52 in 52 Week 17: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Click image to view full cover While reading this book, I thought, "I feel like I am reading William Faulkner."  When I was done with reading this, I read somewhere (now I can't remember where) about how she loved Faulkner and Woolf (She wrote her master's thesis on them). 

I read As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner when Oprah had a challenge of reading three Faulkner books over the summer. I spent my anniversary reading him at a beautiful hotel on the beach. What a way to ruin a perfect anniversary! Notice I only read two. I refused to read the third (even though I am addicted to closure and finishing what I start) because I disliked the first two so much. The only Woolf I have read is Mrs. Dalloway. I didn't dislike her as much as Faulkner, but she is not my favorite author. 

I didn't like the style of this book. It also had some graphically sexual parts that made me want to throw up. ICK! It was also very confusing and jumped all over the place. It seemed like a horrible attempt at a first novel. Her later ones were more critically acclaimed and awarded. I read Song of Solomon many years ago, and I liked it much better. 

Here is one quote:

 Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love. The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glare of the lover’s inward eye.
I read a review by Whisper1 at www.librarything.com that contain my sentiment exactly:
O, Toni Morrison, you mystify me. You are a Nobel Prize winner in literature, a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award and have received countless accolades. 
The number of books I've read in 55 years could stretch into many miles. I consider myself astute, intelligent and savvy in working with words, yet, whenever I read one of your books I feel perplexed and stunned. 
When reading The Bluest Eyes I was enthralled by the pure beauty of your words and then, wham, felt cold water thrown on the pages as once again I grew weary of the violence, of the savage depiction of black culture, and my struggle to understand why your vivid images lack poignancy. 
You make your point about the struggles, the hatred, the every day beating down and the difficulty of surviving, then you literally hammer it home until I feel bruised beyond healing. 
No doubt you are a well deserving winner. But, also, no doubt I won't read another of your books. Dec 10, 2011 |

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