The Known World

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The Known World

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Oct 24, 2008, 3:10 pm

I have just read The Known World by Edward P. Jones
I was just wondering what other people think of this book. My short review is copied here below.

Maybe my expectations for this book were too high. I had difficulties finishing it, while I really like the theme and the authors' style of writing. I adore those half realistic half magic images and the book is full of them. I also like what we call in Dutch "kroniek", the fact that a story expands itself over many generations. Perhaps there are too many characters in the novel, which makes it difficult to follow. I often thought : I wished that this story about this person would continue, instead of "jumping" to again somebody else. That was a pity, because there were moments when I started feeling the impact of slavery and the social conditions in which these characters live. For example I have never felt so clearly how frightening freedom can be, as when Moses sends his wife away into "freedom". You just feel how enormous the world is, if you have always lived on a small plantation and have never been able to make your own choice. Therefore I am not sorry to have read it. It makes me curious to read Edward Jones' short stories. Maybe the talent of this author can reveal itself better in the form of short stories than in a novel? Because, to be honest, for me this was a collection of short stories, presented as a novel. Some beautiful, others a bit tedious, but many stories, and not a novel.
brusselsbook | Oct 21, 2008 | edit | flag
Message edited by its author, Oct 22, 2008, 3:26pm.

Mar 4, 2009, 10:54 pm

I read this about two years ago, and I remember really enjoying it in a very somber way. I have read my fair share of slavery and antebellum South literature. However, this was the first one that I've read that dealt with former slaves owning slaves. I found it very well written and interesting. I completed it over a span of three to four days.

Mar 1, 2010, 11:58 am

The first time I tried to read this book, I couldn't get through it because it was too heavy and unwieldy. The second time I tried, I couldn't put it down. I fell into it and was totally absorbed. I was surprised that I loved it. If I hadn't been the publicist for a local library at the time needing to recruit people to read the book for an event, I probably would not have retried it, but I'm so glad that I did.

Mar 9, 2010, 10:17 am

Ahh. All's well that ends well.