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The Known WorldArly 2 months to finish the book s 388 pages It should ve been a ick read It is a fascinating place with peculiar problems and characters I cried for on than one occasion It should ve been a I, Afterlife uick read but I kept asking myself thisestion who would I have been The slave toiling away in the field The overseer Can I Tell You about Nystagmus? unable to see the world for what it truly was The freed man working desperately to free the rest of his family The smart child takennder the wing of the rich white slave owner and convinced that there was nothing wrong with owning another human being The broken black man tortured by his family s wealth built on the backs of men and women that look just like me The slave too proud too strong too powerful to let another take his freedom Who would I have beenWho am I nowIn matters of race there is always that fool s point Last Whales usually made by a white person though not always that askswhy aren t you over it already Can t we just let it go It is a way to end anncomfortable conversation The reasons don t matter I know many a person for which the sticky tar baby of race in America is simply a discussion they can t stick their hands in It is too difficult Too raw Too cloudy to be sure that people will remain friends after an honest chat The way I feel when I read books like The Known World is my answer No matter how well adjusted how integrated how loving of my fellow man how multiculti kumbayah I am I m not over it I can t let it goThis fictional world was very real not all that long ago It s effects still ripple through our every day The world I know doesn t exist without itHighly highly recommended Dear The Known WorldI ll be blunt I m breaking things off This just isn t working It s not you it s me Well maybe it s you too a bitI really thought when we got together that we would have a brief but mutually satisfying relationship I d read you you d provide enlightenment or emotional catharsis or entertainment maybe even all three All the signs were there the laudatory The Art of War uotes on your jacket a shocking andnexpected premise high marks on goodreads But something was just off by the end of the first chapter Maybe it was the masturbation scene right at the start Or the characters that I just couldn t get into I could hardly tell some of them apart Or the way the narrative seemed to skip all over without any focus Maybe I just didn t give you enough pages I m sure you got better as you went along I mean look at all the four and five star reviews you ve gotten But every time I picked you Introduction to Cinematography up my thoughts turned to the three other books on my bedside table that I d rather be reading I haven t actually beennfaithful but that s just not a healthy basis for a relationship So after 72 pages I m putting you downDon t feel too bad Focus on all those other good reviews and maybe we ll meet again someday when the stars all align just right But probably notEmilyFor book reviews come visit my blog Build Enough Bookshelves A very complex and beautiful compelling book about Henry a former slave who becomes a slave owner his wife Caldonia But they re just the start the book is really a series of stories vignettes about the families friends neighbors community surrounding Henry Caldonia It took me a really long time to get into the book because there are so many characters some important some not the book jumps around in time making it difficult to follow Trust me Le seigneur des anneaux : La communaut de L'anneau, tome 1 / Les deux tours, tome 2 / Le Retour du Roi, tome 3 use the cast of characters at the end of this edition why not place this at the beginning givep your expectations about traditional narrative format you ll LOVE this book as much as I did In life we have our own story kind of playing in our head at the same time we have all these other stories we re hearing the story about your mother s great The History of the Future uncle The story about your brother in law s neighbor The one about your sister s husband s aunt her neighbor the one about your coworker s mother You know all those stories That s what this book is like some characters are important than others so you hear of their stories but minor characters have stories too they sort of appear out of nowhere you get to hear their story then they re gone It s really very cool I particularly loved the story of the womanizing slave who has a vision during a lightning stormtornado becomes the founder of an orphanage And the little tiny story about the family who don t want to givep their cow the woman goes into the barn to milk the cow there s this lovely description of her suirting the cow s milk into a cat s mouth if you ve ever seen a cat eat with true contentment you will recognize the cat body language that Jones describes Toward the end of the book there s a very powerful scene where a character who isn t a particularly good CHARACTER SAYS THERE SHOULD BE A says there should be a or light of truth in the world an actual place where people can stand tell the truth without fear of retribution where one might be able to right a wrong It s a moment where you think yes this guy could right the wrong by speaking out because his fear of having people think he s on the negro s side iswell wrong But that s his fear in that moment of the book you Sanzoku Ou - King of Bandits Vol. 9 understand it you think yeah what if he could speak outnder that light of truth not have anyone judge him How wonderful would that be While the book depicts the horrors of slavery there are a few characters who are outright despicable there are many shades of gray in Jones vision as well It s a book that will make you think about slavery the myths realities tragedies of it all on top of that it ll make you think about your own life all the people you ve known how complex interesting we all are really It s beautifully written the characters will stick in your head as if you d known them too Oddly I think what I initially disliked most about this book its multitude of characters convoluted timeline is what I ended p really enjoying Another example of a book that made my head expand with some creakiness but I m glad the expansion can still happen there is that old adage that a good book will tell you how to read it and i have no idea to whom that should be attributed only that my undergrad professors seemed to

have been born 
been born professors seemed to have been born to that thought endlessly in my gothic lit class my enlightenment class my victorian lit class the african and irish lit professors mostly kept their mouths shut on the subject but the rest hoo boy did they love to drag that old chestnut out and it makes sense to a certain degree but this book doesn t tell you how to read it so much as it presents itself to the reader like a fat man in a speedo lolling around on an ndersized towel saying look at me ladies you like it this is what you get it almost demands that you read it and like itbut i was disobedientevery sentence every paragraph seemed to be trying to contain multitudes and i am a fan of thick writing but the manner in which this book presented itself Bitva na Hackhamské pláni (Hraničářův učeň: První roky, uickly soured on me there were too many stories or episodes ending with years from now when celia was on her deathbed she would think back to her third year of marriagein a scene where she has yet to even be married or right after two characters are introduced to each other this would be the last time they would meetntil the hailstorm of aught six and i am making Kent Hrbeks Tales from the Minnesota Twins Dugout up all the names and situations here but you get an idea of the shape of my complaints it s constant foreshadowing and some of the foreshadowing is just teasing as the events never come to pass in the novel itself it s like sitting down to tea with a god in his dotage rambling and making connections only he cannderstand seeing the past and future simultaneouslyhey karen didn t you really like that kjaerstaad trilogy where he basically did what you are complaining about hereyeah what so shut Goodbye My Fancy up isn t it past your bedtimeyeah but sure that s true but for some reason it bothered me here all i wanted was a straightforward linear narrative about a fascinating subject matter free black men and women who owned slaves when i read roll of thunder hear my cry last summer the whole transition period between slavery and freedom really excit. Am Robbins the most powerful man in Manchester County Virginia Making certain he never circumvents the law Townsend runs his affairs withnusual discipline But when death takes him nexpectedly his widow Cald. I know this is a critically acclaimed book a Pulitzer winner and a book tackling a difficult and complex stain on America history slavery and black slave owners There are moments when the book does say some interesting things or reveal some nsavory and How to Stop Your Grownup from Making Bad Decisions (Nina the Philosopher, uncomfortable truths but it was so hard to engage with as a reader I mean I hung in with DFW through the first 600 pages of Infinite Jest where nothing happens but because I was fascinated by Hal Orin Marathe Steeply and Mario and Madame Psychosis who all fascinated me There were literally dozens of other characters but these all pulled me in In The Known World there are also dozens of characters but none that I grew any attachment too It was as if the author Jones wassing a hand held camera and no stabilizer so that the images were jumpy and out of focus It reminded me sometimes of how the world seems to my myopic eyes between taking off my glasses in the morning and putting in my contact lenses The narration also highly annoyed me All the parenthetical in 60 years so and so will do such as such were meaningless because I was given neither enough time nor enough detail to give a shit Further there is this reference to years later they would all turn into human torches in front of the dry foods store but no mention afterwards of to what this referred But the most annoying bit was in The Vampires Bedside Companion using the Canadian journalist frame at about page 130 or so which then only briefly appears in the narrative 200 pages later in a parenthetical throwaway comment it is said that the journalist would never marry his heart s desire yet 3 pages later they marry and that coming to talk to Fern that there was some incomprehensible stuff that happens off screen that morning also never adeuately explained and so she was not going to openp to the journalist and yet we still find her filling in details about Henry Moses and Caledonia 30 pages later Too much inconsistency was the editor asleep or stoned and missed theseSo despite taking on a complex subject Jones is no Faulkner as his South does not eve approach that of the Great William He is not as good as Pynchon or DFW is manipulating time and space in a narrative that was 100 or 150 pages too long and felt it and he is not Alice Walker or Toni Morrison who brought s the most amazing poignant and powerful images of slavery and its residual impacts generations later that I have ever read So read Beloved or Absalom Absalom if you want to hear about the South and I expect you will be less frustrated but every bit enraged at this deplorable institution that is a cancer on the American past I m going to have to rave a bit because this is one of the best books I ve read in the past ten yearsJones packs in all the historical detail you could want and of course he s hit on a subject black slaveowners that in and of itself is tabloid sensational Where lesser writers might lean too hard on the sensational aspect or rely on it to bolster an otherwise weak narrative Jones works it into a compelling and powerful storyWhat makes it so powerful is a mix of fascinating characters who are woven into a series of overlapping plotlines For me it s the structuring that is so brilliant geek alert I actually diagrammed the time shifts in the chapters as an exercise to see when and how Jones yoked the whole thing together This less than linear approach might be frustrating to those who just want things to be straightforward but stick with it the shifts provide suspense as well as texture and they propel than one storyline at once They do all come together trust meI also admire the overarching authorial voice in the novel which certainly leans toward the formal but also comes across as aware of the history it s grappling with here and there Jones projects his voice forward for a moment or seemingly digresses with factual material and research Again it s all part of the tapestry and the mix and I also think that the level of narrative awareness which never disengages long enough to derail anything adds another layer to the very idea of history making the whole historical and contemporary bothAnd for those of you who can do without all of the above writerly blather a thousand pardons you ll find in this book characters who are engaging ignorant cruel earnest sympathetic tragic hopeful flawed in short complicated Halfway through you ll be fighting off the impulse to skip ahead to learn everyone s fateFinally I ll say that this book isn t perfect there are aspects of what I ve described above that sometimes don t work narrative turns that do seem pointless digressions a character or two a bit stereotypical or annoying No matter This book aims high as brilliant works of art do and the result is nothing short of amazing This book demands that you read it slowly and intently Like eating a huge Thanksgiving dinner you need to pause And Digest Before You Have digest before you have next course At the outset the plot seems to be all over the place bouncing from character to character telling too many stories not telling enough and then seeming to tell too much Ah but then you make a little progress and the rhythm begins to assert itself the stories begin to weave together the minute details begin to become a diorama the picture stops being a blur and comes into sharp focus This isn t one man s story or even the story of one place this is the story of all men and this is the tale of a worldThis book is not so much about race as it is about the abject insanity and evil of the institution of slavery wherever it is found whoever is practicing it In this system there are free black masters holding black slaves some of them well meaning but it does not make the practice any less immoral There are white men who love their black mistresses and the children they bear but it does not remove the fact that they hold a dominion over them that is not borne of love in any of its guises There are also individuals who are victims of the system and others who its guises There are also individuals who are victims of the system and others who to be victims of the system even at the cost of their lives I loved many of Jones characters notably Augustus and Mildred Townsend They exemplify what is the best in s I felt sorry for some of them like Sheriff John Skiffington who would like to be better than this society allows him to be and Caldonia Townsend s brother Calvin who wishes to go to New York so that he will not have to bear witness to the cruelties around him cruelties he must realized have escaped him only because of a trick of fortune I despised some of them and I recognized most of them The petty and jealous who must have dominion over someone to feel they have worth the Full Disclosure ungrateful and traitorous who would turnpon a friend to put some silver in their own pockets the meek and hopeless who bow to the yoke and try simply to find a corner in which they are allowed to exist the defiant and strong minded who fight with their last breath because to do otherwise is to prop p the indefensible all are hereWhat I loved most about this novel is its genuineness its lack of exaggeration or hyperbole where surely none is needed its emphasis on the day to day injustice of an institution that is accepted as insurmountable or even correct only because it is what is Edward P Jones has leveled an attack at the heart of mankind and defied one to imagine what they would have done what they would have dared to do in such a place and time Manchester County Virginia doesn t exist Never has After reading The Known World however you d be forgiven if you thought you could take a tour of it s plantations and slave cemetaries on your
vacation to colonial 
to colonial The complicated pre civil war Southern society that Edward P Jones creates feels as real and surreal as any factual history of slavery you ve read It was not so much the story of Henry Townsend a black slave owner and all the people that his death allows s to meet that engaged me It was the world a world where I could taste the soil I might till and the women I might marry and the terrible choices I might be faced with that put it s claws in me and refused to let goIt took me ne. In one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory Edward P Jones two time National Book Award finalist tells the story of Henry Townsend a black farmer and former slave who falls nder the tutelage of Willi. ,

Ed my brainparts i dunno and mister jones was a real sweetheart when he came for the new yorker festival and i waited in line to get a book signed for a friend and i really wanted to like it because it seems like a nice fat sprawling sweeping story the way i like but i just got lost in the names and the timeline and my confusion turned into apathy it s like this guy you date who seems really perfect he is smart and looks like gabriel byrne and he dotes on you and everything is fun and on paper it all looks great and you know you should really like him but he just doesn t make you laugh so you run off and leave him for a rockstar you know because i feel like i should like this one because it is award winning and my experience with the african american novel is middling although i love the african novel the west indian novel and the afro canadian novel go figure so i feel like as someone who appreciates literature in general i should totally love this but it wasn t there for meoh chris wilson i am sorry now you are going to want full custody because your baby is being raised among heathens years from now when my and chris wilson s book baby became the mayor of littleton he would read this review and a tear of sorrow would come to his eye at my short sightednesscome to my blog This is a complex novel with dense writing a non linear structure and an abundance of characters It reads much like a true historical account of a place Manchester County Virginia and time pre Civil War 1800s This could very nearly have passed for a non fiction book each character feels so real their personal stories and histories so authentic The author even goes so far as to tell s what happens to many of them ten twenty or even fifty years in the future And yet Edward P Jones himself states The county and town of Manchester Virginia and every human being in those places are products of my imagination The census records I made Asimovs Science Fiction, July 2016 up for Manchester were again simply to make the reader feel that the town and the county and the people lived and breathed in central Virginia oncepon a time Well consider me duped At first I really thought such a county existed and the data presented were genuine facts As my son passed through the living room I even shouted out some sort of statistic or another and asked if he had ever read about such a thing in his history classes He couldn t recall but it sounded familiar Right because much of this could have been true yet it wasn t The institution of slavery of course was all too real and cruel and that s what this book is about and this is the truth Slavery in all its forms is evil Henry Townsend is a black farmer He is a former slave that with the purchase of freedom and some land becomes a slave owner himself Henry and his wife Caldonia own a small plantation near the border of his former master s much larger one I could not wrap my head around why on earth a freed man would ever want to enslave another human being Henry and other black slave owners like him justify their actions Henry had always said that he wanted to be a better master than any white man he had ever known He did not Golden Turnabout understand that the kind of world he wanted to create was doomed before he had even spoken the first syllable of the word master Well as the old saying goes the road to hell is paved with good intentions When Henry dies all hell breaks loose and we begin to see the ill fated conseuences of an institution that is immoral and corrupt A narrative that seems to jump around in time and between characters eventually comes together into a whole as conseuences and events snowball out of control Lives are permanently changed Some for the worst others we hope for the better They all become woven together much like the massive tapestry hanging on the wall of another place in another time Each is part of the story Everyone is responsible for the events which passed were allowed to pass despite the huge injustice to humanity This book is not easy to read The structure is challenging and the topic is gloomy albeit important What happens to the people we grow to care for is often horrifying and heartbreaking But it is well written and extremely impactful An important novel which is well worth your time and attention if you arep for the challenge It won t suit everyone but if you are at all interested I encourage you to pick this one p What I feared most at that moment is what I still fear they would remember my history that I no matter what at that moment is what I still fear that would remember my history that I no matter what had always said to The Contrary Owned People contrary owned people our Race In this book I learned that there sed to be black slaveholders in the US I thought that only white people were allowed to own slaves during the time that owning slaves were like owning properties During that pre Abolition time During those sad dark days in the American historyBlack Edward P Jones born 1951 wrote this historical epic novel The Known World based on the not well known fact that there were some black slaveholders black people owning black slaves in the state of Virginia during the time in the US when owning slave is legal Wikipedia has this to say Slavery in the United States was a form of Red Shoes for Lab Blues unfree labor which existed as a legal institution in North America for than a century before the founding of the United States in 1776 and continued mostly in the Southntil the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 18651 The first English colony in North America Virginia first imported Africans in 1619 a practice earlier established in the Spanish colonies as early as the 1560s2 Most slaves were black and were held by whites although some Native Americans and free blacks also held slaves there were a small number of white slaves as well3 Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Award for Fiction The Known World is one of the most memorable reads I had this year It is not an easy book to read This 388 page novel left me with a heavy chest each time I closed the book Each page is gloomy and sad The novel is well told with lyrical prose creating a big canvas of imagery in one s mind while reading In that big canvas are memorable and three dimensional numerous characters most of them black slaves No character is downright bad or good The detailed description of the sceneries of a fictional county called Manchester and the true depictions of the characters are exceptionally striking that I had to slow down in my reading to savor the story and hold on tugging to them cheering them on to each characters Reading the last page left me with a heavy heart I would not want to let go of that image of Manchester and say goodbye Please don t go yet to the characters that I already became part of my literary world The world that resides in the recesses of my brain The world that is known only to me populated by people who I met only in my readings In terms of writing Jones extensively Pearsons Comprehensive Medical Assisting use the techniue called prolepsis that I first encountered reading Muriel Sparks The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 1961 Jon Basically a book about slavery in the South I enjoy those kind of thing especially The Secret Lives of Bees but with this one it felt like the book had no point While I was reading I kept on going what did I just read Am I really readingunderstanding this book and kept on referring to the back cover of the book No The story was simply what I read OK Thengh I HATE leaving a book Weshki-Bmaadzijig Ji-Noondmowaad unread so I kept on forcing myself to read thru the whole book Finally the misery I was putting myself through ended and UGH The storyline The author kept on jumping around the timeline too much and honestly I would describe this book as a glimpse of the lives of slaves in the south but with a blah storyline However this book has won a pultizer prize EH Anyone out there who has read this book Your opinionsHowever like always we learn from books What I got out of this book was a new knowledge I never camepon that black people owned black slavesThey even buy their own family members and the slaves were considered as properties including family Hmm History is richier than we will ever know or think of. Onia can't Touch Blue uphold the estate's order and chaos ensues In a daring and ambitious novel Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes annflinching look at slavery in all of its moral complexiti.

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