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The Underground Railroad: A Novel Paperback – January 30, 2016

4.4 out of 5 stars 10,886 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Terrific.” —Barack Obama
 
“An American masterpiece.” —NPR
 
“Stunningly daring.” —The New York Times Book Review

"A triumph." —The Washington Post 

“Potent. . . .  Devastating. . . . Essential.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Whitehead's best work and an important American novel.” —The Boston Globe

“Electrifying. . . . Tense, graphic, uplifting and informed, this is a story to share and remember.” —People

“Heart-stopping.” —Oprah Winfrey

“The Underground Railroad is inquiring into the very soul of American democracy. . . . A stirring exploration of the American experiment.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A brilliant reimagining of antebellum America.”—The New Republic

“Colson Whitehead’s book blends the fanciful and the horrific, the deeply emotional and the coolly intellectual. Whathe comes up with is an American masterpiece.”—Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto

The Underground Railroad enters the pantheon of . . . the Great American Novels. . . . A wonderful reminder of whatgreat literature is supposed to do: open our eyes, challengeus, and leave us changed by the end.” —Esquire

“[Whitehead] is the best living American novelist.”—Chicago Tribune

“Masterful, urgent. . . . One of the finest novels written aboutour country’s still unabsolved original sin.” —USA Today

“Brilliant. . . . An instant classic that makes vivid the darkest, most horrific corners of America’s history of brutality against black people.” —HuffPost

“Singular, utterly riveting. . . . You’ll be shaken and stunned by Whitehead’s imaginative brilliance. . . . The Underground Railroad is a book both timeless and timely. It is a book for now; it is a book that is necessary.” —BuzzFeed

“Whitehead is a writer of extraordinary stylistic powers. . . . [The Underground Railroad] offers many testaments to Whitehead’s considerable talents and examines a deeply relevant and disturbing period of American history.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“[An] ingenious novel. . . . A successful amalgam: a realistically imagined slave narrative and a crafty allegory; a tense adventure tale and a meditation on America’s defining values.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Whitehead’s novel unflinchingly turns our attention to the foundations of the America we know now.” —Elle

“Perfectly balances the realism of its subject with fabulist touches that render it freshly illuminating.” —Time

“I haven’t been as simultaneously moved and entertained bya book for many years. This is a luminous, furious, wildly inventive tale that not only shines a bright light on one of the darkest periods of history, but also opens up thrilling new vistas for the form of the novel itself.”—Alex Preston, The Guardian

About the Author

Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad, which in 2016 won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, as well as The Noble HustleZone OneSag HarborThe IntuitionistJohn Henry DaysApex Hides the Hurt, and The Colossus of New York. He is also a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a recipient of the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships. He lives in New York City.

Product details

  • Publisher : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; Reprint edition (January 30, 2016)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0345804325
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0345804327
  • Lexile measure : 890L
  • Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.93 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 10,886 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
10,886 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Ian Thumwood
5.0 out of 5 stars An American classic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 9, 2018
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31 people found this helpful
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Norman Housley
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional novel on a hugely important topic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2017
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25 people found this helpful
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CJC
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, poetic and powerful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 10, 2017
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17 people found this helpful
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Alan and Jan
3.0 out of 5 stars Does this book trivialise slavery and in a way insult all those who suffered?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 13, 2018
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7 people found this helpful
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Literature Fiend
4.0 out of 5 stars A Heartfelt Story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 5, 2018
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