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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
5 Stars
231 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
147 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
66 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
13 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
10 reviews have 1 stars

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All Book Reviews

  • An absorbing but disturbing story . .

    Colson Whitehead's novel "The Underground Railroad" tells the story of a Cora, a young slave in the American South. The horrors of slavery are vividly depicted, and the book is not an easy read. Whitehead takes some liberties with history, and some reviewers have said that he mixes history with fantasy. For example, for those unfamiliar with this history, while Whitehead depicts the underground railroad as a real railroad, of course it wasn't. Rather it was a link of safe houses from the American South to Canada which, with the help of abolitionists and their supporters, allowed runaway slaves to reach freedom. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 and later a tougher law in 1850 meant that to be truly free runaway slaves had to escape the US, and many runaway slaves entered Canada (largely Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia) as a result. I found it very hard to put this novel down; reading it is well worth the time, even if it causes you, as it did me, to lose a night's sleep!

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    19 person found this review helpful

    19 people found this review helpful

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • An unexpected disappointment.

    What a huge disappointment. I read all the reviews from 5 to 1 stars because I needed to know everyone’s opinion. I could not agree with any of the 5 or 4 stars reviewers (but I do respect their opinions. Hey! This book won a Pulitzer! What’s wrong with me? lol). I read all the 3 stars reviewers and I agreed with most of them. But I really agree with the two and especially one star reviewers. My main problem with this book is that I have never read a book by an author that is so distant from his own characters. In my opinion this book is detached of any emotion and the characters are so underdeveloped that it is impossible to feel anything. I hated the structure and everything about this book. The violence and atrocities against a human being described in this book can be hard to take, but I felt nothing. I’m angry that I purchased a copy (on sale!) instead of borrowing it from the library. I really expected to like this book but, unfortunately, it is not for me.

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    16 person found this review helpful

    16 people found this review helpful

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Very moving

    Profoundly moving. Shines a light on the America of today. What a wonderful imagination to create the railway!

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • sad subject

    I think this is an interesting, important and terrible subject matter. Everyone needs to learn some about it if you haven't. I think the author could have made things more personal. I didn't feel as emotionally involved as I would have liked.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Not to be missed

    Excellent. Beautifully written, violent at times and yet impossible to put down. It has given me broad and new insight into a terrible time of tragedy. A tragedy that remains!

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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