The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club), Colson Whitehead
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The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club)

Best Seller

Author: Colson Whitehead

Narrator: Bahni Turpin

Unabridged: 10 hr 43 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Random House Audio

Published: 08/02/2016

Genre: Fiction - Literary


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
     In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s 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. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
     Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

Reviews Write A Review

AudiobooksNow review by Tom Castrop on 2021-10-23 01:32:19

I almost had enough more than once. I struggled with the structures; and I guess, after way too many atrocity stories against native Americans, holocaust victims, and blacks. You knew Valentine was just too sweet , but still, when the bullet took down Royal my heart sunk. I was pissed; for me it was George Floyd all over again. I am tired of judging my fellow Americans, past and present; but the hate of our ignorance almost makes this agnostic buy into the aspect of evil. Whitehead provoked this 76 year old cold German.

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