Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Review: The Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was the 'it' book of 2016. Oprah started her book club again to endorse it, it won the National Book Award, and it seemed to be on the lips of every person who talks books. If you haven't read the book yet, rest assured that it deserves every bit of the praise. Colson Whitehead is an immensely talented writer and he manages to strike the perfect balance of brutally reporting the horrors of slavery while compelling you to continue reading.
One of the most powerful aspects of this book for me was the relentlessness that Whitehead portrays. In so many stories about slavery, it seems like a clean escape is the end of the story. Once a slave had escaped to the North, they were free. But of course it wasn't that simple. History is compressed in this novel, so the reader experiences new and terrible ways that white people oppressed and took advantage of black people throughout history.
This is a book everyone should read to experience a great modern author, to remember the horrors of slavery, and to join the conversation around this fascinating story.
The Underground Railroad
By Colson Whitehead
Doubleday Books August 2016
Read via Netgalley