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I bought this because the book won the Carl Brandon Society award for speculative fiction created by persons of color. The writing is deft, sensitive, and moving. The narration is skillful, rich and musical. The subject matter is slavery in the pre-Civil War US south and pulls no punches; it is hard to listen to if you are sensitive to descriptions of violence and torture. But the overall tone of the book is hopeful and uplifting.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
A lot of how you enjoy a book or movie depends upon your prior level of expectation. When I think a movie is going to be junk and turns out to be a bit better I tend to rate it higher because I'm pleasantly surprised. Vice versa on a book/movie with expectations too high. This was recommended on NPR (National Public Radio) so my expectations were far too high (not having read any other reviews).
Still Mosely tells a basic but vivid story of the cruelty of slavery, how that meanness twists the hearts of men who should kind to each other because of their commond bonds (quite literally). Then a very unexpected visitor arrives to change things. I loved this character's maxim: "Neither master nor nigga' be." This character's overwhelming love for everyone and his naive belief that love and kindness will always be returned with gratitude is the most heartbreaking aspect of this bit of science fiction mixed with slavery. Kudos for an original idea! While the story does have an ending it seems like a possible set up for a series. I hope so.
The narrator has an old scratchy voice but you soon get used to it and is evocative of a man who has seen too much strife and pain but who has not lost his capacity for joy.
If I hadn't expected something much more grand I would have given that fifth star. Mosely is a gifted writer. I enjoyed the book but I foolishly was expecting something like "War and Peace."
2 of 2 people found this review helpful