Mumbo Jumbo

Mumbo Jumbo This novel examines the African American culture and its deflation

  • Title: Mumbo Jumbo
  • Author: Ishmael Reed
  • ISBN: 9780689707308
  • Page: 198
  • Format: Paperback
  • This novel examines the African American culture and its deflation.

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      198 Ishmael Reed
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      Posted by:Ishmael Reed
      Published :2019-03-05T19:57:12+00:00

    1 thought on “Mumbo Jumbo”

    1. Reed is the sort of impish satirical crank whose Promethean intellect and restlessly zesty creativity tingles my funnybones, but whose books always leave me yearning for more logic, understanding and clarity. No exception here. This one is your all-out postmodern “metatext,” splicing citations and references and photos from other texts into the body of the main text—a satire about a dancing pandemic called Jes Grew—and despite the presentational panache of the novel, nestling beneath is [...]

    2. Dionysian counter=punch to the Apollonian order enjoyed by all Atonists. It swings! To say we have it coming is an understatement. I had it coming, what with after all that faith=in=fiction mumbo jumbo I was jiving upon reading my Mano Mano Mano. Makes no difference what I say. Jes Grew is upon you. You know I’ll tell history different. But that’s cuz I’m a stuff’d shirt. Besides, Osiris is no more dead or alive than Odin and Zeus ; and ancient Egypt still makes for great fiction, and fi [...]

    3. Mumbo Jumbo is an innovative novel with it's own original voice, which unfortunately turns rather clunky somewhere in the middle, and doesn't quite recover in the end. The strength of the novel is in its playfulness. There are some good parodic moments, and while the book indulges in some far flights of fancy in developing its conspiracy theories, it knows how to have fun with its own conceits, rather than deliver its material too dryly.There are certainly messages of social relevance within the [...]

    4. Some great, witty, justifiably angry writing here, and some wonderful use of fragmentation and sampling but somehow it never cohered for me and, at times, I did actually find my interest waning a little, which is not a good sign for such a short book

    5. I'm often leery when friends of mine lend me their favorite books. How soon do you expect me to read this? You know I have a stack of books the size of an end table still to read, right? What if, though this has never before happened in the 25+ years I've been a regular reader, I should lose or damage the book? Most intimidating of all, what if I don't like the read or what if I find it to be so bad that my opinion of you as a friend is changed due to your devotion to these pages? After more tha [...]

    6. For various and sundry reasons, it took me over twenty years after finding out about it to read this book. I advise you not to procrastinate as long as I did. Challenging, hilarious, thought-provoking, and still utterly relevant, MUMBO JUMBO leaves you wondering where "Jes' Grew" is growing now, and just how off the tracks our cultural train may be running. If I could find Mr. Reed's contact info, I'd write him; the book will foster loads of questions. If you have read it, I suggest you check ou [...]

    7. A challenging and jubilatory postmodern (re)vision of the mythical powers that be, MJ is a short but intense ride through the underbelly of the jousting hidden forces shaping history, religion, culture, and race relations, and it all comes to a head in the jazzy arena of 1920's Harlem:After a first flair-up in 1890's New Orleans, HooDoo/Voodoo forces are once again alive and on the rise as Jes Grew, the 'psychic virus' spreads and infects its carriers with the irresistable urge to jam, dance, an [...]

    8. Ishmael Reed takes a lot of Pynchonian ideas (massive conspiracy theory, fundamental novelty) and puts a distinct Afro-futurist spin on them, and the result is phenomenal. What makes "Mumbo Jumbo" unique is its remarkable merger of formal experiment (incorporation of visual material, novel typography, freewheeling plot structure) and sheer enjoyment. I've never had more fun demanding the downfall of static white society.

    9. The writing in here is impressive on a language level, and it is definitely thought provoking at the same time that it's entertaining. I had a bit of an easier time with this one than The Free-Lance Pallbearers. That, of course, doesn't speak to the quality of the work or how interesting it is, just how approachable it was for me. Both books make me intrigued about Ishmael Reed as a writer and I'll definitely pick up something else of his at some point. A very skilled writer with significant thi [...]

    10. Another one of those life-altering books. Takes two of my favorite things, satire and history, and completely turned it on its head. I don't know what kind of writer I'd be without Ishmael Reed.

    11. "Time is a pendulum. Not a river. More akin to what goes around comes around." Mumbo Jumbo be our current politic or realpolitik and Jes Grew and it Templars still banging in da streets all over dis land, lordy we gots troubles many don't kid yerselves shit going down. Da pendulum done swung and we swamped like this here book will eat yer lunch and spit it out. Readit and weep. Out ya'll.

    12. In brief: Mumbo Jumbo tracks the growing infestation of "Jes Grew" from Chicago eastward as it heads to 1920s NYC. Everyone in the Harlem Renaissance is at least named, and often appears in a scene or two. Cab Calloway. Langston Hughes. What Jes Grew is is a need to dance and shake your booty, and it turns out that this urge has been suppressed by a certain fascistic group dating back to Ancient Egypt. The Knights Templar—so beloved by a lot of backward looking storytellers nowadays—are pain [...]

    13. Here is the template for Conspiracy Operas like Illuminatus! and Foucault's Pendulum. A fast, funny, poetic read that offers yet another parable for the Way Things Work Behind the Scene. This is the novel that set the pace. The idea of Jes Grew is so convincing that I think I may have been stricken with it. That's all- gone muggin'.

    14. What a tasty gumbo MUMBO JUMBO by Ishmael Reed is! It’s so thick I’m tempted to eat it with a fork, but I’m going a use a spoon, so I can get every last drop! It’s chock full of story, images, excepts, news items, memos, letters, history, mystery, myth, all glued together with hoodoo, which is to say magic. It reads like John Dos Passos’ USA TRILOGY, with its kaleidoscopic collage technique, but it’s a lot funkier and funnier. Who says you can’t laugh at white supremacy? This is th [...]

    15. Published in 1972 but set in the 1920s it's one of the best novels of Ismael's 50-year writing career and is written in a free stying jazz style to match the jazz era it brings to life. Photographs, newspaper cuttings, handwritten notes and footnotes all feature throughout. The style is sometimes hard to follow, sometimes frustrating but in the end, it's rewarding and leaves you feeling slightly inebriated. Mumbo Jumbo is a work of slightly absurd and unfettered imagination.

    16. Let's talk about "Jes Grew," the mysterious ethos ubiquitous among the dramatis personae in Reed's Mumbo Jumbo. Let's recognize three phases of it, before the press of reforming Christianity in the First Reconstruction; during the period of the minstrel hall performer "blacking up"; and in the variegated cultural historiography of the "recording" era -- essentially, what got down onto disc between 1891 and the height of the record industry boom from which the Satirist narrates his Dunciad -- let [...]

    17. Mumbo Jumbo es un libro original y exótico. Nos habla del Harlem de hace un siglo; nos habla de doctrinas religiosas y espiritistas traídas de África y Oriente Medio y su influencia sobre el pueblo estadounidense; nos habla de guerras injustas (¡como si hubiese otras!) de países ricos contra países pobres; nos habla de la necesidad de salirnos del canon judeocristiano y nuestro entendimiento americano-centrista del mundo.¿Y cómo lo hace? Con mucha gracia: hay espíritus que poseen cuerpo [...]

    18. I decided to give this three stars based on my own stupidity. Quite frankly, I didn't understand a lot of what was going on in this book. I'm planning on updating my review post book club meeting next week. Maybe my fellow readers can shed some light on Mumbo Jumbo for me.I had a tough time discerning what was based on historical fact and what was fictional. I thought the book was set in the early 1920s but there are references to the stock market crash having already taken place. But the book d [...]

    19. 3.75 Stars. I'm not sure if I could give it 4, but it definitely deserves more than 3.It starts off very confusingly, much like Flight to Canada. There are so many references to history and literature, especially ones that I didn't know super well that it makes it seem like Reed is telling an inside joke. As you get further on in the story you start to realize you're now on the inside and it's no longer confusing. By the time you finish the book you feel good about where you are versus where you [...]

    20. Quite a wonderful novel; perhaps not perfect, but wildly imaginative and inspiring. Is it complex? Yeah, sure, as far as post-mo goes: there's a crapload of characters, references, occultism, images, playing with tradition, narrative breaks, quotes; at first it's hard to know what goes on, yet as soon as you become more acquainted with the cartoonish characters and their motivations it reads quite engagingly. The whole part about the roots of Jes Grew, in particular, is just excellent, and as a [...]

    21. Reed's sweeping neo-hoodoo detective story incorporates history, mythology, folklore, pop culture, politics, & philosophy. The vernacular of the text is both engaging and dizzying. Characters sometimes come off as two-dimensional, but the flatness fits the mythological range of the narrative. A smart, funny book that never takes its reader for granted, but also sometimes gets a little mired in its own language and cleverness, although it thankfully avoids ever becoming precious or trite.

    22. Una novela delirante pero al mismo tiempo muy elaborada. Pynchon es reediano. Lo que no tengo claro es la relación con Coover e, incluso, con el Roth de la época de Nuestra pandilla ¿todos los escritores blancos querían ser Reed?En fin, es cierto que Homero no menciona a Dionisos en la Iliada, pero Reed no menciona a Orfeo. Es importante :-)Aquí más:Mumbo Jumbo

    23. Ordinarily I am not a regular reader of fiction, however this literary classic is most definitely worthy of note. Reed spins a fascinating tale of the enchanting world of Hoodoo and Voodoo. Mumbo Jumbo is the real deal, it takes mystical subject matter and weaves it into a surrealistic novel revolving around Afro-diasporan religion.

    24. Quite possibly the oddest thing I have ever come across. . .Just finished this and all I have to say is odd. . ry very odd. But definitely a good book, you just have to stick it out all the way through and it sort of starts to grow on you.

    25. This novel is what critics have in mind when they describe the postmodern text as collage. Mumbo Jumbo combines mystery, history, citation, and photography into a single novel about the conflict between Eastern (Black) and Western (White) Civilization. And that's a huge theme. Reed allows this conflict to manifest itself in multiple ways in the novel, which, for the reader, might come across as a lack of clarity (more on this in a minute). Set in 1920's Renaissance Harlem, the Wallflower Order - [...]

    26. Mumbo Jumbo deconstructs the logic of Atonist systems of thoughts, particularly the Western “civilized” form of thoughts. The style of the writing fully supports and enlarges the content of the novel! For example, changing the font sizes, writing in all caps, placing the first chapter before the publication info and all that Jazz, putting a handwritten letter towards the end, and placing loosely related images that does not interact with the text as the traditional forms of writings do. Ishm [...]

    27. Even before I finished it, I knew that I was reading one of my all-time favorite books. Set in the 20s, but featuring cameos that are anachronistic, and often (in delicate strokes and harsh jabs) cartoonish. He eschews everything that doesn't matter about style, and favors, instead, spirit. (How else could you end up with a satirical historical science-fiction VooDoo detective novel?) The scope is wide (with one foot in the birth of black culture, one foot in the birth of Western civilization, a [...]

    28. The style of like the uber-ironic pomo voice is one that's usually associated with white guys--and for good reason. I feel like at its best satire as a fictional mode was used by white guys in the 70s to put ideas about the contemporary world in play in order to show what happened when they (those ideas) rubbed up against each other. At its worst [insert New Sincerity's critique of postmodernism]. But it's a style I really enjoy because, with its ability to "play" with important ideas without fi [...]

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