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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  271 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny on board the Spanish slave ship, Amistad, here is the frightening sequence of events that led fifty-three young men and women - and one young nation - to seek freedom and justice for all people. Amistad is the story of Cinque, the illegally enslaved son of a Mende chief who led an uprising full of fury and courage. It is also the...more
316 pages
Published November 25th 1997 by Signet (first published November 1st 1997)
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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick DouglassRoots by Alex HaleyAdventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainUncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher StoweBeloved by Toni Morrison
22nd out of 68 books — 69 voters
The Color Purple by Alice WalkerTheir Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale HurstonBeloved by Toni MorrisonKindred by Octavia E. ButlerRoots by Alex Haley
Best Black Historical Fiction
112th out of 136 books — 138 voters

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Community Reviews

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I decided to read Amistad after my husband and I visited The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. Cincinnati is right across the river from Kentucky so it was often the slaves' first stop across the Mason-Dixon Line on their way to Canada. The museum sent a powerful message about a chapter of American history which is often glossed over in school history classes. While Amistad isn't necessarily the most well-written book I've read, it was able to personalize a historic eve...more
Jonathan Reyes
This book I chose it because I remember watching the movie in my History class but do not remember what it was all about because I spaced out. This is a very difficult book to read and can be boring to most because it is not as entertaining as fictional books. It has a historical aspect and teaches the reader about American history but it is a book that you have to stick with all the way through even if it does not appeal.
James Moldenhauer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eye awaking, Riveting book. I was in high school when I read this. It truly brings to light the suppression and abuse and lack of dignity that was the result of a culture feeling superior to an entire race of Those who are in fact equals.
The kind of inspiring stories. Really.
There's one thing though, I can't help thinking that, at the end, Cinque and his people only got his freedom back "thanks to" the whites.
Questions are going to be left unanswered ...
Susan Reed
Written from the movie.
Gives some more details, but obviously not a novel that the screen play was developed from.
Good story.
I saw the movie years ago, and recently saw the book at half-price books so I picked it up. I didn't realize it was written from the movie, not the other way around. So it was a bit clumsy and did not offer the detail a novel normally would. It jumped around quite a bit. However, I still think the story is a good one and the main character, Cinque, is developed into a very admirable character. I always enjoy stories that give me a glimpse of a culture that I don't know much about. This fits into...more
I read this awhile ago and I remember it was riveting.
This is the first book I've ever read that was written AFTER a movie and was based on the screenplay. I haven't seen the movie either, so it was really weird reading to start with. About the middle of the book it finally seemed to click- the feeling I was reading a book more than someone describing a movie to me.
There were parts that were really hard to read because they were so inhumane and there was so much suffering, but what can you expect when you're reading a book about the slave trade in...more
I was anitipating that the writing would be terrible because the novel was based on a movie script, but it wasn't too bad. The copy I had was large print, so that was a bit strange. The story was very interesting, which was very redeeming. Apparently it is a true story about a ship load of African slaves that rebel and kill most of the crew and are caught by the U.S. in 1839. The majority of the book deals with a court case dealing with whether the Africans are slaves or free men.
Elisa Gusdal
I love Alex Pate's writing, however this book seemed more like something he did for the paycheck. I like that he improved upon the movie. I was disappointed in the movie, especially after the phenomenal job that was done on Shindler's List. In Pate's version of the book he makes the characters come alive more and seem more real, whereas in the movie they seemed helpless and invisible because their language was not translated.
I should have known it was a novelization of a movie that wasn't that good in the first place. (Oh why oh why did all of my favorite actors have to get together in one friggin crappy movie that I couldn't bring myself to endure past fifteen minutes?) Aside from that fact, the writing itself was - in a word - TERRIBLE. I got more enjoyment from actual history textbooks about the Amistad story than this thing.
Aug 18, 2013 Red rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: us
amistad is friendship in spanish. a bond between people that can stand the test of time. a rare diamond is amistad

a special chapter of american history and of mankind. the tale deserves something far better then this a retelling of the movie.
nevertheless better than nothing. in a fair world it should be redone properly. the stars given is my homage to the event and not to the paperback.
as always, i'm revolted by the way white people treated blacks and indians. we think we can just go into a country and take over--india, australia, africa, america, where else? our way is so much better than theirs, and we needed to convert them to our way. what a bunch of bunk! the slaves in amistad had every right to revolt!
It was a great story, but the writing was a little clunky. The author relied too heavily on phrases and dependent clauses for effect when he could have experimented with punctuation a little more. Throw in a dash here and there for effect, Mr. Alexs.
Go to the movie... this book is not a true novel, but a synopsis of the movie or as the novel indicates a novel based on a screenplay... so I think its a good read for a young adult, but I wanted a bit more meat... and that I did not get.
De film had ik al gezien en nu ook het boek gelezen. Zowel de film als het boek bevatten zeer indrukwekkende scènes. In dit geval vind ik de film beter dan het boek
Amazing story that makes me see that even throught the worst of times the human heart and mind can overcome so much hate.
This was weird: a book based on a movie script. Not super writing. Looking forward to watching the movie.
Great story - but this is a treatment from the film, so not a great book.
Chuck Sanders
wat i learn bout this book iz dats its about slavery.
Jun 15, 2011 Zenei rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Recommend
Recommended to Zenei by: Rated 5
Very good interpretation of a very good movie.
Liz Cook
I am reading this again right now...
One of my very favorite books.
It was a great read the first time as I read it on a plane, and gets better each time.
Katty C.
So emotive
Lori marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2014
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