The Underground Railroad

Just finished my latest Audible book last week – it was called The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

Before that, I had been reading a book about somebody’s life – and death – during the Holocaust, and like a bloody eejit I thought this might be a light-hearted foil. Why was I so dumb? Well, it isn’t a phrase that is commonly used in the UK, so it was only when I started that I learned that the book was about slavery.

It is an award-winning book – it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017. That was the reason I chose it. I thought a book which won something like that was bound to be a good read. It took a while to get into it, though – I put it down about halfway through and didn’t pick it up again for a few months, so it wasn’t massively engaging. Second-time, I started from scratch but got all the way through.

It is about a slave-girl on a Georgia plantation, who escapes, and the tale follows her run up north. Obviously there are twists, but…you’ll have to read the book.

The thing I found strange about the book was that the Underground Railroad was written as an actual railroad – choo, choo, and so on – where my understanding is that it is a figure of speech. I had to do a double-take when I heard that.

I guess overall it was a good story. There was one part I’d have done very differently. They send a slave-catcher after her, who duly catches her, but at one point the tables are turned and she has a gun on him. She rides off, leaving him tied up. And, of course, he later comes back to haunt her. Me? I’d have shot him between the eyes. It’s simple – him or me. But I suppose the book would only be half as long if she’d done things my way!

Anyway, the subject matter was nowhere near as lightweight as I’d hoped – I assume that despite the story being fiction, the author made it as true-to-life as possible, and some parts are horrific – but overall I’d say this was a good read.


  1. It does sound like a good story. I wonder why I never find anything good to listen on my Audibles. I’ve finished three recently and they were “meh…”

    I guess I really should deviate from choosing suburban mysteries πŸ˜€

    By the way, perhaps you’d like to join a blogathon? it’s not mine but it will be better if more people will join…

    I mean, just in case πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to read everything voraciously. Now if a book hasn’t grabbed my attention in the first few chapters (pages sometimes), I give it up. I think I still have the same attention span, but life is just too short to be spent reading something which I am not enjoying!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I’m pretty much the same, but I felt it had to be a good book because it was so award-winning. I guess that first time around, I was not in the mood to listen. Funnily enough, the “new” one is also one I have previously given up – but that one is more facts and figures, which I don’t think come across well in an audiobook.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s