On the Southern Literary Trail discussion

The Nickel Boys
This topic is about The Nickel Boys
43 views
Group Reads: Post-1990 > Final Impressions: The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead- October 2020

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tom Mathews | 2666 comments Mod
Comments on this board are made with the assumption that readers have finished the book and may include spoilers.


message 2: by Sara, "Ivy Rowe" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara (phantomswife) | 1245 comments Mod
I have finished. It failed to connect with me on a visceral level. I felt for the boys and think the story is an important one to be told, but the youtube interviews touched me in a way the book failed to.

my review


Judi | 454 comments I gave Nickel Boys a solid five based on my personal, visceral experience of those days. I lived close to a similar "reform" school when I was a kid. It presented itself as dedicated to instilling honor, respect, and discipline to the boys who lived there . It was eventually closed down based on the "reality" of their practice. It was an open "Academy" for many years, impacted many youths lives. I listened to the audible version and that gave voice to my painful reaction. The writing was acceptable.


Lori Keeton | 443 comments Sara, the YouTube video moved me much more than the book as well.

Judi, I can only imagine your personal experience living near a place like the Nickel school. Personal connections add to one's reading experience for sure.

Since we are in the final thoughts thread, can we talk about the ending? I had not figured it out at all. But I thought it only gave the story less credibility. I was actually not happy and thought it was a cheap trick. Maybe that's too harsh a criticism?


message 5: by Sara, "Ivy Rowe" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara (phantomswife) | 1245 comments Mod
I agree with Lori that having the personal connection probably made this more real for you, Judi.

I thought the ending fell flat. It was supposed to shock us, I think, but it seemed questionable to me. (view spoiler)


Glennie | 11 comments This was my review:
A detailed narrative about a fictitious reform school in the 1960s South, and the effect it had on the youngsters sent there. I found the writing a bit lacking in emotional depth even though Whitehead spares no detail in the mistreatment of the boys on a physical and spiritual level.
It was good, but not as good as I expected.


message 7: by Sara, "Ivy Rowe" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara (phantomswife) | 1245 comments Mod
I would say you nailed it, Glennie.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 414 comments The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead – 5*****
In the 1960s Jim Crow South, a young man on his way to college makes a life-changing mistake and winds up in the notoriously draconian Nickel Academy reform school. I was completely engrossed in this story. I loved how the relationships between the boys at Nickel developed, how they helped one another even when they could not understand one another. The last part of the novel moves forward in time when one of the boys has grown up and is in New York. But while he’s achieved a measure of success, he is still haunted by what happened in his youth. Whitehead’s use of this structure made the pivotal scene all the more impactful.
My full review HERE


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 414 comments Also ... did anyone else notice the cover art? Two boys .... one shadow.


message 10: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tom Mathews | 2666 comments Mod
Book Concierge wrote: "Also ... did anyone else notice the cover art? Two boys .... one shadow."

Good catch!


back to top