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The Good Lord Bird (2013)

por James McBride

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,497988,914 (3.9)176
Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry's master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town with Brown, who believes he's a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry, whom Brown nicknames Little Onion, conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive.… (mais)
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Inglês (96)  Piratês (1)  Alemão (1)  Todas as línguas (98)
Mostrando 1-5 de 98 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive.

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1856--a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces--when legendary abolitionist John Brown arrives. When an argument between Brown and Henry's master turns violent, Henry is forced to leave town--along with Brown, who believes Henry to be a girl and his good luck charm.

Over the ensuing months, Henry, whom Brown nicknames Little Onion, conceals his true identity to stay alive. Eventually Brown sweeps him into the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859--one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride's meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.
  Gmomaj | Dec 30, 2020 |
Enjoyable book once you plow through the first section. Not sure I'd recommend it unless someone is really interested in John Brown. ( )
  3CatMom | Dec 28, 2020 |
"The Good Lord Bird," according to MrBride's John Brown "don't run in a flock. He flies alone ... searching ... looking for the right tree... that dead tree that's taking all the nutrition and good things from the forest floor. He goes out and he gnaws at it ... until that thing gets tired and falls down. And the dirt from it raises the other trees .. It makes 'em strong. Gives 'em life. And the circle goes 'round." The bird first appears in the novel when Frederick Brown, the armed to the teeth simple son, points it out to Onion. "that's an angel. They say a feather from a Good Lord Bird'll bring you understanding that'll last your whole life." When Frederick inadvertently kills one, it portends his death. The feathers of this bird, of which Brown has had and has given to others including the character, Onion, are emblematic of the grace which Brown believes will one day free America's slaves.
"The Good Lord Bird" is soul rending. Captured by McBride to live the events leading up to and during John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry as Onion, an escaped enslaved child, the reader suffers the forlorn hope of the downtrodden. Until "far away ... on the plaza where the Old Man was to hang ... a strange black-and-white bird circled 'round, looking for a tree to roost on, a bad tree ...so he could alight upon it and get busy, so that it would someday fall and feed the others."
  RonWelton | Dec 5, 2020 |
OK, so historical fiction is not my favorite genre. I tend to like my history straight, like my coffee. I worry about getting what I know of history mixed up with what I might “learn” from reading historical fiction. Also, I was not drawn to read about John Brown. I had learned about him in history classes, but he was someone I never found terribly interesting. He could also be considered a fanatic, and I typically look askance at fanatics.

But this was good, and I am impressed with my first taste of James McBride’s writing. This could have been very dry. It could have become tiresome halfway through. McBride’s satirical approach to the subject provided me with just the right mixture of history and chuckling to make the entire novel a pleasure. The satirical approach seemed to fit the subject. I was always a bit unsure how to take John Brown in history class. I remember thinking “Is this guy for real”. For me, McBride’s approach was perfect. For the first time I got interested in John Brown, and if I have the opportunity in the future, I think I would like to learn more about him. ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 25, 2020 |
I enjoyed this historical fiction for its large and colorful cast, the southern vernacular, and the last quarter was a real page turner. But the lead up seemed too drawn out and had too many unnecessary diversions. Also the use of a insignificant character with self seeking and scoundrel like qualities, incredible luck, and a prodigious memory to narrate the story reminded me too much of Little Big Man by Thomas Berger. ( )
  Misprint | Aug 31, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 98 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The book appears to be very random, as though the author and his editor had failed to spot that there are a troublesome number of repetitions and inconsistencies. Brown’s endless praying seems to be a comedic line that McBride has overinvested in.... McBride’s other running joke is that most of the slaves have not the slightest interest in being liberated.... Onion, although occupying hundreds of pages, is never interesting or even fully realised.... After the inevitable tragedy of Harper’s Ferry..., Onion finds his way to Philadelphia and freedom. Unexpectedly, this final section of the book really takes wing and almost redeems what I think is a missed opportunity.
adicionada por Muscogulus | editarThe Spectator, Justin Cartwright (Jan 25, 2014)
 
...unpretentious, very funny, and totally endearing.... Still, any comic novel about such a calamitous time is a daring conceit, which in the wrong hands could go painfully wrong. McBride’s America feels huge, chaotic, and very much in formation.... Comparisons to Twain are inevitable, particularly given McBride’s use of vernacular.... But the raucous joy of traveling with Brown and his army also recalls Chaucer and Boccaccio. Brown may not be a polished hero, but he’s certainly an entertaining one, particularly with his band of not-so-merry men and one spunky, cross-dressing kid in tow.
 
This is a story that popular culture doesn't often visit, and it takes a daring writer to tackle a decidedly unflattering pre-Civil War story. Yet, in McBride's capable hands, the indelicate matter of a befuddled tween from the mid-19th century provides a new perspective on one of the most decisive periods in the history of this country.
adicionada por Muscogulus | editarNPR, Bobbi Booker (Aug 23, 2013)
 
In McBride’s version of events, John Brown’s body doesn’t lie a-mouldering in the grave—he’s alive and vigorous and fanatical and doomed, so one could say his soul does indeed go marching on.... McBride presents an interesting experiment in point of view here, as all of Brown’s activities are filtered through the eyes of a young adolescent who wavers between innocence and cynicism.
adicionada por Muscogulus | editarKirkus Reviews (Aug 20, 2013)
 
There is something deeply humane in this, something akin to the work of Homer or Mark Twain. We tend to forget that history is all too often made by fallible beings who make mistakes, calculate badly, love blindly and want too much. We forget, too, that real life presents utterly human heroes with far more contingency than history books can offer. McBride’s Little Onion — a sparkling narrator who is sure to win new life on the silver screen — leads us through history’s dark corridors, suggesting that “truths” may actually lie elsewhere.
adicionada por zhejw | editarWashington Post, Marie Arana (Aug 19, 2013)
 
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Prologue: 
Rare Negro Papers Found
by A.J. Watson
Wilmington, Del. (AP)
June 14, 1966
A fire that destroyed the city's oldest Negro church has led to the discovery of a wild slave narrative that highlights a little-known era of American history

Chapter 1:
I was born a colored man and don't you forget it.
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"Being a Negro’s a lie, anyway. Nobody sees the real you. Nobody knows who you are inside. You just judged on what you are on the outside whatever your color. Mulatto, colored, black, it don’t matter. You just a Negro to the world."
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Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry's master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town with Brown, who believes he's a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry, whom Brown nicknames Little Onion, conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive.

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