Excellent. A shocking reminder.,
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This review is from: Twelve Years a Slave (Kindle Edition)
With the hype surrounding the movie I thought I had best read the book first. Movies have a habit of distorting, or even changing completely, the tales told in books. However, without the movie I would probably have never read this which would be a shame because it is a fantastic, yet disturbing, book.
The story of Solomon Northup highlights the horrors the mankind is capable of inflicting upon mankind. Slavery is a nasty stain on the history of the human race, and the suffering inflicted upon these people should never be repeated. Unfortunately, it is still carried out to this day in places around the world and this book details the way people are treated.
Born a free man Solomon was kidnapped and taken from his family to be sold into slavery where he survived countless beatings and witnessed the psychological and physical hardships of fellow slaves. Some of the stories of the other slaves he knew are truly heartbreaking, especially those of Eliza and Patsey.
Fortunately for Solomon he had a stroke of luck that led to him regaining the freedom that was stolen from him. This is where this book goes from being good to great. Other books / films highlight the nastiness of slavery and yet this book also highlights that not all white people were bad. It shows that there were people willing to risk everything to help someone that others considered unworthy of being treated as well as animals.
The fact that it was written in the days of slavery means that some of the language / grammar can take a little getting used to. Some of the sentences seem to go on for ages and I found myself re-reading sections to get back on track with what was being said. Prolific use of the N word is, at first, quite shocking but you need to remember when it was written.