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BOOK OF THE MONTH
THE ICKABOG
J.K. Rowling
1299

'The Ickabog is coming... A mythical monster, a kingdom in peril, an adventure...(+)

Author Spotlight

Marina is an Anglo-Indian, London-based barrister specialising in constitutional and human rights ...(+)

  Marina Wheeler  
 
 
 
The Nickel Boys
Colson Whitehead

Classification : General & Literary Fiction
Pub Date : Jul 09, 2020
Imprint : Fleet
Page Extent :
Binding : PB
ISBN : 9780708899427
Price : 499

About the book
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2020 Time #1 Novel of the Year 2019 'If greatness is excellence sustained over time, then without question, Whitehead is one of the greatest of his generation. In fact, figuring his age, acclaim, productivity and consistency, he is one of the greatest American writers alive' Time 'A commanding triumph' Sunday Times 'Every chapter hits its mark' New York Times 'A real page-turner' Mail on Sunday ________________________________________________________________________ Author of The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead, brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in 1960s Florida. Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clear-sighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide 'physical, intellectual and moral training' which will equip its inmates to become 'honorable and honest men'. In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear 'out back'. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King's ringing assertion, 'Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.' But Elwood's fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors. The tension between Elwood's idealism and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions. Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.

Read Review   Want to write a review?
Whitehead renders a terrifying world in disarming terms, lovingly guiding his reader to recognize the lasting impact of a cruel era, Time
Colson Whitehead's book is not a polemic, but in presenting the unconscionable history of this particular institution, keeping boys in solitary confinement or even burying them "out the back", he once again builds an allegorical history that resonates in the present -- Tim Adams, Observer
A masterful piece of very human storytelling -- Nikesh Shukla, i
A furious, compassionate novel whose final sleight of hand will twist deep in your gut -- Claire Allfree, Metro
There's hardly a spare word in this book . . . Whitehead has a talent for creating ambiguous, complex scenes that fix in your memory. The Nickel Boys feels like a necessary fictional project, writing the blank or buried pages of US history; and it's done with virtuosity, Evening Standard
If greatness is excellence sustained over time, then without question, Whitehead is one of the greatest of his generation. In fact, figuring his age, acclaim, productivity and consistency, he is one of the greatest American writers alive, Time
Forceful and tightly wrought . . . Whitehead homes in on the way in which every action fits into a fully orchestrated whole, which is why I would wish everyone, black or white, to read this novel. He demonstrates to superb effect how racism in America has long operated as a codified and sanctioned activity intended to enrich one group at the expense of another, Guardian
[Whitehead] has produced yet another modern classic . . . He's also adept at creating characters of unforgettable flesh-and-blood immediacy, with even the swiftest pen portrait conveying the full weight of a lived history. Quietly and purposefully heartbreaking in its portrayal of the lifelong legacy of abuse, it is quite outstanding -- Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
A commanding triumph . . . brilliant and furious . . . a lean, commanding page turner that provides the richest fictional experience of 2019 so far . . . the prose is so loaded with quicksilver wit, it holds you in its thrall. It is a novel that not only succeeds in character, plot and moral argument but lends grace to lives all too easily shattered . . . The compressed fury of Whitehead's writing is what propels the novel forward - he is one of only a handful of writers who is so brilliant you just want to feed him stories. He has a distinctive voice, at once cynical and compassionate, and his wry observations cut to the quick in ways that make other novelists look prissy or too anxious to please. There is barely a paragraph of The Nickel Boys without some felicitous touch, Sunday Times
From the award-winning author of The Underground Railroad comes another searing novel exploring America's racially troubled past . . . a real page-turner, Mail on Sunday
     
Colson Whitehead

 

Colson Whitehead is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad, The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days...(+)

Books by Colson Whitehead
Apex Hides the Hurt (PB)
The Colossus of New York (PB)
The Intuitionist (PB)
The Nickel Boys: the new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad (TPB)
The Underground Railroad (PB)