The Underground Railroad (Book Review)

The Underground Railroad (Book Review)

The Underground Railroad (Book Review)

This was a different and interesting take on the underground railroad as a literal, physical thing. The concept was fresh enough, together with excellent writing, to garner it 2017’s Pulitzer Prize.

On the one hand it was incredibly well done, although appalling, and on the other, it lacked the unction of feeling that a first person narrative would have offered. Maybe stories like this need to be told with more distance in order for a reader to get through them? In the end, I give the book four stars.

Cora flees slavery and has a circuitous route on the underground railroad, witnessing many facets of the slavery question, complete with fresh atrocities, new friends, and old foes at every turn. One comes away realizing that those who were enslaved are never really free, but that the attempt to try to be free, is the stuff survival is made of.

I started this book like it was essential reading, but now that I have finished it, I’m not sure it really is. The writing is certainly good, and the structure and angle is unconventional, but the upshot is that this was an awful chapter in our country’s history that requires ongoing redemption. I guess I was already persuaded of that fact prior to reading this, so I’m not sure much new insight was added.

Did you read this? What did you think?


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Gloria 6 years ago

    I may have to read that. But it’s worth noting that at least one of the quotes on the back dust jacket is an old quote and does not pertain to this book, since John Updike died in 2009.


  1. […] Underground Railroad […]

  2. […] for reading about a culture outside our own. And thirdly, I read the Pulitzer Prize winning book Underground Railroad by this same author, and knew him to be a good […]

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