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on 17 November 2014
This is powerful, maddeningly brutal, heartfelt and hard to forget.

I've put off reading this for several months, knowing the content from the Oscar-winning film. Actually, it wasn't as hard to read as I'd feared, but scenes will linger for me.

I've read The Long Song, Chains, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Beloved. Solomon made it more real for me, the husband and father doing what he can to get home.

His writing style is very much of the period, which I don't have issues with, though some descriptions of farming procedures held little interest in the context of the book for me.

Some of the more shocking scenes were actually those in which slaves are 'granted' three days holiday for Christmas, treated to sumptuous meals and dances by their usually whip-wielding 'masters'. The enjoyment and laughter resulting had me in floods of angry tears.

Solomon wisely state facts and leaves opinion to us his readers. The actions of the participants speak for themselves. Bass I would want awarding medals. To stand out against public opinion and speak as he did - commendable.

It's a book that by rights should be reqiired reading by every secondary school student in the UK and USA. More than textbooks, films, question sheets, students will be forcsped to think about what nations did in their past, what happens when greed trumps humanity.

Not a book you will enjoy but one you won't regret letting into your conscience.
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on 9 February 2014
I wasn't expecting much from this novel, but somehow it surprised me and it turned out OK.

Unfortunately there is a problem with this novel. Amazon copy and pasted this novel from another site (reason why it's so cheap). Because of this there is typing errors throughout the novel that Amazon haven't bothered changing.

This has to be one of the best historical pieces involving slavery. It's great for educational or entertainment purposes. This novel opened my eyes a little more considering slavery, not just in England, but in America too.

There are clear and sometimes graphic descriptions in this novel, but I guess it's told as it is. (You have been warned). The dialogue was also clear and was of very good quality. It compliments the descriptions and pieces everything together nicely.

Overall it's a great novel that's well written, even considering it's age. I would recommend this novel who stumbles across the author or even the movie.
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on 5 July 2014
I enjoyed this book as it takes you through what appears to be a well educated man and his descent into slavery, he takes you through the horrors that befall those who have been dragged into this alien lifestyle. Solomon was lucky in some respect as he had a trade which would help him avoid the more mundane tasks that slaves were made to endure for very long hours day in day out.
It's worth reading this book just to get a feel (imagined as nothing could duplicate the real thing) for the inhuman things that some people are willing to make others endure just for the colour of skin,
Remember slavery is just as prevalent today as it was in Solomon Northups time,it's just disguised very well and does not get the attention it needs
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on 19 July 2017
Matter of fact and unsentimental but harrowing at times. I haven't seen the film so no pre conceived ideas about the story. The language takes a bit of getting used to but it is easy enough to follow and I like how descriptive it is. It's an educational and rewarding read. I found it riveting and read it over a couple of days.
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on 11 March 2014
I am not black in a white world. I have been an outsider all my life, though. I am an expat and explorer. The ONLY way I can know specifically of this issue is to talk with my contemporaries (which I do) and read. I read several books and narratives on the topic by the people directly involved, but in my search and studies I had not come upon Northup's narrative. '12 years a slave' could also be the title of so many women's lives today and yesterday.Or children's lives. There are so many vulnerable people close to the liminal edge of our veil of civility. I saw the film and am now rounding that experience out by reading the book. Awareness is the first step toward compassion.
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on 25 February 2014
I bought this because I want to see the film, but I wanted to read the book before seeing the film.

The book is written in an old style which I thought I would struggle with, but I picked it up very easily.

The story is fairly fast-paced and is constantly moving forward so it's difficult to put down.

I have a found a few spelling and grammatical errors in the kindle version, which I presume were introduced when the book was converted to kindle format. These don't distract from the storyline, but I don't think it is unreasonable to expect these are ironed out in the final version.

I'm currently about 70% of the way through the book and I am looking forward to reading the rest. I still plan to see the film, but (as usual) I doubt the film will be as detailed as the book.

I would recommend this book.
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on 17 February 2014
Solomon Northrup. True story
Twelve Years a Slave
This is a true story which will make you glad that you were born in this day and not then.
How we were able to read a fellow human like this is beyond belief. The hardship that these slaves had to endure was enough to make any normal person sick. I am so glad that Solomon made a return to freedom albeit took 12 years in which time he suffered at the hands of the so called masters. The story is brilliantly penned by a man that suffered so much, we should all take a look at ourselves and be thankful for the existence in which we have.
5 stars 17 February 2014.
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on 5 February 2014
What a great read I could not beleive how cruel some people were to these slave's Soloman did well to stand up to some of his masters. Even though he was born as a free man from slavery this didn't stop him from becoming a slave himself, he never gave up the fight for his freedom. This book is a very good read and I could not put this book down I just hope that the film does not destroy the book itself.
I'm glad that I read the book first onto the film next.
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on 18 October 2017
Started to read, but didn't like style of writing. Dragged a bit, so haven't finished. Have returned to paperback books which I prefer. Enjoyed the film.
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on 10 November 2016
This is a very interesting read, you should read this id you can
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