The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2016
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From prize-winning, bestselling author 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.

Publisher: New York :, Doubleday,, 2016
ISBN: 9780735285606
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
audio file,rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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Feb 23, 2020

The underground railroad was an important historical means of helping escaped slaves reach the North and freedom. It saved lives!! It was undertaken by people who risked their own lives because they hated slavery. To turn it into some sort of mythical fantasy world where there is an actual railroad underground and if you are lynched you come back to life to travel on is reprehensible to me. It is an injustice to and an insult of a grave undertaking. The only thing that could have made me angrier about this portrayal of important slavery history would be if the author were white. I do not understand the motivation of Mr. Whitehead. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Aug 17, 2019

The most tragic literary experience I have ever had. Sad, graphic, and infuriating. After the first 10mins, I told myself that I should stop because the level of violence and abuse was unbelievable. Just can stop putting myself in that era, and especially because of what has been occurring in recent times. It took a few panic attacks for me to finally continue.
I understand the correlation of the way African slaves were treated to the current African American experience. Their soul was DAMAGED. It will take many generations to heal. How can people be so cruel. Even farm animals were treated better.
I would need therapy to finish it and be normal again. Not for the faint of heart. Could the incidents have been true???

Apr 30, 2019

If Eeyore and young Malcolm X had a love child, this would be the result. Shocking scenes of abuse and violence don't overcome the weak plot. The premise of the novel is weakened by revisionist history and adding or removing historical facts to suit the author's fancy.

May 07, 2018

2017 Audie Award Nominated: AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR

Mar 22, 2018

I really loved this book; it was authentic and I learned quite a bit about the Underground Railroad. I agree that there is some jumping around in the story and I had to give my full attention to follow along, but it was worth it.

Jan 27, 2017

Very disjointed and hard to follow. I've read much better books on the subject. I was expecting so much more...


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