The Book Of Negroes Paperback – Oct. 15 2007
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- ISBN-10 : 1554681561
- ISBN-13 : 978-1554681563
- Item Weight : 630 g
- Paperback : 512 pages
- Product Dimensions : 15.24 x 3.25 x 22.86 cm
- Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers (Oct. 15 2007)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #207,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
LAWRENCE HILL is the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of The Book of Negroes, which was made into a six-part TV mini-series. His previous novels, Some Great Thing and Any Known Blood, became national bestsellers. Hill’s non-fiction work includes Blood: The Stuff of Life, the subject of his 2013 Massey Lectures, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice, a memoir about growing up black and white in Canada. Lawrence Hill volunteers with Crossroads International, the Black Loyalist Heritage Society and Project Bookmark Canada. He lives with his family in Hamilton, Ontario, and Woody Point, Newfoundland.
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Top reviews from Canada
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On the other, despite all of the people involved, this book was riddled with grammar inconsistencies, errors, constant use of the word "and," lack of commas, and repetitive sections that droned. One chapter featured the main character saying that she avoided speaking Fulfulde three times in just a few pages; I can understand the value of emphasis, but that wasn't the issue here nor in a number of other sections of the book.
Early on, I figured that perhaps this writing style was supposed to reflect the writer's education level and tolerated it for that reason. (It's written from a first-person perspective.) However, as I got deeper into the book's many pages, I found out that not only had she learned English, she had also become an avid reader and educator. I'm sorry, but the writing level does not reflect that at all.
I also have other subjective dislikes such as the handling of the Soloman Lindo storyline, but that's a very personal opinion that I don't expect everyone to agree on.
Overall, it's not a bad read if you don't have anything else to do. Just don't expect it to improve your English.
Now as far as ratings go you might love a book that I turn out to dislike, or I might love a book that you may dislike. So I try not to choose a book based solely on its rating. But I have several friends and family members who read this book and said it was well worth the read.
It was very well written. First I should say that this book is a work of fiction, but even though the detail in this book does an excellent job of detailing what life was like as a slave. It is about slavery but even more then that it is about one woman’s journey from being snatched in Africa, to her journey into slavery, through slavery, and beyond.
The story begins in a time where she is an older lady and wants to write her own autobiography. She wants to write it herself because she wants it to be accurate. Lawrence Hill does an exceptional job bringing her story to life with vivid details through Aminata’s eyes.
Aminata Diallo was snatched in West Africa as an 11 year old child and forced to walk for months to sea where she would then board a ship and cross over to become a slave in South Carolina.
Aminata proves to be an exceptionally talented person even from the young age of 11 she was already ‘catching babies’. As the story progresses she becomes more and more literate and more determined to fight for not only her freedom, but the freedom of all slaves.
I won’t go into any more details, don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who has not read this book yet.
This was one of the best books I have read in a long time and more than deserved the 5 star rating I gave it on Goodreads.
We've seen, heard and read about the many atrocities during the slave trade but somehow Hill immerses you in it further without the usual shock and imposed guilt. It is about humanity and the lack of humanity among all people.
As a Canadian, we've prided ourselves on the Underground Railroad but Hill shows the ugly underbelly of Canadians who were just as abusive and racist as our American cousins.
Top reviews from other countries
When my friend first recommend the book to me I did have my reservations as I wasn’t sure whether it would be my cup of tea as it is about black slavery and bound to be very historical and political which is very different from the fluffy romantic stuff I usually read!
From the very first pages I knew this was going to be an amazing read and I would be taken on a journey. Indeed I was and I feel shattered just reading it!
The story centres around a young woman, Aminata Diallo and her family, who is brought to London, England, in 1802, by abolitionists who are petitioning to end the slave trade. While she is there she is asked to write an account of her life story which included being abducted from her family at age 11, seeing the death of her mother and father, and being marched in a coffle of captives to the coast along with others from her village. Aminata manages to survive the passage to America because she is able to apply the knowledge and skills passed on to her by her parents, especially the ability to “catch” (i.e., deliver) babies and to understand some African languages. I don’t want to give too much away is it is a book everyone should read.
The imagery in the book is just stupendous. I could picture every track she walked on, the ship she sailed on and the disgusting conditions she and her fellow slaves were made to endure. The book just flows easily from one chapter to the next and not once did I ever feel lost. I was there the whole way.
The book is also home to some wonderful quotes that have really struck a cord with me.
“Beauty comes and goes. Strength, you keep forever”
“That, I decided, was what it meant to be a slave: your past didn’t matter; in the present you were invisible and you had no claim on the future” imagine that as your outlook on life? It’s so upsetting to read.
‘It doesn’t matter what we call your soul, what matters is where it travels and who uplifts it’
The book is full of them but I especially love the last one. As long as you keep your strength and your faith the rest will sort itself out. It’s all about inner beauty which Aminata clearly displays throughout the book. A fantastic read that won't disappoint!