The Book of Night Women

The Book of Night Women is a sweeping, startling novel, a true tour de force of both voice and storytelling It is the story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century Even at her birth, the slave women around her recognize a dark power that they and she will come to both revere and fear The Night Women, as they callThe Book of Night Women is a sweeping, startling novel, a true tour de force of both voice and storytelling It is the story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century Even at her birth, the slave women around her recognize a dark power that they and she will come to both revere and fear The Night Women, as they call themselves, have long been plotting a slave revolt, and as Lilith comes of age and reveals the extent of her power, they see her as the key to their plans But when she begins to understand her own feelings and desires and identity, Lilith starts to push at the edges of what is imaginable for the life of a slave woman in Jamaica, and risks becoming the conspiracy s weak link Lilith s story overflows with high drama and heartbreak, and life on the plantation is rife with dangerous secrets, unspoken jealousies, inhuman violence, and very human emotion between slave and master, between slave and overseer, and among the slaves themselves Lilith finds herself at the heart of it all And all of it told in one of the boldest literary voices to grace the page recently and the secret of that voice is one of the book s most intriguing mysteries.
The Book of Night Women The Book of Night Women is a sweeping startling novel a true tour de force of both voice and storytelling It is the story of Lilith born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of th

  • Title: The Book of Night Women
  • Author: Marlon James Robin Miles
  • ISBN: 9780143144403
  • Page: 437
  • Format: Audio CD
  • 1 thought on “The Book of Night Women”

    1. Updated review (November 8, 2015) "Every negro walk in a circle. Take that and make of it what you will. A circle like the sun, a circle like the moon, a circle like bad tidings that seem gone but always, always come back.”- Marlon James, The Book of Night WomenWhen I first read this book in 2012, I didn’t think I would ever read it again. The depictions of violence were really hard to read, mainly because I knew that although they were fictional, they were probably very representative of wh [...]

    2. It is a rare author that could make me like and remain interested in, even after I finished the book, a character who killed a lot of people, including burning children alive. It is the first book I've ever read about slaves where I understood slavery from the slaves point of view. I've read many slave memoirs where I have sympathised, been terribly moved and angry at the injustice, but I've never really understood how slaves carved out lives within the tiny sphere of self-determination they wer [...]

    3. this book hurts. in so many ways. initially, it hurts to get acclimated to the narrator's voice. whenever i read books written in dialect it always takes me at least 40 pages to start to get the hang of it (i curse you, irvine welsh!!) and then it hurts because it's such a raw and bloody depiction of the physical and emotional bullshit of slavery. and then after it's all done, it hurts that it's so well written, you just want more of it. so i'm awfully glad i broke my promise about "not buying a [...]

    4. "We not getting free, we taking free."OUT. FUCKING. STANDING.This book floored me. Seriously. I was so stunned by the time I finished that I couldn't sleep for a while, even though I had to be to work on set at 6am the following day! The Book of Night Women is the best coming of age novel I've encountered; it really is unlike anything I've read before. Night Women, Marlon James's second novel, follows a mulatto girl named Lilith, who is born into slavery in late 18th-century Jamaica, and the eve [...]

    5. well, the 'question of evil' has plagued philosophers thinkers and all the rest of us ordinary folk since, i'd imagine, we were first capable of thought: how can god allow such horrible shit to go down? is the horribleness of humanity proof that god doesn't exist? as a wee lad in hebrew school i was told that we simply cannot understand what god is up to, that the whole enterprise of trying to figure god's motives was corrupted with inferior - that is, 'human' - logic "so don't even bother tryin [...]

    6. I dnf'd this book because I swapped to audio (proper review there). I wanted to read this book because of this review which made me laugh:"I have spent the last week or so with words going through my brain that one cannot use in the real world. There was not only the oft-repeated word for a black person that was common in the 18th century, but there was constant use of the c-word and the p-word for female genitalia and the c-word for mail genitalia and the f-word for what the f-word really means [...]

    7. Truly powerful stuff. And harrowing report of human misery. The novel is literally dripping with abuse and violence both verbal and physical. Directed at slaves. But there is a slave and slave.The book of night women is about inhuman, barbarous treatment and punishing system, it’s about cruelty and humiliation delivered not only by masters but also by slaves to themselves, men to women, women to women. The story told here is a spiral of terror and brutality. It’s nothing like saccharine pict [...]

    8. UPDATEI just finished rereading this and some of my thoughts have shifted a bit. I had last given this book 5 stars. This time I'm giving it 4 stars. The author has a weird obsession with lady parts. He must have implemented his obsession with lady parts in at least every other page of this novel and almost every time it brought nothing to the plot. I will do a new review later but for now my old one is below."Every negro walk in a circle. Take that and make of it what you will."To call this boo [...]

    9. This song was running through my head for most of the second half of the book.But no one ever changed the church by pulling down a steepleAnd you'll never change the system by bombing number tenSystems just aren't made of bricks they're mostly made of peopleYou may send them into hiding, but they'll be back againMovements are systems and systems kill(some ramblings about politics has been excised here)Following the general theories of Marx, and discounting Rousseau's mythology about the noble sa [...]

    10. Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. -- African proverbIn 1750 or thereabouts, a British man named Thomas Thistlewood became restless after failing to establish himself as a farmer (would you expect a genius to take to farming?), boarded a ship headed for Jamaica, arrived to find a land quite welcoming to white folks (despite the fact that 95% of the countryside population was black), and settled in for the life he so richly deserved. Thistlewood [...]

    11. 4.5/5Who is there when we recall great womens? My name write in blood and me don't answer to it much.1785 was the year of the birth of Grimm and De Quincey and a character named Lilith, apparently. Some of that can be taught in grade school and some of it cannot, although that barrier evaporates soon enough judging by the conniptions people are throwing over the concept of trigger warnings. Rape. Murder. Systematic savagery. The stuff of modern day dystopias and zombie adventures except it alrea [...]

    12. Night Women Awaken Jamaican Slave Revolt4.5 starsSet against the backdrop of a lush Jamaican sugar plantation in the early 19th Century, the novel follows the life of Lilith born to a slave mother, sired by a white master, who seems to have powers of darkness. After fending off a rape, she is sent from her adoptive slave mother in the fields to slave in the plantation house. Despite being warned by the mother-figure slave in the house not to try to ingratiate herself to the new master newly arri [...]

    13. The Jamaican patois, narrated by Robin Miles, is remarkable. I was able to find this audiobook at Downpour!If you choose to read this book, you simply must read this version narrated by Robin Miles, but you must pay close attention. The Jamaican patois isn't the easiest to follow, but it is worth the effort. The narration adds to the value of the book. You are a slave and you HATE the English estate owners, particularly Miss Isabelle. I do at least. I want to slap her and The different characte [...]

    14. Jesus, what a book. This book is absolutely unflinching in its portrayal of slavery in 18th century Jamaica. Vicious prose, and in-your-face, no-holds-barred detail. It's also completely dedicated to voice and perspective, and the choices James made here are exquisitely laudable. It also weaves a beautiful story amid tragic characters, with enough sensory language to make you cringe. This is, absolutely, a book about what it means to make choices.There are three things I'll say about this book:1 [...]

    15. This book was amazing.Utterly devastating, but amazing.Now I need to read and own everything else Marlon James has written or will ever write.

    16. This book was AMAZING!!!! It was one of the few books I never wanted to put down and I even finished it in my designated book loan time period.Warning this book is very graphic, language and imagery. What was the most powerful part of the book and of James' narrative was he described perfectly a system of oppression that you still see in today's society. The destruction of communities, pitting one person against another, the internalized oppression, you still see that today. I also really liked [...]

    17. This book was amazing. I often get caught on an idea about what makes a good book and then books like The Book of Night Women comes along and basically says "No, THIS is what makes a good book". I appreciate how deliberate James was with his character development. I was concerned throughout the book that Homer would be some magical Negro that would be there to perform her superhero magic and save the day, but then we get into her flaws and I loved her complexity more and more as the book progres [...]

    18. This was quite some book. The Book of Night Women takes the reader to turn-of-the-19th-Century Jamaica, rife with sugar plantations, racial unrest and the height of slavery. The account is well-written, allowing the reader to see the good and evil of all races. James drops a love story in the midst of all the darkness and turmoil of the historical background. The character of Lilith is excellent and James excels as showing her growth as a person, confusion and strength.Dialect: The entire book i [...]

    19. How did this book not win eleventy literary prizes? I am still trying to formulate ways to verbalize how powerful this story and its telling are. Most importantly to me, it's a book that centers its female characters and imbues them with incredible depths of feeling. It tears open the glossy narrative of the noble slave and reminds us that enslaved people are above all, below all, people. With the possibility of greatness and pettiness and kindness and cruelty. And it strips bare any attempts to [...]

    20. This is the worst book I've ever read in my life.I cannot discuss it without giving "spoilers," but I will say this: slave narratives are not the place to be fucking around.James' language is crude, vile and lends nothing to the narrative. The narrative is hinged on over romanticized relationships between slaves and slave masters. In a very trite attempt to trouble the discourse or spark a nuanced discussion, Marlon James has successfully belittled the politics of enslaved black women of this ti [...]

    21. I'm going to comment first on the audio production of this book. Wow. I was sucked in by Robin Miles' voice from the first sentence. She narrates everything except the dialogue in a Caribbean accent that is absolutely hypnotic. Her voicing of the various characters' dialogue is impeccable. The book is full of extremely graphic imagery and vulgar language, but Ms. Miles makes it sound so musical. I would give the audio a five-star rating.Now, on to the text. The Book of Night Women is absolutely [...]

    22. Now I've read all of Marlon James' 3 novels and this one is my favorite, followed closely by A Brief History of Seven Killings. What I appreciate the most about The Book of Night Women is the complexity James captures of a horrific time - slavery. The slaves in this book are not depicted as helpless victims. Even after harm has been done to them, they still think about revenge. Also not all the blacks are united against the whites. There are fights between the black and the white, but also betwe [...]

    23. OK, close enough to the end of 2017 for me to determine my favourite reads. The Book of Night Women is my 2017 BEST FICTION.This book gets a lot of literary praise - and it is hard to argue with that. It is exceptionally well crafted, with an intricately woven story, with very realistic events, and graphic violence. I really enjoyed the written dialect, which was consistent and easy to pick up on, but lent a truer voice to the narrator.The brutal life of a slave, almost impossible to survive, is [...]

    24. Very gripping, powerful and (at least to me) fresh take on slavery in Jamaica. I liked (in addition to the heartpoundingly intense narrative tension) the refusal to deal in simplistic good and evil -- both the black and white characters are multi-dimensional (if almost uniformly violent). Some have complained about the harshness of both the story and the language but, c'mon, slavery wasn't pretty. The brutality in this book was nightmare inducing but necessary to tell the story. Only not a 5 sta [...]

    25. 'Every negro walk in a circle. Take that and make of it what you will.'This book will stay with me for a long time.

    26. . Outstanding! "The Book of Night Women" by Marlon James is an outstanding novel set on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the turn of the 19th Century. The story centers around a slave named Lilith and the people (both slaves and free) around her. As the story unfolds, a group of female slaves are the center of the action - the male slave characters are undeveloped and peripheral in this novel. I listened to the audiobook. The narrator, Robin Miles, is outstanding. If you have trouble reading Jamai [...]

    27. This is a brilliant book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I've never heard of the author before but i've never really read a book like this before either, in fact its probably one of a kind. Marlon James sets out the story of the slaves of the Montpelier sugar can plantation. Told from the perspective of the night women, Callisto, Lillith, Gorgon, Homer, Iphigenia, Hippolyta and Pallas who plan a slave revolt aiming to overthrow the white massa and create a republic. The story deals with ev [...]

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