Lots of sentences in here that I loved, and some that startled me because they sounded like sentences I would have written if I was talking about the same thing, which I think means that Their Eyes Were Watching God was a bigger influence on me than I realized and that I should probably read it again. I wanna read Hurston's essays now too.
The main thing I didn't like about this here book was how it shifted all the cool things that Aaron, Miriam, and even God did in the Exodus version and attributed them to Moses. And it's not like I'm complaining about the book's theology, I just think the story is worse for it. In the version in Exodus, Moses is scared to talk to people because he stutters, so Aaron is the one who makes all the speeches. This book takes that role away from Aaron and gives it to Moses, and turns Aaron into nothing but a huge whiner, and that makes both of them less interesting. Miriam is maybe more complicated here than she is in Exodus, mostly because Hurston's treatment of her and actually all the female characters is kind of confusing and disturbing. Jethro is the only likeable character in the book; Moses is likeable when he's hanging out with Jethro, the rest of the time he's faceless or obnoxious.
A story about a burning bush that claims to be omnipotent and helps a wimpy goat herder and his enslaved brother and sister do magic and lead a revolution - that's bizarre and scary and cool. ZNH reduces it to a story about one dude who is real good at everything and does everything by himself, and that's mostly boring.