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So very hard to track with. Confusing to say the least when it comes to how the main character is "conducting" or magically time traveling around and out of impossible situations. It totally takes away from the feeling that the rest of the story is from genuine suffering and history of the lives of slaves. Since the writer did so much research I wanted to think that the situations the characters faced were pulled from actual happenings, then comes the fantasy flights and it washes away the rest. I wanted to take this book serious believing maybe that just the names were changed etc but the "conduction" idea just threw the baby out with the bathwater. The bottom line for me was that it just got boring and I find it hard to believe that even Oprah thought it was all that fabulous. I truly felt like her book club endorsement was a nice boost for a young author of the same race. I can't' say that's all bad an intention except that it's a misleading opinion about the quality of a book. It will be the last time I listen to the Oprah Book Club endorsement by Oprah. Note: The time I spend reading a book is just that, time, and time is what my life is made of, so I feel a bit robbed of a portion of my life when endorsements are dishonest for whatever good intention they have in place. For that reason I could not finish this book. It was just dragging on and on and confusing with the cast of characters and flights of fantasy to keep up with. Halfway through I decided to direct my attention to something that could legitimately hold my interest. Sorry I spent the time and money on this one.
I really wanted to like this book since I love Ta-Nehisi Coates writing and his appeal to a broad audience. I teach Cultural Diversity courses and am constantly reading books that might be added to my recommended book lists. Unfortunately I found that Coates does better with non fiction. I found his character development very flat with very little emotion, no connection to the reader, and even in tumultuous scenes it was flat. Again, I really wanted to like this book. I have read many of this genre and topic, but this one was limited in reaching an emotional level that should be reached with this topic. Even when a child was being separated from his mother by being sold, it did not breach the heightened emotions that should have been evoked by this scene. Coates writes non fiction so eloquently and well that I be was disappointed. I will look for more of his nonfiction in the future.
Rarely do I give up on a novel, but I have with this one. At page 189 I said to myself, "Enough!" I just couldn't give it anymore of my time. I feel like the book trivializes the horror of slavery and that I had entered into Alice in Wonderland land. There was absolutely no character development and the writing was tedious. The writing had no beauty to it and instead felt heavy and wooden.
this was a bad salad of every random fact about the underground railroad, based on completely unbelievable plots and characters. the main character hiram is the product of his master and slave mother, and is brought into the house to be groomed as a slave for his white half brother. if you can believe hes a telekinetic who frees people with his mind, this is the book for you. i wished i read Colson Whitehead's "Underground Railroad" instead.
I was really looking forward to this novel, and when it finally arrived- I couldn't read it. I couldn't get past the first paragraph that was one long run on sentence, followed by the second paragraph that contained something like 28 commas. OK that's hyperbolic, but you get the idea. I wanted to read this STORY, but couldn't get past the writing style itself. Oh well, guess I'll wait for the movie?