Sunday, January 20, 2019

Review of 'The Underground Railroad'

Absolutely amazing alternative-history novel about slavery in the US, including a fantasy that the 'underground railroad', the smuggling route by which escaping slaves were assisted to reach freedom in the North (and eventually in Canada, after the Fugitive Slaves Act made escape to the northern US impossible) is a real railroad that runs underground from South to North, with tunnels and trains and secret stations...

Because I'm not as familiar with the details of American racism, slavery, lynch law and so on, it's sometimes hard to tell which aspects of the story form part of real history and which are part of the alternate narrative. I'd have quite liked a sort of guide to that for the less well informed reader - which I suspect includes most Americans as well as non-Americans.

None of that detracts from the book, which is terrifying and beautifully written. Looking forward to reading more by Colson Whitehead.

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