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Search tags: the-underground-railroad
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review 2017-06-19 15:54
Definitely Due A Pulitzer Prize
The Underground Railroad: A Novel - Colson Whitehead

I did not read this because it was a Pulitzer Prize winning book, I read it because it was a book club read for a library near us and I was curious. I grew up in Newport, Kentucky, also known as Northern Kentucky. Northern Kentucky has a lot of homes that were part of the Underground Railroad. My parents would point out the houses that were part of the RailRoad and I paid attention. They were grand homes that had secret rooms or how secret hiding places in walls or on the roofs. When I was in high school some of the houses started showing signs in front that identified them as part of the railroad. So seeing this book I was interested. 

 

It follows one girl from her grandmother's capture in Africa to her mother's escaping and then her own escape, following her through the Railroad and all the problems that happen along the way. 

 

I do recommend this book, but it is graphic in the violence, but that cannot be helped as slaves were poorly treated, but it is very interesting. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-18 23:25
Regurgitation: Details from books that bother me
The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel - Colson Whitehead
Mermaid Moon (A Sunset Cove Novel) - Colleen Coble

Today is a pain day for me.  FYI: I have Fibromyalgia and RA.  Every day is a pain day to a degree but today it is making it hard for me to concentrate on reading.  This is when I turn to audiobooks or think about the books I have recently read and especially, the things that bothered me about them.  I may seem a little more snarky than usual but that is just another side-effect of being me.  I'll be back to normal later.  

 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

 

Thinking back on this book I wonder about the part (Chapter/section) about the doctor that was digging up graves to dissect for his medical school requirements.  I thought that seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.  I am not a writer but it seems to me like that part of the book did not belong in the story, at least not in the way it was added.  It was like if you were talking to someone about something that happened at work and then suddenly switched to talking about how you sometimes like to climb into a bathtub filled with jello and roll around it in totally naked, and then went right back to talking about work again.  After that, there was only one small mention of that doctor's name near the end.  

 

Is that a super secret writing technique?  

 

I know grave robbing was something that was done then and I guess he really wanted to include it.  I think he should have made it a larger part of the book and maybe connected it with the main characters somehow.  I was waiting for him to dig up Mabel.  

 

I also read (in random history stuff) about doctors who performed experimental surgeries on slaves and children.  One poor woman had to go through over 30 surgeries before she died.  That is a horrible thing that I can't even fathom and he could have used that to make this section seem more worthy of inclusion.  

 

Okay, another book I recently read and really liked is Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble.  I was mulling over some of the details from that book and one thing really stands out and makes me want to ask Colleen on which planet that would happen. This is in the exciting part of the book when... 

Hailey has been kidnapped and Mallory is going back to her house in Bangor, Maine as per the kidnapper's demands. The Sheriff there has arranged for deputies to be at the house to protect her and hopefully be able to get Hailey back safely.  Only, one of the deputies had to go pee. He must have drunk a gallon of coffee with his donuts and really had to go bad.  So bad, in fact, that he left his post to go next door to go pee and let the bad guy sneak in and grab the mom and haul her off, lock her in the creepy basement of some house and then set it on fire.  Why Colleen, why?  Couldn't he have requested someone else to take his place or put a crimp in it?  Seriously!

(spoiler show)

 

 

Why don't the spoiler code tags work for this post?  I know it says "Spoiler" at the top but the code tags in the text do not appear to be working.  

 

Thanks to Debbie for telling me how to fix the spoiler tags.  She said, "Sometimes with the spoiler tags you need to delete them, then highlight the spoiler text and click the "sp" spoiler icon again."  That worked!  

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-16 19:57
The Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel - Colson Whitehead

This book was horribly sad, it tore my heart open repeatedly. I don't usually read books like this but it was chosen for a book club I wanted to attend. I couldn't even get through the first page without crying. I had to put it down to rest my heart. I never made it to that book club meeting.

 

I know it is fiction and one major detail was changed but that didn't take away from the story. I know that the majority of the book was close enough to the real thing and the terror that people endured was just as real. I have read about the horrible things that humans did to other humans because of the color of their skin and it is heart-rending. I wish it all could be considered fiction but the sad truth is that this horrible story was a reality for too many souls. There is language that I like to avoid but in this book, it is part of the reality.

 

I feel wounded now and think I'll go back to reading total nonsense fiction.  

 

Spoiler below

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review 2017-06-10 12:17
The Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel - Colson Whitehead

Cora watched, she was silent but she took in everything and she knew it wouldn’t be long before she would have to leave. She had been a slave to Master James on his cotton plantation, living there with her mother until her mother decided one evening to escape, leaving Cora behind. Years later, it is now Cora’s turn to flee as someone has their eyes on her. Running off with Caesar, they take to the night using the Underground Railroad, where Caesar has set up the connection. They are trying to stay undetected in white man’s country using the rails. The author’s use of a railroad with cars and a conductor for the Underground Railroad was a creative and unique twist in this novel. As they became free, each time the train was to arrive in their current city of residency, Cora and Caesar had to decide whether to continue on in their journey for freedom or to stay where they were, it all depended on the train and how they felt at the time of that train’s arrival. They couldn’t just leave any time they wanted. When they arrived at their first free city, they had assumed their new identities but now they also had to learn how to be free.

 

I thought the writing style of this novel was different, I had a hard time grasping some of the sentences as they were strung together. Some of what Cora sees is horrific and hits a nerve with me. For Cora to watch this and not say anything or to have any type of visible reaction, I have to commend her, for she had to be deaden to see this type of abuse and not react. For Cora and Caesar, to be trying to live a life of freedom but to be constantly running/looking over their shoulders for the bounty hunters who have a price on their heads, I don’t know how long my nerves could handle it? I enjoyed following them, Cora wanted her freedom and she was determined not to go back to her previous life. I’m debating between a 3.5 and a 4 on this novel.

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text 2017-06-08 11:50
Reading progress : I've read 28 out of 320 pages.
The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel - Colson Whitehead

I'm not getting very far in this book because it is so sad.  I'm just not in the mood for sad right now and every little detail in this book is so sad.  I did like this quote though.  

 

There are instruments and human players but sometimes a fiddle or a drum makes instruments of those who play them, and all are put in servitude to the song.

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