Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Go Tell it on the Mountain
Title: Go Tell it on the Mountain
Author: James Baldwin
Number of pages: 256
Started: 5 November 2009
Finished: 11 November 2009
Everyone had always said that John would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father. It had been said so often that John, without ever thinking about it, had come to believe it himself.
"Nothing but the darkness, and all around them destruction, and before them nothing but the fire--a bastard people, far from God, singing and crying in the wilderness!" First published in 1953, Baldwin's first novel is a short but intense, semi-autobiographical exploration of the troubled life of the Grimes family in Harlem during the Depression.
What I thought:
This was a good book, not quite in the same league as Baldwin’s book I have read (Giovanni’s Room), but good nonetheless. It is a semi-autobiographical work of fiction and is quite a bitter read, but also very engaging. There were passages in it that were rather mesmerising and beautifully written, even if the subject itself was filled with anger and other negative emotions at times.
Baldwin wrote this book to make peace with himself about his father and given the events of the book, it is clear why he needed to do that. A powerful book, if a little uncomfortable to read at times.