Wow! James Baldwin’s “Go Tell It On The Mountain” is powerful, triumphant, realistic, downtrodden, in the gutter brilliant. It is the literary equilibrium to Martin Scorsese’s movie masterpieces, such as “Mean Streets” or the “The Raging Bull.” It is so real and honest that at times the reader feels like a he is an unwelcome intruder into the characters’ lives.
Mr. Baldwin knows his subject matter so well that it is at times frightening. Whether writing about the treatment of blacks down south or up north in Harlem, it is so heart wrenching that it can only come from a writer who has experienced such injustices, and such ardent religious, spiritual, and moral dilemmas.
There are times in this book, especially the last forty pages, that the writing is so sublime that it reminds me of Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” and that is the highest literary compliment that I could give to a novelist.