheni with breath taking prose, and the people of the region till the land, hoping to make due with their station. Yet, the land is parched, and as readers find out later on, the church is falling apart as well, as this is what the white man has allotted to the native Zulu and Sesuto people. Thus, Johannesburg beckons. Yet, as Paton so eloquently writes, bigger isn't always better. Problems upon problems befall native Africans from curfews and bus boycotts to wages in the diamond and gold mines and the unfortunate case of being black in a country ruled by whites. Kumalo's daughter and son have fallen upon hard times, and it is up to the parson to use his influence within the church network to bring them to safety. Paton through his characterization of Absalom Kumalo and Arthur Jarvis, the man he is accused of murdering, reveals the disparity between generations in South Africa. The younger generation is working toward change in racial relations, a change in which whites and blacks live side by side in peace and prosperity and Nkosi Sikelele Afrika becomes a reality. The older, entrenched generation might respect these viewpoints, but for the most part, they are not ready for these changes. Arthur Jarvis' father James admits that his martyred son was of a brilliant mind, but he is not ready a unified South Africa in which blacks and whites live respectfully together. That Paton wrote this novel in the years following World War II and the defeat of fascism show how slow the rest of the world was to change. I appreciated how the older generation in the characters of Msimangu, Stephen Kumalo, and James Jarvis showed magnanimity toward the end of the novel. Even though a heinous crime had been committed, the fathers were not going to stand for the crimes of their sons and might even accept that a change is coming to a new South Africa. In this era where race relations is unfortunately not a thing of the past, perhaps Cry, the Beloved Country would be an appropriate novel to discuss in high school English classes. Yet, with the exquisite prose and mature topics addressed, I achieved more from this book through adult eyes than I ever had during my high school years. Classics bingo has given me the chance to revisit these lovely novels, and I am happy for the opportunity to do so. 5 full stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    John Wiswell

    This isn't an infinitely quotable book, but occasionally it produces a line that is devastatingly clear and true. Lines like, "It was not his habit to dwell on what could have been, but what could never be." and, “It is the duty of a judge to do justice, but it is only the people who can be just.” made me put the book down and stare dumbfounded at the wall. But mostly this isn't a highly quotable book; it's a beautifully written, riveting book where passages or entire halves of scenes are compel This isn't an infinitely quotable book, but occasionally it produces a line that is devastatingly clear and true. Lines like, "It was not his habit to dwell on what could have been, but what could never be." and, “It is the duty of a judge to do justice, but it is only the people who can be just.” made me put the book down and stare dumbfounded at the wall. But mostly this isn't a highly quotable book; it's a beautifully written, riveting book where passages or entire halves of scenes are compelling streams of words, readily understandable for actions and conversations, and profound for their insights and suggestions into human life in adversity and prosperity. If you're going to write a borderline hopeless story, do it like this. Paton's prose is mostly readable and occassionally beautiful, especially in his monologues, letters and prayers. For example: "The truth is that our Christian civilization is riddled through and through with dilemma. We believe in the brotherhood of man, but we do not want it in South Africa. We believe that God endows men with diverse gifts, and that human life depends for its fullness on their employment and enjoyment, but we are afraid to explore this belief too deeply. We believe in help for the underdog, but we want him to stay under. And we are therefore compelled, in order to preserve our belief that we are Christian, to ascribe to Almighty God, creator of Heaven and Earth, our own human intentions, and to say that because He created white and black, He gives the Divine Approval to any human action that is designed to keep black men from advancement." It goes on, but this should give you a sense of Paton's insight and rhetorical ability. Paton touches on almost every level of trouble in post-colonial South Africa: racism, classism, elitism, residual imperical feelings, how wealth corrupts natives, arbitrary segregation, the loss of family values, the loss of social pride, the abandonment of positive religious teachings, the inability of government and the misunderstanding of the new laws. It doesn't blame white people or black people; it creates individuals who embody multiple faults, and when such people make up a new nation, it shows how such a system could collapse and increase human suffering. Paton does not rub this in your face; even his foreward explains that several of these people are real or are based on real people, and his praises those who are working towards a better world. This novel is every ounce about trying to do something. This isn't literary bleakness or contemptable anti-humanitarianism (a strange view for any author to have, given that all our authors are humans). There are good people stuck in all of this, and from the very first chapter you get a sense that this is, if not a good place, then a place that could be truly great. The difference between Alan Paton here and Edith Wharton or Nathanael West in much of their writing is that the disappointment does not permeate the tone and the myopic view does not bias the story. Paton is a far more sympathetic writer, able to capture the most dangerous elements of humanity in a way that is uniquely his own, though we'd be better off if it became more common.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    I am a teacher and, after 34 years, attempt to find new combinations in the catalogue of "must reads." I have done this as a staple for years. Last year, when deciding what I wanted to do - kind of like window shopping for lovely clothes -- I decided to read this book after reading Hamlet. I love the mirrored plot structure. I adore the fact that the land is a character. The moral imperative and subsequent hemming and hawing in Hamlet takes on a different light and life in the beautifully wrough I am a teacher and, after 34 years, attempt to find new combinations in the catalogue of "must reads." I have done this as a staple for years. Last year, when deciding what I wanted to do - kind of like window shopping for lovely clothes -- I decided to read this book after reading Hamlet. I love the mirrored plot structure. I adore the fact that the land is a character. The moral imperative and subsequent hemming and hawing in Hamlet takes on a different light and life in the beautifully wrought quest into the valley of death by Stephen Kumalo. The gentle prod of grace, of questions, of moral hues and tones take me back to the wasteland scene in Hamlet. After speaking with the captain on his way to death against the Polish, Hamlet finally has his epiphany. For Stephen, the wasteland shifts, but the same 20,000 + on their way to death in a mine is the same moral imperative. My students are slowly putting the plots together and the depth that they are mining (pun intended) is impressive. I am quite pleased. They had trouble with the flow of dialogue at first, but they also had trouble starting in medias res in Hamlet. So goes the way with 15 and 16 year old students. We are going to next move to Eliot's wasteland for a quick jaunt through 20th century gardens and graves. Paton is a treasure - put on his shoes, or discover the link with the land through the unshod feet and understand how two men and their families, their villages can wrestle with ethical dilemmas and the imperative of humanity. Powerful when put together! * of particular delight - one of my students noticed two items: the use of Gertrude in both and also the idea of kairos! I was so happy. This is what makes books come alive. When we share, we grow.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Cry, The Beloved Country, Alan Paton Cry, the Beloved Country is a novel by Alan Paton, published in 1948. In the remote village of Ndotsheni, in the Natal province of eastern South Africa, the Reverend Stephen Kumalo receives a letter from a fellow minister summoning him to Johannesburg. He is needed there, the letter says, to help his sister, Gertrude, who the letter says has fallen ill. Kumalo undertakes the difficult and expensive journey to the city in the hopes of aiding Gertrude and of fin Cry, The Beloved Country, Alan Paton Cry, the Beloved Country is a novel by Alan Paton, published in 1948. In the remote village of Ndotsheni, in the Natal province of eastern South Africa, the Reverend Stephen Kumalo receives a letter from a fellow minister summoning him to Johannesburg. He is needed there, the letter says, to help his sister, Gertrude, who the letter says has fallen ill. Kumalo undertakes the difficult and expensive journey to the city in the hopes of aiding Gertrude and of finding his son, Absalom, who traveled to Johannesburg from Ndotsheni and never returned. In Johannesburg, Kumalo is warmly welcomed by Msimangu, the priest who sent him the letter, and given comfortable lodging by Mrs. Lithebe, a Christian woman who feels that helping others is her duty. ... عنوانها: بنال وطن؛ گریه کن سرزمین محبوب؛ مویه کن، سرزمین مجبوب؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و نهم ماه جولای سال 1973 میلادی عنوان: مویه کن سرزمین محبوب؛ نویسنده: آلن پیتون؛ مترجم: فریدون سالک؛ نادر ابراهیمی؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، 1348؛ در 353 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1357؛ عنوان: بنال وطن؛ نویسنده: آلن پیتون؛ مترجم: سیمین دانشور؛ تهران، خوارزمی، 1351؛ در 291 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1354؛ چاپ پنجم اسفند 1361؛ عنوان: گریه کن سرزمین محبوب؛ نویسنده: آلن پیتون؛ مترجم: هوشنگ حافظی پور؛ تهران، اردیبهشت، 1362؛ در 485 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، مثبت، 1383؛ داستان دربارهٔ مسئلهٔ تبعیض نژادی در آفریقای جنوبی است. دربارهٔ کشیشی فقیر و پیر به نام: استیون کومالو در روستای محروم و کوچک ایندوتشنی است که برای یافتن پسرش (ابسالم کومالو) به ژوهانسبورگ می‌رود. او متوجه می‌شود که پسرش دختر نوجوانی را باردار کرده و مدتی نیز در دارالتأدیب بوده است. کمی بعد پسرش را به جرم قتل یک مرد سفیدپوست بازداشت می‌کنند و ... ا. شربیانی

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brook

    I cant say enough about this book. It is lyrically written, reads almost like an epic out of Ireland. The dialog between characters is straightforward, and the book manages to give you a glimpse of Apartheid S. Africa, from the richest people, to the poor urban laborers, to the criminals, to the peaceful rural farmers trying to maintain their land after many years of neglect. This is a classic that I have read probably 3 or 4 times. My copy is beat to hell, but readable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Case

    Just when I thought I had a handle on this book, it got really complicated. After getting over the shock of how much South African history and turmoil were skimmed over or ignored completely in my history classes, I felt like this story outlined a pretty clear cut good guy vs an obvious bad guy. My initial thoughts were that the natives were a perfectly content group of people who were just fine on their own until the Europeans stepped in and muddled up their entire culture. I thought Johannesbu Just when I thought I had a handle on this book, it got really complicated. After getting over the shock of how much South African history and turmoil were skimmed over or ignored completely in my history classes, I felt like this story outlined a pretty clear cut good guy vs an obvious bad guy. My initial thoughts were that the natives were a perfectly content group of people who were just fine on their own until the Europeans stepped in and muddled up their entire culture. I thought Johannesburg represented the whites (the crime, all the immoral behavior, the fast-paced city life, and the constant quest for more gold, more development, more, more, more) and the native life was represented by Kumalo's village (few possessions, close family and community ties, and the prevalent church). But I should've known real life doesn't come in neat and tidy little boxes. And this situation was much more complicated than that. At any rate, this story taught me a lot about South Africa and the westernized "help" that white people are so anxious to provide. And the loose ends leave me searching for more South African literature!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    This book is one of those classics that I'm glad I read, but will probably never read again. The themes are important (racial equality, morality, forgiveness) and the writing is lyrical, but it's still hard to read. Alan Paton doesn't use any quotation marks. He chooses, instead, to preface each line of dialogue with a dash. I could get used to this technique, if he were consistent with it, but he's not. Sometimes the dialogue is in the middle of a paragraph, with no indication it's spoken aloud This book is one of those classics that I'm glad I read, but will probably never read again. The themes are important (racial equality, morality, forgiveness) and the writing is lyrical, but it's still hard to read. Alan Paton doesn't use any quotation marks. He chooses, instead, to preface each line of dialogue with a dash. I could get used to this technique, if he were consistent with it, but he's not. Sometimes the dialogue is in the middle of a paragraph, with no indication it's spoken aloud. It drove me crazy, having to re-read everything to figure out if someone was talking, or just thinking, or if it was just the writer giving us information. The story is set in South Africa, and it helped me understand why that country has been such a mess for so long. There are so many different races, languages, belief systems, and classes, it's a wonder anything gets done there at all. It's interesting to see the effects of apartheid, the growing pains of a country trying to find equality for all races. It was written in the 40s, so things have changed enormously since it was first published, but it still functions as a cautionary tale. It is infuriating, inspiring, slow-moving but worth the time.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I was supposed to read Cry, the Beloved Country my senior year of high school. But you know how senior year is. Well, I wasn’t like that — promise. I wasn’t one who started slacking because I had my acceptance letter to college in hand. But I did decide that I didn’t really care for English, and that I found my European History class much more fascinating, and thus I spent all my study time pouring over my history textbook instead of my English novels (especially since the in-class discussions w I was supposed to read Cry, the Beloved Country my senior year of high school. But you know how senior year is. Well, I wasn’t like that — promise. I wasn’t one who started slacking because I had my acceptance letter to college in hand. But I did decide that I didn’t really care for English, and that I found my European History class much more fascinating, and thus I spent all my study time pouring over my history textbook instead of my English novels (especially since the in-class discussions were detailed enough to ace the tests by). It was my loss, I guess, because this book is excellent. More than a story of racial inequality, social problems, and injustice (which is what I remember about the plot from high school), this is first and foremost a story of forgiveness and hope. There are many reasons for South Africa, the country commanded to “cry” in the title, to do just that: poverty and famine drive many to choose paths that are less than admirable, sometimes immoral. And there and many reasons for the main character, a humble priest from a rural Zulu tribe, to give up his faith in both God and humanity — and yet throughout the story there is a calm sense of hope for the future. Stephen Kumalo meets good men along his tragic journey that give hope to him and to the country as a whole: friends, family, and even one who should be his deepest enemy. And Kumalo himself is one to be emulated: for his meekness and gratitude, for his acceptance of trials, for his charity, and even for his occasional human-ness but then sincerely repentant nature. To enjoy a book, I have to have a main character to at the least empathize with — Kumalo is one that I not only appreciate but admire. And the writing is downright lyrical in some places. It’s easy to see why it’s a modern classic. Being awakened to the injustices of prejudice and poverty is all right, but this book does more than that — it inspires hope in the midst of hard times. A book to add to my long list of favorites. ;-)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed

    إبك, إيها البلد الحبيب, بقلم آلان باتون المكان: جنوب أفريقيا, المشاكل: الأرض البوار, إختلال المجتمع القبلي-المدني, وكذلك الفصل العنصري, طبعا, أليست جنوب أفريقيا؟ أما الشخصية الرئيسية فهو رجل كنيسة, يتأمل, ويتألم, ويكابد لإنقاذ مايمكن إنقاذه. تتحدث الرواية عن القسيس الذي يزور جوهانسبرج, بحثا عن أخته وابنه اللذيّن التقمتهم المدينة المفترسة, فيدخل في دوامة خطرة. نبرة الراوي محايدة, ترمي إلى التحليل بدلاً عن التجريح. كما يتضمن النص فرضيات عن مسببات تفاقم جرائم السكان الأصليين, و يسلط الضوء على معاناة إبك, إيها البلد الحبيب, بقلم آلان باتون المكان: جنوب أفريقيا, المشاكل: الأرض البوار, إختلال المجتمع القبلي-المدني, وكذلك الفصل العنصري, طبعا, أليست جنوب أفريقيا؟ أما الشخصية الرئيسية فهو رجل كنيسة, يتأمل, ويتألم, ويكابد لإنقاذ مايمكن إنقاذه. تتحدث الرواية عن القسيس الذي يزور جوهانسبرج, بحثا عن أخته وابنه اللذيّن التقمتهم المدينة المفترسة, فيدخل في دوامة خطرة. نبرة الراوي محايدة, ترمي إلى التحليل بدلاً عن التجريح. كما يتضمن النص فرضيات عن مسببات تفاقم جرائم السكان الأصليين, و يسلط الضوء على معاناة شعب فقد الوشائج القبلية ولم يقدَّم له بديل, وفقد حقوله الخصبة في سبيل تمدن غير مدروس. يهيمن شيطان الخوف على الأنفس في جوهانسبرج. الخوف من الظلم, من الجريمة, من إنهيار البلد الحبيب. وفي مقابل ذلك هناك دفء الوطنية الحقة, متجسدة في الناشطين السود الذين ينظمون الإضرابات والإعتصامات, وكذلك في البيض الذين يسعون إلى رأب الصدع وجمع الفرقاء. وفوق كل ذلك نرى وصفاً لفتنة الطبيعة الخلابة ممتزجة مع بساطة ساكني الريف فتمنح الذهن صفاء بعد الخوض في مدينة الجريمة والتشرد. يُجمع العديد من النقاد على أن هذه الرواية بقلم باتون هي أهم رواية في الأدب الجنوب أفريقي. ربما! فهي رواية ناضجة, هادفة, مترعة بالنقد البنّاء. أضف إلى ذلك أنها متماسكة السرد, مرسومة الشخصيات. بالنسبة لي, هي رواية أقدّرها لكن لم أقع في هواها, فشتّان بين من يحتضنك بشغف ومن يصافحك باحترام.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amal Bedhyefi

    Finished reading another amazing classic ! Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. This was a deeply moving/ eye-opener book that will stay with me for a long time. Paton touches on almost every level of trouble in post-colonial South Africa: racism, classism, elitism, residual imperical feelings, how wealth corrupts natives, arbitrary segregation, the lo Finished reading another amazing classic ! Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. This was a deeply moving/ eye-opener book that will stay with me for a long time. Paton touches on almost every level of trouble in post-colonial South Africa: racism, classism, elitism, residual imperical feelings, how wealth corrupts natives, arbitrary segregation, the loss of family values , social pride and other serious matters . the book is lyrically written ( If you're a beginner , you won't find it easy to read ) , the characters almost seem realistic and you get all sorts of feelings while reading it ! It will forever be stuck in your head even though the story is fairly simply told , the message behind it is much bigger than what you actually get to read . It makes you think outside of thebox , open your eyes on a lot of things . I had to stop reading several times to think , i just sit there , stare to the wall and think , about people , life , god and principles . There is so much here to learn about hope, love ,forgiveness, and perseverance . Loved this book , highly recommend it !

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What the..?!?! Why is this rating so high? This book was tortuous to read. Every page, DESPITE the wordings was worse than getting my eyelashes pulled. Oprah. Seriously? Seriously Oprah? Here's my summary of it: Man goes to find son who dies because he killed some guy, man goes back home. The end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Beautiful writing, that is why this book gets four stars. But what do I mean by beautiful writing? That can mean so much. Here every sentence is simple. Every thought is simple. It is writing where all words that can be removed are removed. What remains is clear and concise and beautiful. The core is left, and that core says exactly what has to be said. The book is about Africa, South Africa in particular and racial injustice in this country. It is about right and wrong and men's strengths and we Beautiful writing, that is why this book gets four stars. But what do I mean by beautiful writing? That can mean so much. Here every sentence is simple. Every thought is simple. It is writing where all words that can be removed are removed. What remains is clear and concise and beautiful. The core is left, and that core says exactly what has to be said. The book is about Africa, South Africa in particular and racial injustice in this country. It is about right and wrong and men's strengths and weaknesses. It is about Christian beliefs, but again whittled down to the most elementary concepts. It is not necessary to be religious to appreciate this book. You will be moved to tears. You will think: yes, this IS how life is, but dam we must go on fighting because along with sadness and injustice and wrong, there is beauty and kindness. Alan Paton says it all so honestly and so simply. I repeat: gorgeous writing. I can only judge from my own reading experience. I listened to an audio book, narrated by Michael York. The narration couldn't have been better. Perhaps if I had read it I would have appreciated the words less. Here, every word was spoken with depth and a calm measured strength. You are forced to think and ponder and savor. Would I have appreciated the cadence of the lines or the message imparted had I read the book with my eyes rather than my ears? I am not sure. Some books demand that they be read slowly. I haven't said one word about what happens. You must read the book to find out.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Saman Kashi

    زمانی که ترس بر ملتی حکومت میکند؛ کیست که بتواند از سرزمین محبوب خود لذتی ببرد؟ آلن بيتون زمانی‌ که ترس بر ملتی حکومت می‌کند؛ کیست که بتواند از سرزمین محبوب خود لذتی ببرد؟ آلن بيتون

  15. 5 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    Audiobook narrated by Frederick Davidson. And old man, a Zulu pastor in a small impoverished South African town, has lost three dear relatives to the big city. His brother, John, has gone to Johannesburg and opened a business. He no longer writes. His much younger sister, Gertrude, took her son to Johannesburg to look for her husband who had gone previously to find work; the husband never wrote, and Gertrude has not written. And finally his son, Absalom, went to Johannesburg to look for his aunt, Audiobook narrated by Frederick Davidson. And old man, a Zulu pastor in a small impoverished South African town, has lost three dear relatives to the big city. His brother, John, has gone to Johannesburg and opened a business. He no longer writes. His much younger sister, Gertrude, took her son to Johannesburg to look for her husband who had gone previously to find work; the husband never wrote, and Gertrude has not written. And finally his son, Absalom, went to Johannesburg to look for his aunt, and he too has been swallowed up by the big city and no longer writes. So when he receives a letter from a priest in J-burg giving news of Gertrude, Stephen Kumalo travels to the city to find his family members and bring them home. First published in 1948, Cry the Beloved Country has remained an international bestseller. It tells of a personal tragedy, but also of a national tragedy – apartheid. The writing is lyrical and evocative of time and place. Stephen is a gentle hero, who derives his strength from faith, hope and charity. His capacity for love and forgiveness is admirable. I was surprised, and touched, by the compassion and forgiveness shown by Jarvis (the white farmer in the village). Their personal tragedy is the focus on the novel, but it is framed by the larger issues facing South Africa – the loss of tribal culture, poverty, flight to the already overcrowded city slums – and issues facing all humankind – justice, good governance, retribution, compassion, and forgiveness. Frederick Davidson does a good job narrating, but I did find his narration very slow. His very slow delivery made it hard for me to get engaged in the story, but grew on me, as the character of Stephen Kumalo is revealed – he is a man who takes his time pondering and deliberating over issues, a man who never acts in haste.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    This was my first introduction to apartheid South Africa, and oh did it blow me away! Fantastic narrative concentrating on the human dimensions of a political tragedy. Thank God this abominable system is no more.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    This was a deeply moving book that will stay with me for a long time. It falls into the elite category on my bookshelf of "I will read this again and again". I loved Paton's writing style...short, concise sentences and the dialogue written without quotation marks (as well as the social themes in the book) made this very reminiscent of another of my all-time favorites, The Grapes of Wrath. The book looks at themes of equality and social justice in pre-apartheid South Africa from both sides of the This was a deeply moving book that will stay with me for a long time. It falls into the elite category on my bookshelf of "I will read this again and again". I loved Paton's writing style...short, concise sentences and the dialogue written without quotation marks (as well as the social themes in the book) made this very reminiscent of another of my all-time favorites, The Grapes of Wrath. The book looks at themes of equality and social justice in pre-apartheid South Africa from both sides of the race equation...and I found myself understanding and empathizing with characters on both ends of the spectrum. The Zulu pastor, Stephen Kumalo, is a heartbreaking character, and his relationship with Jarvis, the father of the man his son killed, was one of the most touching aspects of the novel. I highly recommend this book for any readers interested in literary fiction. My only regret is that I waited so long to read it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Roz

    Had I known what this was about, and had not judged this book by the title (which led me to assume that this would be another depressing commentary on Apartheid), I would have picked it up YEARS ago! Contrary to what the title suggests, this book highlights the hope in South Africa, even before the dark days of Apartheid really began. It shows forgiveness, and people of different races working together. It does not shy away from the problems: the exploitation of black people who were forced to w Had I known what this was about, and had not judged this book by the title (which led me to assume that this would be another depressing commentary on Apartheid), I would have picked it up YEARS ago! Contrary to what the title suggests, this book highlights the hope in South Africa, even before the dark days of Apartheid really began. It shows forgiveness, and people of different races working together. It does not shy away from the problems: the exploitation of black people who were forced to work for a pittance for the benefit of the white mine owners, the crime that was causing people to be scared in their own homes, the potential danger of not heeding the warnings about changing the forced inequality... The wisdom in this book was unexpected. It highlighted how the destruction of the tribal life left people unprepared for the new city life that they were being forced to enter for work. The words written by the man who was murdered rang so true when he spoke about the necessity for change. Nor can one, living in the New South Africa, not appreciate the truth in the final statement: “I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good for their country, come together to work for it. I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.” Beautifully written, this book is quotable on almost every page. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has any interest in racial issues, South Africa or Africa as a whole.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    A novel that we read in junior high (grade nine English, to be exact), Cry the Beloved Country was likely the first literary classics offering that I truly and with all my heart and soul enjoyed. It was not exactly an easy reading experience, but it was immensely satisfying, intense, emotionally riveting, and personally much appreciated, as my parents were horrified and aghast that our English teacher would dare have us read a novel they themselves considered politically problematic (both of the A novel that we read in junior high (grade nine English, to be exact), Cry the Beloved Country was likely the first literary classics offering that I truly and with all my heart and soul enjoyed. It was not exactly an easy reading experience, but it was immensely satisfying, intense, emotionally riveting, and personally much appreciated, as my parents were horrified and aghast that our English teacher would dare have us read a novel they themselves considered politically problematic (both of them were afraid of me somehow turning into a raging socialist or communist, as I have always had a very developed sense of social justice versus injustice, and was therefore often, but especially upon reading Cry the Beloved Country vehemently and loudly pontificating that Apartheid was one of the most unjust and evil political and economic systems ever). Highly recommended and yes, definitely suitable for teenagers, although the issues encountered should, no they must, be discussed and debated (and not to forget Alan Paton's exquisite writing style, as we often seem to focus only on the contents and themes of novels, whilst ignoring or at least skimming over questions of stylistics, parallelisms, irony, in other words, the structures in and though which the contents and themes of novels, of any writing, is presented to and featured for potential readers).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Barb Middleton

    We are moving to South Africa so I thought I had better read this bestseller from 1948. I listened to the audiobook performed by the actor, Michael York. His incredible voice changes helped me visualize the characters; however, I should have read the book as my weakest learning style is auditory and it took me awhile to get the African village names and characters sorted. The Reverend Stephen Kumalo, who lives in Ndotsheni, a village in eastern South Africa, receives a letter saying his sister, We are moving to South Africa so I thought I had better read this bestseller from 1948. I listened to the audiobook performed by the actor, Michael York. His incredible voice changes helped me visualize the characters; however, I should have read the book as my weakest learning style is auditory and it took me awhile to get the African village names and characters sorted. The Reverend Stephen Kumalo, who lives in Ndotsheni, a village in eastern South Africa, receives a letter saying his sister, Gertrude, is ill and he should come to Johannesburg. Kumalo hopes to find his son, Absalom, who has also gone to Johannesburg and he has not heard from in a few years. In Johannesburg, Kumalo is assisted by Msimangu, the priest that sent him the letter, and the two set off to find Gertrude and Absalom. Along the way they see economic and social conditions that gave rise to apartheid. Alan Paton's writing is lyrical and full of emotion; a social protest novel that reveals the political and social issues of the time. I think it would be good paired with "Things Fall Apart," that shows the breakdown of the tribe from a black man's perspective; whereas, "Cry the Beloved Country," is from a white man's perspective that reveals postcolonial attitudes of liberalism and Christian paternalism. Kumalo and Msimangu are good men that travel from place to place observing how the black man has lost "his tribe" and support system since white men has colonized Africa. Kumalo comes from the country and views the city as a corrupting influence on young people. Traditions with a chief as head of the tribe and support system of others members who teach moral behavior has been replaced by the white man's influence and this is represented in the lawless city of Johannesburg. The result is corruption as people live in fear. Kumalo begins his journey rooted in the old ways and once he travels to Johannesburg he discovers that the world has changed and he must change with it. The erosion of African society is symbolized in representations of a barren land and the erosion of the red soil that bleeds into the rivers like an open wound. Stephen Kumalo's home is decaying with his sister turning to prostitution and his son committing murder. Kumalo clings to the old ways at first realizing that he must change by the end to adapt to a changing world, but he suffers terribly along the way and like Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Kumalo must lose his son, sister, and family before gaining a new one. He realizes that he must reach out to help those in need or suffering and give to them selflessly; hence, creating a new tribe. Kumalo meets his brother, John, who has rejected the tribe but who has an incredible voice or speaking ability that others listen to, but he is corrupt and only thinks of himself. He is hollow and unreliable as a friend or relative. A foil to him is Dubula, a man that is the voice of the boycott. His motives are unselfish and Kumalo and Msimangu realize that he would make a great leader because power would not corrupt him. He's morally stable, unlike John Kumalo. Many times throughout the novel the power of corruption is brought up and it is the self-sacrificing men that are held up as examples to emulate. The economic and deplorable social conditions are revealed throughout the journey, but it is mainly through James Jarvis that the white person is supposed to recognize actions he or she can take to help mend the gap with blacks. James Jarvis is a country man like Kumalo and when his son is murdered he reads his notes discovering his son thought deeply about the racial problems and was trying to change the world to be a better place. James is changed and decides to work for a solution toward helping the tribe. He introduces a man that shows the blacks agricultural methods that will help till the soil or heal a broken land by beginning something new for the blacks. When I read, "Huckleberry Finn," as an adult I could see why others took offense at the stereotypical portrayal of blacks. In Paton's novel, the whites are superior and the blacks are left with the whites making morally correct decisions to benefit them. Stephen calls James Jarvis an angel because he's showing the natives agricultural techniques and he's building a new church which allowed him to remain a pastor there. This is supposed to help them with the tribal displacement but it is always the whites in this story that have the knowledge and vision for the tribes. Paton wanted South African natives to embrace Christianity because this would lead to moral living and he suggests farming as a way to get back in touch with the land. I've been reading Jared Diamond's book, "Collapse," about elements that lead to a society's demise. Poverty, over farming, deforestation, climate, and environmental issues are usually significant factors along with different catalysts that cause the collapse. Paton focuses mostly on moral decay and the break down of the tribe. While Paton's attempt to change racial injustices is noble, his story shows at the same time the attitudes of the day full of colonial views of an enlightened Western civilization replacing a barbarian one. Many find his book outdated because of his portrayal of blacks. For further reading on this topic, I put the article at the bottom of the page. This is a story that will lead to plenty of discussions. Source: Paternalism, Ideology, and Ideological Critique: Teaching "Cry, the Beloved Country" Author(s): Patrick Colm Hogan Source: College Literature, Vol. 19/20, No. 3/1, Teaching Postcolonial and Commonwealth Literatures (Oct., 1992 - Feb., 1993), pp. 206-210 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25112003 Accessed: 08-06-2016 15:44 UTC

  21. 4 out of 5

    James

    "Cry, the Beloved Country" is the story of a Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo who reluctantly must leave his rural life to go and find his son Absalom and sister Gertrude who have been swallowed up by Johannesburg in South Africa of the 1940s. There is a lot to love about this book, beautifully written, compulsive reading, and satisfyingly messy with all the different voices and views captured well and the most part sympathetically. The notable exception is the voice of black South Africans who agitate "Cry, the Beloved Country" is the story of a Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo who reluctantly must leave his rural life to go and find his son Absalom and sister Gertrude who have been swallowed up by Johannesburg in South Africa of the 1940s. There is a lot to love about this book, beautifully written, compulsive reading, and satisfyingly messy with all the different voices and views captured well and the most part sympathetically. The notable exception is the voice of black South Africans who agitated as Paton would see it with hate in the hearts and modern readers would perceive as a thoroughly reasonable way given the provocation. The book not only provides a plunge into South Africa but has a more universal appeal beyond that of outlets oppressed people have in the face of tyranny and the individual choices for redemption in an unredeeming system. Finally the words are moving and beautiful as shown in the most famous quote I suppose given its inclusion in the good reads blurb and so many reviews "Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much." But I also loved the opening page of the book a little overwrought yes but in a lovely Oprah way it is by most favourite opening page of 2015 and best description of soil erosion ever. "THERE IS A lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it. The road climbs seven miles into them, to Carisbrooke; and from there, if there is no mist, you look down on one of the fairest valleys in Africa. About you there is grass and bracken and you may hear the forlorn crying of the titihoya, one of the birds of the veld. Below you is the valley of the Umzimkulu, on its journey from the Drakensberg to the sea; and beyond and behind the river great hill after great hill; and beyond and behind them, the mountains of Ingeli and East Griqualand. The grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. It holds the rain and the mist, and they seep into the ground, feeding the streams in every kloof. It is well-tended, and not too many cattle feed upon it; not too many fires burn it, laying bare the soil. Stand unshod upon it, for the ground is holy, being even as it came from the Creator. Keep it, guard it, care for it, for it keeps men, guards men, cares for men. Destroy it and man is destroyed. Where you stand the grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. But the rich green hills break down. They fall to the valley below, and falling, change their nature. For they grow red and bare; they cannot hold the rain and mist, and the, and the streams are dry in the kloofs. Too many cattle feed upon the grass, and too many fires have burned it. Stand shod upon it, for it is coarse and sharp, and the stones cut under the feet. It is not kept, or guarded, or cared for, it no longer keeps men, guards men, cares for men. The titihoya does not cry here any more." Marvelous book

  22. 5 out of 5

    Terris

    This is one I wish I would have read long ago! Wonderfully written, thought-provoking, and though it was sorrowful subject matter, it was easy to read and understand. I recommend this one to all!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tammra

    I love this book. It is one of my all-time favorites. The author had the beautiful ability to write about the tragedies in South Africa and at the same time interweave a deeply moving story of two fathers having the worst experience of their lives. The gripping sadness of the experience is overshadowed by the love and faith of a father who is just trying to do the right thing. Alan Paton's prose and insight make for an awesome reading experience. I highly recommend this book not only for reading I love this book. It is one of my all-time favorites. The author had the beautiful ability to write about the tragedies in South Africa and at the same time interweave a deeply moving story of two fathers having the worst experience of their lives. The gripping sadness of the experience is overshadowed by the love and faith of a father who is just trying to do the right thing. Alan Paton's prose and insight make for an awesome reading experience. I highly recommend this book not only for reading pleasure but also for a look into human nature and life in South Africa - "a black man's country under white man's law. . ."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gwendolyn

    After hearing of Bryson's call to South Africa, it made me remember this book I read years ago. It is a fantastic book that opens your eyes to the cultural and political challenges in South Africa. Since I read it so long ago, the following is an "official" review: "Cry, the Beloved Country is a monument to the future. One of South Africa's leading humanists, Alan Paton vividly captured his eloquent faith in the essential goodness of people." — Nelson Mandela* The book is Alan Paton's ode to his After hearing of Bryson's call to South Africa, it made me remember this book I read years ago. It is a fantastic book that opens your eyes to the cultural and political challenges in South Africa. Since I read it so long ago, the following is an "official" review: "Cry, the Beloved Country is a monument to the future. One of South Africa's leading humanists, Alan Paton vividly captured his eloquent faith in the essential goodness of people." — Nelson Mandela* The book is Alan Paton's ode to his complex homeland—a land that Westerners have come to understand, in part, because of the eloquence of his passionate work. Inspired in many ways by John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country brings heart and humanity to the struggles of black South Africans. First published in America, it brought a new international focus to a South African conflict that had previously been shrouded in secrecy and shadow. From the time of its initial publication, to its immediate worldwide success and recognition, to this very day, Paton's novel has been an anthem to racial tolerance and understanding. The novel explores several powerful themes, among them compassion, forgiveness, humility and racial injustice and prejudice. While the main storyline tells the tale of two families struggling to overcome hardship, South Africa herself is also a main character. According to the author, the title came from three or four passages that make mention of his beloved country, including: "Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers…for fear will rob him of all if he gives too much." This is a novel that will make you fall in love with South Africa—with her rich land, her struggles, her beauty, her passion and her people.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alana

    It's hard to really write a description of this book. Yes, there is plot and structure and story, but the book isn't really about that. It is a book about love and grief and hope and despair. It's about fathers love for their children, despite their choices, about love for one's country and homeland, even when its structure is not ideal or right. It's about how wrong and right choices both effect not only ourselves but those around us with far-reaching ripples. It's about poetry and beauty even It's hard to really write a description of this book. Yes, there is plot and structure and story, but the book isn't really about that. It is a book about love and grief and hope and despair. It's about fathers love for their children, despite their choices, about love for one's country and homeland, even when its structure is not ideal or right. It's about how wrong and right choices both effect not only ourselves but those around us with far-reaching ripples. It's about poetry and beauty even in the ugliest of ashes. It's about change and those who have the heart to work for change, but also about tradition and those who cling to the good things that should remain. Paton wrote in a kind of back and forth prose and poetry which flowed so beautifully together that while I noticed the switch from one to the other, they formed such a cohesive whole that it just felt natural. It's a juxtaposition of the harshness of desolate land and when people are ugly to one another, with the beatify of a restored land and the soulful beauty of what happens when people choose to reach out. It may be set in South Africa, but the themes of inequality, differences and similarities between people of different cultures, urban vs. rural and the clash of the old and the young are timeless. Well worth the read. 4.5/5

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pink

    I wanted to like this book more than I did. If I'm awarding star ratings for the books message, then it's 5 stars. However, if I'm honest about how much I enjoyed the reading experience, or how eager I was to pick it up, then I have to admit that I didn't love it. In terms of the story, I cannot fault the book. There is nothing I would change about the plot, all the themes of heartbreak were perfectly placed. There was also inspiration to be found in the end message, which again, was faultless. I wanted to like this book more than I did. If I'm awarding star ratings for the books message, then it's 5 stars. However, if I'm honest about how much I enjoyed the reading experience, or how eager I was to pick it up, then I have to admit that I didn't love it. In terms of the story, I cannot fault the book. There is nothing I would change about the plot, all the themes of heartbreak were perfectly placed. There was also inspiration to be found in the end message, which again, was faultless. So what was wrong? Well, at times the grammar was confusing. It wasn't always clear who was talking or which characters were being spoken about, so I needed to re-read passages trying to make sense of what was happening, which removed me from the story. I also felt a disconnect with all of the characters, I really didn't care about any of them, which wasn't what I expected from such an emotional book. Perhaps this was due to the sentence structure, or perhaps I'm just cold and heartless, or maybe I've read too many other heartbreaking stories to be affected by this one. I'm not sure I can put my finger on what didn't work and in retrospect this is a much better book than I felt it was while reading. A complicated 3-4 stars for me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I read this book in high school and loved it for the story. That was in the 1960's when apartheid was in full swing and Mandela was in prison. This time I loved the story (fortunately some of the racial and political problems have been solved) but was also able to appreciate the beautiful, lyrical prose. I have shed many tears while reading this, most in last section of the book, which is the section that brings some hope to the situation in a 1940's South Africa that is pre-apartheid but a coun I read this book in high school and loved it for the story. That was in the 1960's when apartheid was in full swing and Mandela was in prison. This time I loved the story (fortunately some of the racial and political problems have been solved) but was also able to appreciate the beautiful, lyrical prose. I have shed many tears while reading this, most in last section of the book, which is the section that brings some hope to the situation in a 1940's South Africa that is pre-apartheid but a country that is mostly inhabited by poor blacks under the thumb of a few rich whites. Despite the inequities which are abundantly shown, this book also embodies courage, compassion and Christian values. On a personal level, I thought many times while reading this on the aptness of the title for the situation in my country today. Cry, The Beloved Country for the state of race relations and political civility that seem to be tearing us apart in this presidential election season.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Farzin

    نویسنده آدم عمیقیست؛ چنان لحظات، صحنهها و حالات را توصیف میکند که فکر میکنی ساعتها به لایههای پنهان آن لحظه فکر کرده است. «بنال وطن» البته دور است از ما و ترجمه هم قدیمیست؛ این موضوع اتصال ما را با کتاب کم میکند و اگر هنر نویسندگی و بیان حالات فطری و هرزمانی انسانها نبود، ممکن بود از کتاب جدا شویم. داستان علاوه بر باورپذیر و پرجزئیات بودن، نگاه جالبی هم به مناقشات تاریخی سیاه و سفید در قارهی آفریقا دارد و مدام ما را میان حق دادن به سیاهها و سفیدها میگرداند، و البته پرواضح است که در این رفتوبرگشت، نویسنده آدم عمیقی‌ست؛ چنان لحظات، صحنه‌ها و حالات را توصیف می‌کند که فکر می‌کنی ساعت‌ها به لایه‌های پنهان آن لحظه فکر کرده است. «بنال وطن» البته دور است از ما و ترجمه هم قدیمی‌ست؛ این موضوع اتصال ما را با کتاب کم می‌کند و اگر هنر نویسندگی و بیان حالات فطری و هرزمانی انسان‌ها نبود، ممکن بود از کتاب جدا شویم. داستان علاوه بر باورپذیر و پرجزئیات بودن، نگاه جالبی هم به مناقشات تاریخی سیاه و سفید در قاره‌ی آفریقا دارد و مدام ما را میان حق دادن به سیاه‌ها و سفیدها می‌گرداند، و البته پرواضح است که در این رفت‌وبرگشت، کفه به سمت بومی‌های سیاه سنگینی خواهد کرد.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This book was truly one of the most moving books about compassion, forgiveness, hope, and love that I've ever read. I was so touched when I finished reading this book - my understanding and awareness of mercy and justice, and the charity one is capable was increased tenfold. It is my opinion that anyone who reads the story of Rev. Steven Kumalo, set in beautiful yet struggling South Africa, will walk away a better person for the experience.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eric Boot

    3,5 stars. really interesting to Read more about the apartheid and All the nasty things That happened in South-Africa. Also, I Love Alan Patons style of writing. a little boring at Times but overall a good novel.

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