Charlaralotte's Reviews > Blonde Roots

Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo
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's review
May 28, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2009
Read in May, 2009

This book imagines a world where black people enslave white people. It's a bit like a Jonathan Swift satire. The premise is quite good and opens your mind to the deeply ingrained racism in our culture. The characters were well-crafted to represent the usual demographics depicted in slave stories, but with the skin colors flipped. At times I wished it had a bit more of the Swiftian edge--that the writing would become as brutally satirical as Swift's could be to really drive home the asinine ways of mankind.

At times I thought George Saunders might do a better job of using this premise. His modern day subtle satirical bent might have gotten to the point of the book much more quickly. I also found the ramshackle geography of the story unnecessary or just way too confusing. I'm also not sure why certain names had to be retained but with "Africanized" spellings. These moments took me out of the world of the story.

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