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am 28. Juni 2017
Beautiful book, I loved reading it and I bought a few as presents for friends who all loved reading it too.
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am 24. Juni 2000
This is the first book I have read by Barbara Kingsolver and, like many other readers, became an immediate fan. I love to read books that take me places where I've never been before and probably will never get to in my lifetime. In Poisonwood Bible, the location is the Belgian Congo and is set in a time when the people of the Congo are seeking independence from Belgium. The novel covers a span of almost 40 years following each of the characters' lives, thoughts, up and downs, and finally their discovery of self and their strengths.
Nathan Price, a missionary, has been sent to convert the heathens in the Congo and brings his wife and four daughters along on his mission. They move from Georgia to the Congo and the scene in which they are packing what they'll need while there is nothing short of a comedic routine. Just picture leaving "junior league" Georgia -- destination "the jungle". I keep remembering the scene where they are told to pack very little so they decide to layer their clothing in order to be able to bring more attire than they could fit in their suitcases. One of the daughters is layered about 5 deep so you can just imagine how hot she is upon her arrival in the Congo.
Kingsolver's descriptions of the heat, destitution, disease, insects and overall political unrest are unparalleled. The plight of the mother Oleanna and her four daughters is told through their own voices chapter by chapter. This is a writing style that I particularly enjoy. Since no voice is given to the father, the reader is left to dislike him intensely as he is protrayed as a religious fanatic as well as a domineering and tyranical husband. The correlation between the African slaves and the obedient wife who becomes a slave to her callous husband's idealogies is duly noted.
There is so much depth to this book that you will find yourself writing down quotes from the book from time to time. While it's sometimes hard to keep a reader's interest going in a book of this magnitude, Kingsolver does it masterfully. Having known nothing of the author prior to this reading, it was obvious throughout that she was making a political statement. I was glad that my eyes were opened to the travesty that exists in this other part of the world. If I have one complaint about the book, it is in the author's note where she is acknowledging individuals for their help and refers to Mumia-Abu-Jamal and states "he read and commented on the manuscript from prison; I'm grateful for his intelligence and courage." She obviously didn't add that he is on death row, convicted of killing a Philadelphia policeman some years ago. This one sentence clouded my ultimate enjoyment of the book before it even started as I can picture the widow and children that this cop left behind. Politics aside, it is a masterful work by a talented and gifted author.
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am 9. Februar 1999
I had just finished Tom Wolfe's masterpiece, "A Man in Full", and wanted to read something that wouldn't be too big a letdown. I was therefore thrilled to find myself immersed in this emotionally gratifying, wonderfully written novel by Kingsolver.
Although the author wears her politics on her sleeve, the tone doesn't become overly preachy and it prompted me to do further research on the history of the Congo. I love novels that teach as well as entertain. Missionaries don't fare particularly well, which may irritate some readers, but those that share the view that it takes a certain arrogance to tell a people that their centuries-old way of worship is wrong will applaud that sentiment here.
An emotional journey.
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am 14. Oktober 2001
Barbara Kingsolver ist eine Meisterin ihres Fachs. Ihre Erzählweise fesselt an jede Zeile des Buches. Man will immer mehr erfahren. Auf keinem Fall will man sich ihrer poetischen Wörterzusammensetzungen entziehen.
Aus der Sicht der Frauen der Price Familie wird diese Familiensaga erzählt, wodurch man als Leser mehrere Perspektiven der gleichen Erfahrung miterlebt. Die Erfahrung als amerikanische Töchter und Ehefrau eines Reverend im unbekannten und zunächst sehr fremden Kongo als Missionare zu landen entlockt den vier Töchtern des Hauses keineswegs die gleichen Empfindungen.
Obwohl das Leben im Kongo nicht einfach ist und keinesfalls bei allen Mitgliedern der Price Familie gleichermassen positiv aufgenommen wird, ist der Kongo stets ein Teil aller Price Mitglieder, sogar lange nach dem Kongo.
Ein sehr empfehlenswerter Roman. Nach "Animal Dream" ein weiterer Höhepunkt Kingsolvers.
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am 1. Juli 2000
I couldn't put this book down, and read it straight through. As of last night at 2 a.m.,it's right up there with "100 Years of Solitude" in my personal favorites fiction list. I liked Kingsolver's earlier books very much, but this book is at another level of excellence, combining a very gripping story line with fabulous descriptive power and a solid historical background. I particularly liked her alternating narrators and was awed by the way this ordinary family's life deteriorated, and then by the survival of the mother and daughters. "Our Father," as Adah calls her earthly fundamentalist father, is one of the most memorably drawn characters I've ever encountered. Every mother out there will want to grab him and shake him. It's possible that some Christian fundamentalists will take issue with his portrayal, but as Christian myself, I found a great deal to ponder in this book. I knew Barbara Kingsolver was a very good writer, but never knew she was a writer of this magnitude. Five stars aren't nearly enough.
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am 8. Januar 2000
I loved this book! I was an adult during the time of Patrice Lumumba. I am so ashamed that it took this work of fiction to awaken me to Congo (Zaire) history. Any book that inspires me to read more about its subject has done its job and more. I loved the five women who narrated their stories and loathed their religious fanatic husband and father. I was awed by the skill and wit it took for the author to create Adah. Remarkable. This is quite a departure for Kingsolver, who usually writes about the American Southwest. Brava!
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am 11. Juni 2000
I have read all of Barbara Kingsolver's novels and, in my opinion, this one is her best. Five different female perspectives are given of a family's Baptist missionary conquest in the Belgian Congo. Their experience in a remote African village affects the characters, all in different ways, for the rest of their lives. Generally their accounts are dark and somewhat frightening but cleverly Kingsolver uses the voice of Rachel, the eldest daugther, to provide satirical comic relief.
The Poisonwood Bible has been frequently criticized for evolving from a well developed and interesting story into a political diatribe. I thought, however, that perhaps Kingsolver was attempting to draw parallels between the actions of one man's religious mission and the intrusion of global superpowers in Africa. Both were manipulative, self serving, and had calamitous results. I believe Kingsolver's intention was to describe the effects of foreign interference on a small scale to illustrate what a disasterous impact western influence has upon Africa on a macro level.
Kingsolver was able to combine a powerful fictious story and use it to help the reader understand the travesty of what much of Africa is presently enduring and why. The read is engaging and exciting while, at the same time, informative and enlightening.
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am 15. Mai 2000
Unlike Kingsolver's other works, The Posionwood Bible takes a firm will at the beginning. It is a challenging read, starting off slow and building to a level of emotional and intellectual density that most novels never achieve. Her other novels require less commitment but as a reader you don't get the same satisfaction. When you put this one down, you'll want to join a book club; you'll ask everyone you know if they've read it and would they like to discuss it. If they have read it, they will want to talk about it. No novel in the past ten years has raised so many questions and conclusions in my mind. This is Kingsolver's finest work, telling not only the physical truth of a missionary's family life in Africa, but a deeper truth about the missionary spirit within us. On the basis of this book I anticipate only better and better novels from Ms. Kingsolver.
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am 28. Oktober 1998
Being a long time fan of Barbara Kingsolver, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of "The Poisonwood Bible". Advance publicity made me aware it was not set in the southwestern United States like her other novels and I wondered if her wonderful style and use of language would translate as well in a new setting.
My concerns were unfounded. Kingsolver writes about what she knows, and as she tells us in the author's notes, she spent time in the Congo as a child with her health care worker parents.
"The Poisonwood Bible" is Kingsolver at her best. Her use of the five female characters as the alternating voices of the novel works beautifully. The reader experiences the events of the story through many different perspectives, the sum of which is a insightful look at life in a country that is effected by a harsh climate and extreme poverty complicated by interference from foreign governments. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story accompanied by information that is thought provoking. It will make you appreciate the advantages we take for granted in the United States.
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am 19. Januar 1999
The Poisonwood Bible is a wonderfully written account of four sisters and their mother who have been taken to the Congo at the whim of their hypocritically religious, missionary father. I found the book extremely easy to read, and even easier to enjoy.
I really enjoyed the books diversity...using each girl's/woman's perspective to narrate different situations. I particularly enjoyed how the characters evolved into completely different people as their experience in the Congo affected them. They became what they never expected.
This was not the best book I have ever read, but it was close. I found myself enjoying the authors choice of words, as well as her symbolism. I definitely forgot myself, and became an observer of the family as it struggled in the foreign environment of the Congo.
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