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October Books 5) The Color Purple

5) The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

My Unread Books Project has not delivered me a barrel of laughs so far, and I have to say that my heart sank as the narrator is raped at the age of fourteen on the first page; Oh no, I thought, it's Beloved all over again. But in fact this turns into a really heartwarming story of triumph against economic and emotional adversity, of love and laughter overcoming the obstacles of gender and racial segregation. It was also (as the last in a reading programme which included The System of the World and The Brothers Karamazov) really short, only 244 pages. In fact, of the ten books I have read as a result of my pledge to make my "unread" list less embarrassing, I think this is the only one I have unequivocally enjoyed. (I did wonder to what extent the African bits were a response to Things Fall Apart.)


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
About 12 years ago I came across The Colour Purple in the library & read it because I thought I should, and, like you, ended up enjoying it immensely.
Oct. 19th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC)
I have the movie on DVD, but I quite disliked the book, actually. It's hard for me to articulate why... I think it has to do with the dramatic tension being better in the film, and its storyline being more "accessible" overall. I also like Whoopi Goldberg a lot.

I didn't like Beloved, either. It left me so confused and frustrated that I metaphorically threw it against the wall -- and I never picked it back up.
Oct. 19th, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
I saw the film ages ago and quite liked it (yes, yes, philistine me) and eventually got around to reading the book and enjoyed it. The writing style and the overall message of the book kinda made it through my hardcore shell of fantasy, scifi and erotica and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I kinda regret that it was a library book and that I didn't buy it.
Oct. 19th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
Oh no, I thought, it's Beloved all over again.

Or The Lovely Bones for that matter.
Oct. 20th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
I read it at 18 and loved it. Since then I've been worried that it had a very 18 sensibility. Glad to hear you liked it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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