Tar Baby

Tar Baby A magnificent novel from the Nobel Prize winning author of Beloved Morrison probes deeply and sensitively into the relationships between blacks and whites blacks and blacks and women and men in thi

  • Title: Tar Baby
  • Author: Toni Morrison
  • ISBN: 9780452264793
  • Page: 108
  • Format: Paperback
  • A magnificent novel from the Nobel Prize winning author of Beloved Morrison probes deeply and sensitively into the relationships between blacks and whites, blacks and blacks, and women and men, in this raw, emotionally intense narrative set in a rainforest paradise.

    One thought on “Tar Baby”

    1. "The island exaggerated everything. Too much light. Too much shadow. Too much rain. Too much foliage and much too much sleep."- Toni Morrison, Tar BabyI think the tropical Caribbean setting and all the talk of candy and flowers fooled me into thinking that this would be one of Toni Morrison's simpler reads. It turns out that like with most Toni Morrison books, it's impossible to summarize everything; there's just too much to talk about.In this novel we meet retired rich American Valerian Street [...]

    2. Toni Morrison is amazing. She is the greatest of all time (in my opinion); but really, which other author could keep me entertained and awestruck on Every single page for five consecutive books? I must preface all reviews of her writings with total praise and veneration because her work demands nothing less. I did not expect this since Tar Baby is one of her less popular books, but as it turns out this is my favorite of her books so far and not only that, it is now one of my favorite books, Peri [...]

    3. i have a great idea for a wildly over-the-top romance novel. slap a likeness of blair underwood on the cover, airbrush some dreadlocks on his head, a tropical landscape in the back… ready? ready: crazy dreadlocked black man is found hiding in the closet of a wealthy white couple’s carribean house. rather than take him to the police, Valerian Street (the white millionaire) invites him to dinner. now check it: Valerian and Margaret (a former beauty queen!) have two black servants who have a ni [...]

    4. The opening of this book was a complete surprise to me as a moderately seasoned TM reader – it felt just like the start of an action movie, some kind of spy thriller, only infused with poetic beauty. Something of this atmosphere persisted; perhaps because of Valerian, the white millionaire, who somehow wears an arch-villain halo even when he’s being likeable. I also found the dialogue sparky and often humorous, the tone frequently lightSo is it a light book? Noooooo of course not. From the t [...]

    5. I'm wondering how many 1 and 2 star ratings came from readers thinking this would be a good Caribbean vacation beach read. I also wonder how many of them were clueless to the meaning of the term "tar baby". Sigh There should be no need to discuss that, it's rather obvious that, well, ALL the characters, black, white and mulatto, were tar babies. Inextricably stuck to who they are, no matter where they are, they cannot escape themselves, their pasts, their childhoods. In fact, WE ARE ALL tar babi [...]

    6. Everyone knows that Beloved is Toni Morrison's most famous work, but I would argue that Tar Baby is better. There are so many relationships in this book and so many layers to each of those relationships. Love, sex, race, gender, class, ethnicity, even geographyere isn't much Morrison doesn't take on in this beautiful story. And, of course, there are always those heart-stopping passages that Morrison's writing never fails to produce. Tar Baby is an absolute must-read, and if you have the privileg [...]

    7. Pretty much any possible interaction between blacks and whites, rich and poor, man and woman, is played out in this novel - there are no real resolutions and some of the relationships are wildly overplayed, but overall this is an incredible piece of literature that I could see spending an entire semester on in college. It is basically the story of the rich white Valerian who retires to the Caribbean where his much younger wife broods over the absence of her college-aged son who is racked by whit [...]

    8. This is my fifth Toni Morrison novel (after Beloved, Jazz, The Bluest Eye, and Paradise). I'm on the fence about this one. On one hand, "Tar Baby" is a meaty study for students of literature, appropriate for various levels of engagement. On the other hand, I couldn't wait to get through it. I have little patience for theatrics, which became a problem when the cast walked in with their inner monologue and dialogue-heavy scenes. The most intriguing characters are the locals of Dominique, but I was [...]

    9. Not a bad book, there are some things that I'm still working out and I'm waiting for the rest of the book club to come together so I can get a better handle on the story. Right now, 3 stars, but I'm giving it room to grow upon considerable reflection.

    10. I simply can't stomach a book in which I'm expected to accept that a woman falls in love with a man who essentially sexually assaults her, and whose justification for it is explicitly that he was so in awe of her that he needed to debase her.This is the core of the "romantic relationship" at the center of this book, and while the book is critical of the gender dynamics in Jadine and Son's relationship as they attempt to sort out whose world they will live in and whose relationship model they wil [...]

    11. After reading Morrison's Tar Baby I felt slighted. Although I know that a perfect resolution is not required, I felt as though she left the primary characters' conflicts unresolved. Jadine and Son especially. Maybe I am a hopeless romantic and wished for them to make it, for their love to sustain them where ever they traveled, whether from Isle des Chevaliers, New York, Eloe to Paris. The situation on Isle des Chevaliers, at Valerian's house seemed a bit more tidied up. Morrison conveyed a sense [...]

    12. This is a solid, high three stars. I found this novel, unlike Song of Solomon and God Help the Child, to have not one clear direction and to ask important questions about too many topics. I enjoyed the writing style and the setting, but no one character really gripped me. I was also unsatisfied by the ambiguous ending. I really enjoyed this, but don't expect to remember Tar Baby as I have the other Morrisons I've read.

    13. If you don't think Toni Morrison is the greatest just go ahead and unfriend me because I don't like you and I want to fight you.

    14. It's a bit awkward for me to write a good review for anything Toni Morrison has written, if only because, after I read Beloved, I condemned her. But Tar Baby was far different than anything I suffered through in her most popular novel. In fact, almost everything I hated about Beloved was almost nonexistent in this book.To compare the two novels doesn't make sense because while Beloved is set in Reconstruction America, Tar Baby is mostly set in circa 1970s Caribbean with a few sprinkles of the De [...]

    15. I enjoyed it. The writing was beautiful and poetic like always. However, I did find some paragraphs too bulky. It made the pacing slow and hard to follow at times. The characters were all interesting. I sympathized with everyone's flaws. The leading character, Jadine, comes crossed as selfish and oblivious to her social surroundings and politics. She was very disconnected from her culture and community. I found her character to be complex. Son was a type of guy you would like to hate but can't. [...]

    16. Tar Baby by Toni MorrisonIt’s a poem, really in spite of the brilliant characterizations, dead-on dialogue, penetrating observations, toxic lover’s quarrels, and tender romance. It’s really a poem an allegory. Son, a handsome, intelligent, but uneducated black man from Eloe, a small town in north Florida, jumps ship in the Caribbean and eventually ends up on a small island called Isle des Chevaliers (Island of the horseman). He’s on the run, has committed a crime, and is tired of worryin [...]

    17. The characters coloring this narrative, from the elusive Marys to the vibrant yet disturbing Jadine, weave a tale of love like I've never experienced, but have always wanted. Love forbidden by the strictures of societal morality. Love unbound by the warm caresses of Caribbean nights. The story of this book belongs in a summer sands novel, but the words writhe on the page, dragging the reader into a world of pain and devastation which could essentially change the way you speak to the people who s [...]

    18. Wow, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and eloquence in this book. The relationship between and within races and sexes and cultures is so incredibly insightful. Toni does not hold back comments that might make the reader ouncomfortable and i found myself laughing at the reality of the characters reactions (specifically to finding Son in the closet). I have to admit i was infuriated by the lack of closure to the booki got to the last sentence praying that there was another chapter hiding so [...]

    19. I haven't read all of Toni Morrison's novels (Sula, Paradise, Love) but I have read most of them. Out of her novels that I've read, Tar Baby is easily the most digestible. Not to say that it doesn't have depth, it's just a little easier to read and more mainstream. If someone came up to me and said they wanted to start reading Morrison, and I knew they weren't strong, attentive readers, I would definitely recommend this book.It's her most modern book. The story takes place during the '70s, and i [...]

    20. This book almost seemed like a fable or allegory. There are the rich white couple,Valerian and Margaret, who take their black servants for granted and except for the old retainers, Sydney and Ondine,don't even bother to learn their names,calling one "Yardman" and one "Mary" even though that isn't her name.Sydney and Ondine are the faithful black servants who have been in service all their lives and know their place. Their niece, Jade, thanks to Valerian and Margaret, has gottenan education and a [...]

    21. I wish I could give it 3 1/2 because I really did enjoy reading it's definitly a page turner, but I just couldn't get past the fact that although it was really character driven, I didn't think it was plot driven. There were a lot of themes and sub plots I didn't feel were really explained or tied together into the main story. And the main story was? Well that was a little confusing as well, it starts out seeming to be about valerian and Margaret, and then completely turns into a story about the [...]

    22. My personal opinion on the book? Well, I believe that the book was terrible and I would not recommend this book to anyone. I say that because the book was altogether irrelevant and I did not understand why it was written. To add fuel to the fire, it was boring. There was no action whatsoever and the first few chapters of the book was meaningless. If I had to give the book a rating out of 5 stars, I would literally give it a 1 star. I would give it that because at least she tried to write somethi [...]

    23. Morrison's progression from The Bluest Eye (a masterpiece, for sure) to Tar Baby, written a few years later, shows her deepening ability to weave together histories and geographies through compelling characters and an amazing story. The real jewel of Tar Baby is Morrison's ability to show the relationships between a wealthy white man (Valerian) who lives in a mansion in the Caribbean, his Black servants and their adopted daughter whose college was paid for Valerian, a fugitive Black man from the [...]

    24. the best novel ever written in my opinion! the significance of black female sexuality and the relevance of love in everything that we do and every decision we make.

    25. Another one of Toni Morrison down. This was a good book to read, and I actually found myself hooked to it quite a few times, and rooting for the protagonists when their circumstances and their incompatibility was trying to tear their love apart. Overall, I read it off as a family drama, with only a few bits and pieces of the issues of race, when our protagonists go to an all black village of Eloe in Florida. So I had to use some shmoop to understand that the Title is an allusion to a southern fo [...]

    26. A mysterious stranger upends a family.Book Review: Tar Baby is the archetypal story of the stranger, the outsider, the Other, who enters, exposes, and disrupts the settled but hidden dysfunctional workings of a family. In doing so he exposes the mixed attitudes that blacks and whites have about whites and blacks. At the same time, while not a "beach read," it is the most accessible, easiest, and closest to fun of any of my Toni Morrison reads. As much as I recognize her immense talent (hey, she [...]

    27. As with brown girl dreaming, I thought that this month was a perfect time to start reading through my Toni Morrison shelf. I'm trying to read all her books in chronological order of publication which means doing some rereads. I'd started reading Tar Baby way back in July last year, but when I got ill I found I just couldn't get back into it. It's not that anything particularly distressing happens in this book, but Morrison's writing is so intense that when I was ill I felt like it was overwhelmi [...]

    28. After reading Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye many years ago and Sula more recently, both set in small towns in Ohio, I wasn’t expecting the setting of this 1985 novel. It didn’t matter, however, for as soon as I started reading, I was caught up and propelled by her wonderful writing. The story is set primarily on a private Island in the Caribbean where a claustrophobic atmosphere permeates the vacation home of a rich white couple, Valerian and Margaret whose relationship is dysfunctional, [...]

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