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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - First Edition, later printing - August 2016 - from Books of the World (SKU: RWARE0000003229)

The Underground Railroad

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The Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead

  • Used
  • near fine
  • hardcover
  • First
Condition
Near Fine/Fine
ISBN 10
0385542364
ISBN 13
9780385542364
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About This Item

New York: Doubleday, August 2016. Hardcover. First Edition, later printing. Fine book in a Fine jacket. Interior pristine. Spine straight and tight, ends bumped. Lower rear corner lightly bumped. Jacket clean and bright. Not from a library. No remainder mark. Not clipped. 306 pages. A young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.

Synopsis

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.

Read more: Identifying first editions of The Underground Railroad

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On Oct 24 2016, a reader said:
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead tells the story of Cora and her life as a slave. Cora is a slave in Georgia. Cora is the daughter of Mabel and the granddaughter of Ajarry. After Cora's mother escaped, Cora was alone. Cora is treated horribly by the other slaves. She gets thrown out of the where she was living with her mother and is forced to move into the Hob (a house for the slave outcasts). One day Cora is approached by Caesar. Caesar is a new to the plantation. His previous owner was a kind woman who taught him to read. She had promised Caesar his freedom upon her death, but she did not keep her promise. Caesar tells Cora about the Underground Railroad. The two of them form a plan and one day they take off. Unfortunately, things do not go quite as planned. Lovey, a fellow slave, follows them (she had been watching them). They are going through the swamps to make capture more difficult, but they did not anticipate hog hunters. The hunters realize they are runaway slaves and attempt to capture them. One of the hunters (just a boy really) ends up dead from a rock. Cora is now wanted for murder. Lovey ends up getting captured. Cora and Caesar quickly make their way to the first stop for them on the Underground Railroad. They are in for quite a journey. Some of the stops will be quick and others will be quite lengthy. Will they ever be completely free or will they continue to be hunted (especially Cora)? Ridgeway is a slave hunter who has something to prove. Ridgeway was given the task of finding Cora's mother, Mabel. He was never able to capture her. Ridgeway is very determined to return Cora to her owner. To find out what happens to Cora and Caesar, you will have to read The Underground Railroad.

The Underground Railroad is a very dark novel. The majority of the novel focuses on Cora (poor Caesar). I found the writing to be awkward and difficult to read (I just did not like the author's writing style). The book lacks flow. First we are with Cora, then it jumps to someone else, then back to Cora, and then to another character. It will also go back in time to tell you the backstory of the latest character (when Cora meets someone new on the Underground Railroad). It makes it hard to read and to get into the story. I was able to finish the book, but I did not like it or enjoy it (sorry). You need to be aware that The Underground Railroad contains very graphic violence. Some of the violence is very disturbing and upsetting. I give The Underground Railroad 2 out of 5 stars. I did like Colson Whitehead's take on the Underground Railroad. He had tunnels running all over the United States and actual trains. I was curious, though, how people above ground did not hear the loud engines of the trains. Mr. Whitehead did capture the time and place quite accurately. The ending was extremely dissatisfying.

Details

Bookseller
Books of the World US (US)
Bookseller Inventory #
RWARE0000003229
Title
The Underground Railroad
Author
Colson Whitehead
Format/binding
Hardcover
Book condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket condition
Fine
Quantity available
1
Edition
First Edition, later printing
Binding
Hardcover
ISBN 10
0385542364
ISBN 13
9780385542364
Publisher
Doubleday
Place of Publication
New York
Date published
August 2016
LCCN
2016000643
Keywords
fiction, African American, history, historical, slaves, slavery, fugitive slaves, United States, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award
Bookseller catalogs
History; Fiction;
Size
8vo

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Books of the World

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This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
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About Books of the World

Selling books from around the world. I am not a professional bookseller. Rather, I am finding new homes for the library I have collected over five decades.

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

fine
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]
jacket
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]
spine
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
remainder mark
Usually an ink marking of some sort which indicates that the book was designated a remainder. In most cases, it can be found on...[more]
tight
Used to mean that the binding of a book has not been overly loosened by frequent use.

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