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The Underground Railroad
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June 2018: Magical Realism > The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - 4 stars

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Sushicat | 805 comments Set just before the Civil War, we meet Cora on a cotton plantation in Georgia. As her situation goes from bad to worse, she joins Caesar on his flight north to freedom. But wherever the underground railroad takes her, she is faced with huge difficulties.

Colson Whitehead uses the construct of a real underground railway to allow Cora to migrate quickly from one place to the other to illustrate the realities faced by escaped slaves beyond the perils of the flight itself.

Another read where I felt the emotional connection to the tale lacking.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I am glad you liked it!

While I liked the story, I thought that Whitehead's incorporation of the underground railroad as an actual railroad was way underutilized. It didn't feel well incorporated into the book, but felt like this weird add on.

Have you read Underground Airlines? I thought it was a MUCH better incorporation of the underground railroad, but as getting people out of the country on planes. The story was also much different.

I also liked the use of magical realism in Exit West, where people stepped through magical doors for immigration. I read this one at the same time as Underground Railroad, which may be why I judged UR so harshly.


Sushicat | 805 comments I also compared this one to Exit West and think the doors made a better construct. The railroad did have more potential, but somehow in hindsight every part of the book could have been deepened.

Underground Airlines is still on my wishlist. So many promising books out there... Actually it is the one I wanted to read more...


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I wonder if Underground Airlines is tagged dystopian....I would think it would be!


Sushicat | 805 comments LOL - I already have a list of about 20 dystopian books I really want to read...


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