Jill's Reviews > 47

47 by Walter Mosley
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Aug 01, 09

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, historical-fiction
Read in August, 2009

It's clear that Mosley is a great writer, and has much to say. This short book was marketed for teens, but is equally readable by adults. On the surface it can be read as surrealist fantasy set in the days of slavery, an adventure story using the best of magical realism. But the themes that one finds when one digs deeper are the truth about what makes one a "slave" or "master" beyond the altogether real whips and chains and skin color. Can you be chained at night and still be free? I thought this question was an important one, but was also made somewhat less powerful by giving the narrator and his friend Tall John super powers. If you have extra abilities, of course you are going to be able to say you are free and overthrow your oppressors. The point would have been better made without this, but then, it would have been an entirely different novel, so ... you can decide. It was a quick read, and I easily recommend it for teens and adults. It might be harder for the middle school age.
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