"Having been born a freeman, and for more than thirty years enjoyed the blessings of liberty in a free State--and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into Slavery, where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage of twelve years--it has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public."
"Oh, how heavily the weight of slavery pressed upon me then. I must toil day after day, endure abuse and taunts and scoffs, sleep on the hard ground, live on the coarsest fare, and not only this, but live the slave of a blood-seeking wretch, of whom I must stand henceforth in continued fear and dread....I sighed for liberty; but the bondsman's chain was round me, and could not be shaken off. I could only gaze wistfully towards the North, and think of the thousands of miles that stretched between me and the soil of freedom, over which a black freeman may not pass."
"I looked in the direction indicated, and as my eyes rested on his countenance, a world of images thronged my brain .... all the friends of other and happier days, appeared and disappeared .... until at last the perfect memory of the man recurred to me, and throwing up my hands toward Heaven, I exclaimed, "Henry B. Northup! Thank God--thank God!" In an instant I comprehended the nature of his business, and felt that the hour of my deliverance was at hand."
Solomon Northup's eloquent and moving narrative of his life speaks for itself. His story is powerful, haunting, and unforgettable. I've never see the movie version of his life, but I'm so glad I read this book. It counts as my Nonfiction Classic for Karen's Back to the Classics Reading Challenge.
Those excerpts are heartbreaking — I have never had the strength to watch the movie — I always thought I’d have to be in the right frame of mind for it — and I feel much the same about the book. — Verushka at Pop. Edit. Lit.ReplyDelete
Knowing what Solomon went through I'm not sure I'll ever be up for watching the movie. It would just be too hard. But I am glad to know his story.Delete
This has been on my TBR for far too long. It's such an incredible story. I haven't been able to watch the film version either.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I think the movie would be too gut-wrenching for me.Delete
Oh, I've been wanting to read this. The quotes look great.ReplyDelete
It's so good! Northup's narrative style is very conversational and readable.Delete
This sounds fabulous. We all need to be reminded.ReplyDelete
We do. It's an important story that everyone should know about.Delete
Just reading your excerpts is heartbreaking.ReplyDelete
There are so many heartbreaking moments in this book. But there are also a few moments of hope.Delete
Such heartbreaking snippets, but what a powerful read. I've not seen the movie either but want to one of these days.ReplyDelete
I think the movie might be too hard for me to watch, although I've heard they did a really good job of it.Delete
So heartbreaking what man can do to man! This sounds like a difficult read.ReplyDelete
It is a difficult read at times. And it's hard to believe what humans can do to one another. I mean, just look at what's happening in Ukraine. It's heartbreaking!Delete
Hi Lark, it's only in recent years that I have heard of this book and it's such an important memoir. I must put it on my list to read.ReplyDelete
It's well worth reading. Thanks for commenting. :)Delete
Those excerpts are so hair-raising, esp. because they say so much even though the words seem so controlled and even understated. I want to read this book and watch the movie, but I know both will be tough.ReplyDelete
The book was tough, and I think the movie would be even tougher to watch.Delete
I haven't seen the film either and felt guilty because I felt I ought to. Perhaps I'll read the book instead.ReplyDelete
I don't think I can watch the movie; I don't need those visuals in my head. But the book is really good. Read it instead.Delete
I hadn't heard of this one but thanks for telling us about it.ReplyDelete
I only heard about this book a few years ago when the movie came out.Delete
A very important book. Kudos to you for reading it.ReplyDelete
I wasn't sure I'd get through it as easily as I did, but Northup's narrative has a very conversational style to it, and once I started reading I didn't want to stop.Delete
That says it all. :)Delete
I read Twelve Years A Slave two years ago, after it came out as a film. I think it is very important to read these books, so we know what not to do.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your review, we cannot mention this often enough.
Stories like his are important to read and remember. It's the same as stories from WWII.Delete
Definitely. You know that I read plenty of books from both those eras. So, I totally agree.Delete
I love this review format. (The Beginning..., The Middle...) I may try that some time when I have having trouble getting started.ReplyDelete
Anything to make reviewing a book easier! ;DDelete
This really was a heartbreaking but important read. The movie is excellent too, hard to watch at times because of the nature of the subject matter, but so incredibly well done.ReplyDelete
After reading the book, I can definitely see where the movie would be hard to watch at times.Delete
Oh what made you pick this one up? I've had it on my shelf for years waiting to be read -- ever since the movie, which is pretty intense. I'd like to read it.ReplyDelete
It's been on my radar ever since the movie came out, and so when I needed a classic nonfiction book to read this year, this was the first one I thought of. And I'm glad I read it!Delete