A Free State

  • by Tom Piazza
  • Narrated by John Pruden
  • 6 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The year is 1855. Blackface minstrelsy is the most popular form of entertainment in a nation about to be torn apart by the battle over slavery. Henry Sims, a fugitive slave and a brilliant musician, has escaped to Philadelphia. He is befriended by a leader of a popular minstrel troupe struggling to compete with similar ensembles. Henry's skill could help the struggling troupe. Black and white performers are not allowed to appear together onstage.
Together, the two concoct a masquerade to protect Henry's identity. Even as their plan begins to reverse the troupe's decline, a brutal slave hunter named Tull Burton has been employed to track down the runaway and retrieve him by any means necessary.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Engaging but incomplete

What did you like best about A Free State? What did you like least?

I enjoyed the portrait of Philadelphia and the minstrel bands in the pre Civil War era

Would you recommend A Free State to your friends? Why or why not?

Probably not. The book dealt with some important themes of the pre Civil War era but did not develop them leaving me a bit dissatisfied.

Any additional comments?

This book is a fictional representation of a slave (Henry) who escapes to freedom and the north but is hunted by a slave catcher. Henry is musically talented and very smart setting up a fictional opportunity to examine stereotypes of the era and how that might have played out on both the slave owners and the slaves. The premise and setting were promising but the author did not delve into these interesting issues making it a little disappointing. The narration was excellent, and in spite of these problems with the book, my interest was engaged throughout. In fact I was a little surprised when it suddenly ended. there is lots of material here that just wasn't developed.

Read full review

- Peter "Tell us about yourself!I am an avid reader but enjoy listening while waking to work, ironing, doing dishes, etc. Listening to novels is an entirely different experience than reading; a well narrated story is a cross between drama and written fiction. Listening to books on Audible has been a wonderful experience."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-14-2015
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC