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The Long Song
by Andrea Levy | Literature & Fiction
Registered by tqd of Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, November 28, 2010
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by livrecache): available


5 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, November 28, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Registering this for Fleebo's Man Booker Prize reading challenge, it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2010.

Haven't heard great things about this one, but I did love Small Island, so I'm still hoping!

Potential Participants (order not set in stone, feel free to pass it along as it suits, and I'll try to remember to update this accordingly!):

jubby
goodthinkingmax
miss-jo
Fleebo
livrecache
FreePages 


Journal Entry 2 by tqd at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, January 14, 2011

7 out of 10


The Long Song is a novel about slavery in Jamaica, on the sugar plantations. While there is pain in some of the stories related (as one would expect of a novel involving slavery), it's actually much more amusing than one would expect. This is thanks, in no small part, to the voice of the narrator, Miss July, who was born a slave on a plantation and who becomes a free woman after slavery is abolished. Miss July is cheeky and intelligent, talks directly to the reader, gives us several versions of stories before settling on the "true" one (talk about an unreliable narrator!), and refuses at times to dwell overly long on misery and despair.

But the story is at times heartbreakingly sad, and Miss July is avoiding some of her tale not just to spare our sensibilities, but to avoid having to relieve it herself.

It's not a perfect book. I swear some sentences made no sense, even on third and fourth readings, and it's not due to Miss July's voice, but to some overly long and complex sentences where I'd forgotten where we were at the start by the time I got to the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story, and liked Miss July as a character very much, she really brought it all to life.

I'm catching up with some bookcrossers for lunch on Monday, I'll pass this along then. 


Journal Entry 3 by jubby at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, January 17, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Received from TQD over a rather nice lunch today.

Thank you. 


Journal Entry 4 by goodthinkingmax at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, March 27, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Received today from Jubby at very pleasant drinks (too many!) for TQD's Birthday. Thank you. Will start reading soon. 


Journal Entry 5 by goodthinkingmax at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, June 14, 2011

7 out of 10

I read this ages ago and mostly enjoyed it apart from being aggravated by the little interludes such as "Reader, my story is at an end. Close up this book and go about your day"; "Reader come with me to peer through a window of the great house". This mechanism irks me whenever it appears in books! July's story on the plantation was engrossing enough. 


Journal Entry 6 by Fleebo at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Hijacked on its way to miss-jo. Thanks! 


Journal Entry 7 by Fleebo at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, October 28, 2011

7 out of 10

I had a hard time with this book, demonstrated by how long I have taken to read it. All of the characters are such believable products of their time, both the slaves and masters, that it was really distasteful. Which I suppose is the point - and it was certainly artfully done, and I admire that. I'm not certain what I think about the character of Thomas - the message seems to be that education turns you white, which is disconcerting. The author's afterword is definitely worth a read too.
I have just been reading a lot of reviews and responses to the movie version of "The Help", and although the 1800s Jamaican experience is obviously not the same thing, "The Long Song" strikes me as being far more honest.
Over to the right is a Bookish Quote from Thomas Jefferson: "I cannot live without books." Heh... I do believe that the man had a slave mistress himself, and several children by her, and thought himself quite the progressive for it. 


Journal Entry 8 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Thanks, Kristie. This book arrived today. I'm looking forward to reading it, as I loved Small Island. I don't read comments until I've read the book. 


Journal Entry 9 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Friday, December 02, 2011

7 out of 10

Hmmm, I finished this book last night. I have to agree with goodthinkingmax's comment. I found the device "Reader etc" a tad trying. Overall, I found the book very interesting, but it took me a long time to read it, which is unusual when I'm interested by something. I think it did have to do with the style.
And I found the author's comments at the end really interesting. I wonder whether it would have affected my reading of the book had they been at the beginning.
I'll contact Freepages now. 




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