42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Known World: A Novel (Paperback)
Some of the things I liked about The Known World:
* The chapter titles. Partly just because I enjoy trying to predict what they mean before reading the chapter, partly because I believe they reveal what the author thinks is important.
* The freshly unconventional non-linear narrative style. Jones employs it in this novel as well as many of his short stories.
* The fact that this novel's technical aspects (grammar, usage, etc...) anger purists.
* The controversial subject matter (freed slaves as slave owners), of which many astute antebellum history scholars may already be familiar but of which I was not.
* Most of the vast array of characters, like Alice for example, who was kicked in the head by a mule and rendered incoherent. She becomes the novel's transcendental figure, relegated to wandering the plantation's surrounding woods at night and chanting nonsensical verse.
Some of the things I disliked about The Known World:
* Too many characters. I just couldn't keep them all straight in my, perhaps, enfeebled mind.
* Predictable ending. Jones, I'm guessing, tries a twist, but it's nothing you haven't seen (or read) before.
So, as you can see, I liked more than I disliked about this book. I would definitely recommend it to curious readers. I'm not so sure I agree with its Pulitzer Prize status, but if it attracts more readers then that's a good thing.