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The Underground Railroad (2016)

by Colson Whitehead

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,2964081,047 (4.05)1 / 686
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels.… (more)
  1. 90
    Beloved by Toni Morrison (shaunie)
    shaunie: Morrison's masterpiece is a clear influence on Whitehead's book, and his is one of the very few I've read which bears comparison with it. In fact I'd go so far as to say it's also a masterpiece, a stunningly good read!
  2. 50
    Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Both books use a magical means of transportation to illuminate the plight of refugees (runaway slaves in one and immigrants in the other.)
  3. 30
    The Known World by Edward P. Jones (lottpoet)
  4. 30
    The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: Two amazing authors, two different literary approaches to the underground railroad, two stories, one terrible time in US history.
  5. 20
    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (chwiggy)
  6. 20
    Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters (elenchus)
    elenchus: That popular culture phenomenon of the uncanny twins, two works appearing together yet unrelated in authorship, production, inspiration. Why do they appear together? In this case, each is compelling enough to read based on their own, but for me irresistable now they've shown up onstage at the same time. Ben Winters's Underground Airlines a bizarro underground railroad, updated (for reasons left implicit) for air travel; Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad making the escape trail a concrete reality. Each also addresses our world, in between stations.… (more)
  7. 10
    Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup (charlie68)
    charlie68: Both describe the brutalities of slavery.
  8. 10
    Roots by Alex Haley (charlie68)
  9. 11
    The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Disturbing Alternate Histories of America.
  10. 01
    Steal Away Home: One Woman's Epic Flight to Freedom - And Her Long Road Back to the South by Karolyn Smardz Frost (figsfromthistle)
  11. 05
    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (charlie68)
    charlie68: A classic not a pc one but from a southern viewpoint.
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» See also 686 mentions

English (380)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  German (4)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (2)  Piratical (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Latvian (1)  All languages (402)
Showing 1-5 of 380 (next | show all)
Hard to get through, and historically sort of confusing (which parts are real/ placed in the right time and place?). Good to force us through the horror, though; and good to see we have no excuse for lack of hope or courage. ( )
  ZannaZori | Aug 3, 2022 |
I need to recover from this one. ( )
  Hamptot71 | Jul 18, 2022 |
This read more like a bunch of vignettes than a cohesive novel. And it was lacking something. Misery porn is what this. The characters were one dimensional and a lot of elements that, if this hadn't been alternate history, would not have made sense. ( )
  pacbox | Jul 9, 2022 |
Ellen-Elfújta-a-szél – amit Mitchell kisasszony sandán elsumákol, abba Whitehead kímélet nélkül tolja bele az arcunkat. Amúgy meg semmi különös nincs ebben a regényben, tutira játszik: a Poklot írja meg. Semmi fakszni, semmi trükk, csak a rabszolgalét pőre elviselhetetlensége, ez kivédhetetlen hatásának kulcsa. A Pokolról pedig tudni kell, hogy elsősorban nem azok teszik azzá, ami, akik megteremtették, hanem azok, akik élni kénytelenek benne, és akik közül oly sokat tettek állattá a körülmények. A fekete besúgók, akik elárulnák a saját anyjukat is, hogy a korbácsot elkerüljék, a hajcsár, akit a rabszolgák közül emeltek ki, és most igyekszik fehérebb lenni a fehérnél, no meg a csóró fehér, aki maga is az éhenhalás szélén van, de ez nem szolidárissá teszi a szenvedéssel, hanem arra készteti, hogy maga is szenvedést okozzon… csupa szörny mindenütt.

Az egyetlen reménysugár a Föld Alatti Vasútvonal, ami a szabad világ felé vezet, ezen indul el Cora, nyomában üldözőivel. De a Föld Alatti Vasútvonal sem tehet csodát, az ellenséges világban pedig néha csak annyira jó, hogy egyik Pokolból a másikba juttassa őt – az író pedig szinte kilistázza nekünk mindazon rémségeket, amelyekkel egy szökött rabszolga szembeakadhat a XIX. század Amerikájában. De hát pont így van ez jól: hogy érezzük, a dolgok nem fordulnak jóra varázsütésre, hanem keményen meg kell dolgozni minden apró lépésért, ami egy élhetőbb életbe visz, és közben olyan veszteségeket kell elviselnünk, amelyek elviselhetetlennek tűnnek. Nem dőlhetünk hátra megnyugodva, nem ad feloldozást egy olcsó happy end – mert emlékeznünk kell a Pokolra, hogy ha újra látjuk egy tettben, egy mondatban, egy okfejtésben, felismerjük azt. ( )
  Kuszma | Jul 2, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 380 (next | show all)
Der Roman des afroamerikanischen Autors Colson Whitehead über die Sklaverei in den USA des 19. Jahrhunderts kommt in deutscher Übersetzung nun gerade recht, um auf den heutigen Rassismus zu verweisen.
 

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Whitehead, Colsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
塔, 円城Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chauvin, SergeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
由依, 谷崎Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munday, OliverCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Testa, MartinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turpin, BahniNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Willemijn deNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Julie
First words
The first time Caesar approached Cora about running north, she said no.
Quotations
. . . for justice may be slow and invisible, but it always renders its true verdict in the end.
‘I’m what botanists call a hybrid,’ he said the first time Cora heard him speak. ‘A mixture of two different families. In flowers, such a concoction pleases the eye. When that amalgamation takes its shape in flesh and blood, some take great offense. In this room we recognize it for what it is -- a new beauty come into the world, and it is in bloom all around us.’
Georgina said the children make of it what they can. What they don't understand today, they might tomorrow. 'The Declaration is like a map. You trust that it's right, but you only know by going out and testing it yourself.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
A rail running north
Cora must decide how far
Her true freedom lies.
(Benona)
Deep and dark below
Parallel lines to freedom
That don't make you free

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