Friday, December 23, 2016
The Underground Railroad
author: Colson Whitehead
average rating: 4.01
book published: 2016
read at: 2016/12/23
date added: 2016/12/23
'The Underground Railroad' by Colson Whitehead is one of the most talked about books of the year, and for good reason. It's a thought provoking read.
Cora is a slave in Georgia, like her mother Mabel and her grandmother Ajarry before her. Ajarry owned a small piece of land in the slave area of the plantation. Ajarry always believed that escape was impossible, but one day Mabel escapes. Cora stays put until events force her to leave. She has met a fellow slave named Caesar who talks about the underground railroad. The railroad turns out to be different than the one we know from history. Instead of a network of routes to freedom with guides, it's an actual train. Cora and Caesar make their way along the railroad and make stops along the way. At each stop, there is danger, sometimes overt, and sometimes hidden. Slave catcher Ridgeway, and his men are in pursuit.
There are a number of minor (and not so minor) characters, and they are followed in short chapters. Like the railroad in the book, the towns visited have a kind of metaphorical quality to them. What Cora experiences along her journey is not unlike the journey of some blacks in our country. I've been a fan of Colson Whitehead since I read his first book 'The Intuitionist.' He makes definite points with his writing without making the reader feel beat about the head. I also love the fantastical elements he uses as story vehicles, like elevator inspectors with psychic abilities, or zombie plagues, or a physical railroad built underground in secret that stretches for miles. Brilliant written, extremely sad, and with unforgettable characters. This is a journey that I'm glad I made.
I received a review copy of this ebook from Doubleday Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
via Wayne's bookshelf: read http://ift.tt/2hlye2r