Working in the sticky heat of the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born, 11-year-old field slave Washington Black is terrified when he's made manservant to his master's offbeat brother. But naturalist/explorer Wilde, or "Titch," eagerly introduces Wash to a brave new world and protects him when a bounty is placed on his head, as they flee north along America's Atlantic coast to the chilly Arctic. But in their world, can friendship last?...
|Number of Pages||:||432 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Washington Black Reviews
Washington Black is an unusual hybrid of a book – an adventure-fraught, adrenaline-pumping tale that also incorporates the horrors of slavery, the joys of scientific discovery, and a coming of age journey. Yet, it all works.
Briefly, a look at the plot: a 12-year-old slave named George Washington Black (nicknamed Wash) , by a streak of fortune, falls under the protection of the cruel owner’s brother, Christopher (Titch) Wilde, who is far more enlightened with a scientific bend. After a nail-bitin ...more
I'm not sure I'd have read Washington Black if it hadn't been nominated for the Booker Prize. I just don't think it would have been on my radar. But when I examined the synopses of all the long-listed novels, it jumped right to the top of my list. Of all the books selected, it sounded like the most accessible and entertaining. And it is a fun read. It's a globe-trotting romp, a fast-paced historical adventure.
Our narrator is the eponymous George Washington Black, an eleven-year-old slave on a Ba ...more
An entertaining, easy read (despite the subject of the book).
Reading this book was bit like eating cotton candy: fluffy and sweet but it leaves you with a slight stomach ache and a craving for some 'real' food.
2.5* (rounded up)
This is certainly very readable but I'm not convinced that the various elements really come together. The brutalities of plantation life for black slaves have been more fully depicted elsewhere, not least in The Underground Railroad and the classic Beloved. The second half is more like a Victorian adventure: think Jules Verne here, with balloons, ship voyages, and scientific experiments to construct aquariums.
By the end, themes of freedom, homecoming and reparations emerge with concerns about t ...more
Despite a cover that is currently winking at me with come-hither gold foiled clouds, this book was one mammoth slog from beginning to end. The most generous thing I can find to say is that it fairly "zips along" but to what purpose I am unsure.
Much focus has been placed on why a crime novel like Snap is on the Man Booker longlist but at the moment I am looking askance at this middling historical fiction / adventure tale. I am not adverse to historical fiction, Hilary Mantel being the master in m ...more
My first "did not finish" from Booker Long list. The writing is good quality, neat and clean tone of voice, but unfortunately after 15% it didn't pull me in. This is a story-heavy book, but I didn't feel attached to the plot to learn what was going to happen to Washington Black. I felt like it's lacking originality as we have read many similar books before.
So unfortunately this didn't work for me.
The first 100 pages or so of this 2018 Booker nominated novel is strong. The young slave Washington’s relationship with Kit is moving and his subsequent development by the plantation owner’s scientist brother, known as Titch, is interesting. As soon as Titch and Washington start their escape from the island however, the descent into farce begins. I don’t enjoy fantasy as a genre and that is what this book becomes. I was captivated at first by the strong writing and by a promising storyline but t ...more
".....freedom seemed a thing I might live in, like a coat, a warmth I could draw around myself as some armour against the world." If you are George Washington (Wash) Black, freedom may just leave you adrift in the world. This book takes Wash from 1830 to 1836, from the age of 12 to 18. It starts on a sugar plantation on the island of Barbados and ends in Marrakesh. I was expecting another story about the horrors of slavery, but then it surprised me and went off in other directions. It had plenty ...more