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The Underground Railroad (2016)

by Colson Whitehead

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,9983701,237 (4.03)1 / 628
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)
Recently added byprivate library, Arina42, effulgent7, Stacie-C, CarolynMcIntyre, KateBandos, sjatkinson60
  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. 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)
  3. 10
    Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup (charlie68)
    charlie68: Both describe the brutalities of slavery.
  4. 10
    Roots by Alex Haley (charlie68)
  5. 10
    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.)
  6. 10
    Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (sturlington)
  7. 10
    The Known World by Edward P. Jones (lottpoet)
  8. 00
    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (chwiggy)
  9. 00
    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.
  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. 01
    The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Disturbing Alternate Histories of America.
  12. 04
    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 628 mentions

English (347)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  Piratical (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Latvian (1)  All languages (367)
Showing 1-5 of 347 (next | show all)
Let me start this review by telling you I had no plans to read this book. My friend asked me nicely because it impacted her so much and I agreed. I waited for about a month for it to come in from the library and was hesitant to start it.

Once I started, I kept thinking, ugh, I knew I shouldn’t have picked this book up. I’m bored and disgusted and then before I knew it, I was 75% of the way through. I finished early this morning when I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. I can’t give you a star rating on this one. I can’t even really tell you I liked it. How do you rate a book that discusses such a dark part of our history? How do you rate a book where you never connect with the characters but you still feel for them every step of their awful journey? How do you rate a book that you can’t even really put into words?

This is a book that I am glad I read but will never read again. This is a book that takes liberties with history but still taught me things. This is a book I won’t blame you if you don’t pick up. Most of all this is a book that makes you think.

https://thesebooksaremyfriends.wordpress.com/
  Stacie-C | May 8, 2021 |
Historical Fiction, Alternate History, slavery, Civil War, Underground Railroad, African Americans, Georgia, 19th Century ( )
  AWahle | May 3, 2021 |
“The only way to know how long you are lost in the darkness is to be saved from it.” ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
I liked the story, and the issues illustrated of slavery. I just wasn't wowed. ( )
  Abiquail | Apr 24, 2021 |
This book was a horror show. I only read it for book club. I don't watch horror movies, and I don't read them by choice, either. If this book were a movie, it would be one of those super-R-rated violent guy movies that I wouldn't go near with a ten foot pole. SPOILER - the climactic scene with the gunfire ripping through all the bodies at the happy gathering down at Lemondrop Farm on Lollipop Lane was almost a parody. But really, that's not a spoiler, because if you think for one moment past the first few pages that this tale is going to have a happy ending, you must read some weirder books than I do. ( )
  Tytania | Apr 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 347 (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, SergeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
由依, 谷崎Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munday, OliverCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Testa, MartinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turpin, BahniNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.

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Book description
Haiku summary
A rail running north
Cora must decide how far
Her true freedom lies.
(Benona)

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