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Slavery (The Young Adult's Guide to America - Episode 1) Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sally Hemming is a bright slave girl who appears to appreciate her status for giving her access to Jefferson, the object of her desire. George Washington is a Lizardman, replete with a reptilian tongue that will make you cringe. Monticello is burned to the ground to cover Franklin's crimes against humanity, while the Freemasons are aliens come to Earth via meteorite to help the Americans do shocking things to King George....
Well, anyhow, this is truly a one-of-a-kind venture, and not at all one for those who (quite understandably) cannot get beyond the incessant cursing, sexual decadence on steroids, and Franklin's brutal abuse (rape, murder and torture) of his slaves. The point: Franklin tells it like it is-- slavery cannot be benign or excused by any of Jefferson's rationalizations, so the model slaveowner is the one who so abuses his slaves that they will rise and gain their freedom. Unless of course, the aliens side with the slavers.
This sho' ain't history, and it would grievously insult literature to lump it in that category. But if you enjoy an insane romp through alternate history and being subjected to outrageous dialogue that would make the Marquis de Sade (Justine) or Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer) blush, this may be your bag.
That said, I have to point out a few flaws in this work. For starters, Sallier needs to improve integrating description with dialogue. He either spends his time describing things (such as the setting, expressions, movements of characters etc.) or he's presenting us with dialogue, but never both. I think it would have been easier to visualize the story, too, if there were more detailed descriptions of the characters' clothing, their movements as they were speaking, facial expressions etc. Also at times it was difficult to follow who was speaking.
Another problem I have is his use of the black characters. That is to say, they're *used* and not really developed. Jefferson and Franklin get fleshed out pretty well; they're funny and they're complicated. For the most part, violence is enacted on the black characters, but it's more gratuitous than anything else. The only character that really gets a large speaking role is Jefferson's slave Sally Hemmings, who spends most of her time trying to entice Jefferson, which is itself problematic. Sally is pretty funny herself (she puts on a fake dialect to turn Jefferson on), but there's something disjointed about the work's overall theme and including a black character who seems to get off on being a slave. There are also a few grammar and spelling errors throughout the piece. Overall a really funny read and I look forward to reading his next work, Religion.