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The Atlantic Sound

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Liverpool, England; Accra, Ghana; Charleston, South Carolina. These were the points of the triangle forming the major route of the transatlantic slave trade. And these are the cities that acclaimed author Caryl Phillips explores--physically, historically, psychologically--in this wide-ranging meditation on the legacy of slavery and the impact of the African diaspora on the ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 10th 2000 by Alfred A Knopf
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dead letter office

I used to see the author from afar and have always been curious about his writing. As usual, I never gathered the courage to talk to him, but I finally got around to reading something he wrote. This starts slow and gains strength as it goes. Parts of it are historical fiction, parts are autobiographical, and parts are history. It chronicles the author's travels (England, Ghana, the Caribbean, America, Israel), and bits and pieces of history (an African trader visits England in the 1800s, an Afri
I guess I just didn't get this book. The historical part in Liverpool, where John Ocansey journeys from Africa to Liverpool to find out what happened to his father's money, was the most interesting part because John is a sympathetic character. Next most interesting were the author's experiences in Ghana, because I've never been there. Judge Waring is also mildly interesting - did he believe in civil rights, or was he really so desperate for friends (because he was ostracized because he divorced ...more
Travels of the middle passage: unexpected tone, aim and even subject matter. It's excellent

I picked this book up in the library probably because of its alluring cover image and title, I'll admit it. And I was prepared to even enjoy what I thought was coming: an intellectual travel book of the Paul Theroux ilk, with perhaps the added sarcasm and chip on the shoulder due any returing British colonial.

It was, however, immediately more interesting and engrossing than any of those books Mr. Theroux h
Well researched and interesting personal encounter with some historical aspects of the slave trade. The almost haphazard narrative can be irritating, and at the outset you mistake this lack of warp and weft for laziness. Phillips also adopts a disinterested position towards his participants at the cost of our engagement, but the accumulation of accounts overcomes this and we end up as participants in his journey. As reportage it lacks bite, particularly in comparison to actual accounts of slaver ...more
Sarah KKKKKKKK irnon
a fellow West Indian who writes a bout the transatlantic slave trade , Mr Phillips lets his own feelings seep through, but he tames them and moves with the stories of people and places of past. The Guardian reviewed this book a few years ago , and referred to it as "historically illuminating " they weren't half wrong.
This book is a permanent fixture on the table next to my sleeping vessel.
Reading this the second time and it's even better than before.
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Afro Book Club: The Atlantic Sound - Book Discussion 3 11 Oct 06, 2014 03:11PM  
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Caryl Phillips was born in St.Kitts and came to Britain at the age of four months. He grew up in Leeds, and studied English Literature at Oxford University.

He began writing for the theatre and his plays include Strange Fruit (1980), Where There is Darkness (1982) and The Shelter (1983). He won the BBC Giles Cooper Award for Best Radio Play of the year with The Wasted Years (1984). He has written
More about Caryl Phillips...
Crossing the River A Distant Shore Cambridge The Nature of Blood The Lost Child

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