Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Good Lord Bird

The Good Lord BirdThe Good Lord Bird by James McBride
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I read the dedication for this book, "For Ma and Jade who loved a good whopper," I knew I was in for a wild ride.

I first read about John Brown in high school history, where he was barely mentioned as a fanatic abolitionist who waged a war to free the slaves. Since that time many books have been written about John Brown by African Americans who have made him more of a cult figure and reject the notion that a white man would have to be crazy to wage a war to free the slaves.

This book is historical fiction based on fictitious notes by Henry Shackleford who claimed to have been the only Negro to survive John Brown's raid on the Harper's Ferry arsenal in 1859. He claimed to have been able to do this by being dressed as a girl for over four years while he accompanied John Brown and his "army" through Kansas, Missouri, and with him to meet Frederick Douglass in Boston.

It's a wild shoot 'em up story, hilarious and unbelievable. A real whopper.

View all my reviews