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This beautifully written book opens with a slave, Hiram, taking, Maynard, the son of the tobacco plantation owner for a ride in a horse drawn carriage across the bridge which was a route for transporting slaves or taskers, as they are known in the book, south to Mississippi. Something spooks the horse and the carriage plunges the into the icy cold Goose River. During his near death drowning the protagonist Hiram Walker sees a vision of his late mother and visualizes her departure out of his life when she was sold away from him when he was just a little boy. She was sold by the plantation owner who was his own father, Howell Walker which made the recently deceased Maynard his half brother. Thus begins the saga of this young man and his venture into the underground railroad and his quest for answers concerning his mother's disappearance and his special abilities which he believes he inherited from her and his African ancestors. This is a special book with insight into the American history of enslaving Africans. Racism is ingrained in some white folk just as fear of all white people is ingrained in some black folk. This book tries to tackle the last part of this equation from the perspective of the black taskers. I was very moved.
Was auf den ersten Blick wie ein reiner Roman über die amerikanische Sklavenhalter-Zeit, erzählt aus der Sicht eines der Sklaven, wirkt, entpuppt sich bei näherem Hinsehen als viel mehr. Ja, es geht um das Halten von Sklaven. Aber es geht auch im die psychologische Seite aller Betroffenen, um Kulturen, die nebeneinander her leben und sich kaum zu berühren scheinen, obwohl sie eng aneinandergekettet sind - und um die Macht der Erinnerung, die Magie des Storytellings, des Tanzens und Singens und um den Umgang mit Schuld.
Alles ist eingepackt in einen wunderbar deutlichen und dennoch poetischen Stil. Grandios.
A moving story. A bit mystical at times like a fantasy or sci fi novel. Over the read it becomes clear how important that part is to the central narrative, and how related it is to actual stories from the time. I think that enhances the power of the novel. I like fantasy fiction anyhow. I recommended it though to sisters who might not be inclined that way, and they too loved it. One found the first half a bit slow moving but is caught up in it now. I found it good from the start. I couldn't put it down. Stayed up way too late, it was that compelling. While some character development was scant, still the cameos were revealing, poignant. The simple story was incredibly moving, especially from the perspective of the slaves' experiences. And a broad range of experiences was explored, from the most harsh to the less so. But all with the lack of choice and autonomy for slaves was central. Strong women in the cast of characters.
Brilliantly written and extremely moving. This book brings to life the horrors of slavery for those in bondage and those who own them as well as for the remainder of White society that cannot afford slaves. This is the basis of America’s past since 1619 from which we continue to suffer today.
To be wowed by the writings of an author is to acknowledge the triumph of storytelling through his hand. Ta-Nahisi Coates is a master craftsman plying his trade for the enjoyment of his readers and giving us all a revolutionary conduction that ties his Tasked story together. To understand this of course you too need to be conducted and that is to say; read the book. There is no other way to understand just how exceptional this book is and how it affected my five star rating. It is the first time I have wished for a ten star rating but even that would not suffice. It is that good. So, do yourself a favour. Read and be conducted.
Esta novela de Ta-Nahisi Coates estaba siendo esperada desde que anunció hace más de un año. Coates es el autor de tres libros de no ficción (una biografía, unos ensayos en forma de cartas a su hijo y una compilación de artículos de la revista The Atlantic sobre la presidencia de Obama). Estos tres libros son magistrales, por lo que la novela era esperada ansiosamente. Sin embargo, este libro no está a la altura enorme de su trabajo de no ficción. Está bien escritoa y gustará a sus seguidores, pero le falta algo. En algunas críticas, la novela fue comparada con Toni Morrison e incluso con James Joyce. Con Morrison seguro que por la temática (la esclavitud americana). Con Joyce no se sabe por qué, ya que Coates y el autor irlandés están en las antípodas respecto a estilo, temática y, en definitiva, casi todo lo demás. Conclusión, un buen trabajo, pero muy por debajo de sus obras, arriba citadas, de no ficción y ensayo
From start to finish there is not one false note. Hi weaves his magic through time and space. Coates’ voice is certain in every persona and throughout this narrative on the formation of the true soul of the United States in a metaphor for what one day will be a fully blended nation consolidated by its history.
Je l'ai acheté pour l'offrir à mon mari. Il avait lu un résumé dans un journal (The Record) de Sherbrooke et m'avait dit qu'il aimerait bien lire ce livre. Il adore ce livre alors, je suis très satisfaite de mon achat. Surtout que la livraison s'est faite plus rapidement que mentionné. Merci beaucoup.