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2 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Good Lord Bird

by

The Good Lord Bird Cover

ISBN13: 9781594486340
ISBN10: 1594486344
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the bestselling author of The Color of Water and Song Yet Sung comes the 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 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. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at 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.

Review:

“Outrageously funny, sad…McBride puts a human face on a nation at its most divided.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Review:

"A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride...a brilliant romp of a novel....McBride — with the same flair for historical mining, musicality of voice and outsize characterization that made his memoir, The Color of Water, an instant classic — pulls off his portrait masterfully, like a modern-day Mark Twain: evoking sheer glee with every page." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"You may know the story of John Brown's unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry, but author James McBride's retelling of the events leading up to it is so imaginative, you'll race to the finish." NPR

Review:

"A boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel by James McBride....There is something deeply humane in this [story], something akin to the work of Homer or Mark Twain. 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." The Washington Post

Review:

"Absorbing and darkly funny." The San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"A sizzling historical novel that is an evocative escapade and a provocative pastiche of Larry McMurtry's salty western satires and William Styron's seminal insurrection masterpiece, The Confessions of Nat Turner." Booklist (starred review)

Review:

"McBride delivers another tour de force....A fascinating mix of history and mystery." Essence

Review:

"A superbly written novel....McBride...transcends history and makes it come alive." The Chicago Tribune

Review:

"An irrepressibly fun read." The Seattle Times

Review:

"A story that's difficult to put down." Ebony

Review:

"Both breezy and sharp, a rare combination outside of Twain. You should absolutely read it." Kathryn Schulz, New York Magazine

Review:

"As in Huck Finn, this novel comes in through the back door of history, telling you something you might not know by putting you in the heat of the action....It is a compelling story and an important one, told in a voice that is fresh and apolitical." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"Exhilarating....McBride makes what could be a confusing tale clear and creates suspense even in a story whose end is well-known. Beneath the humor lies sympathy for Brown and all those whose lives were caught up with his." Columbus Dispatch

About the Author

James McBride is an accomplished musician and author of the American classic The Color of Water and the bestsellers Song Yet Sung and Miracle at St. Anna, which was turned into a film by Spike Lee. A graduate of Oberlin College, he has a master’s in journalism from Columbia University. McBride holds several honorary doctorates and is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

lukas, November 6, 2014 (view all comments by lukas)
"He was like everybody in war. He believed God was on his side. Everybody got God on their side in war. Problem is, God ain't telling nobody who He's for."
James McBride's National Book Award winning novel tells the story of John Brown and his raid on Harpers Ferry from the perspective of a young, freed slave who is mistaken for a girl and spends much of the novel dressed as one. Told from his perspective, it is simultaneously comic and brutal, with echoes of "Huck Finn" and "Little Big Man." McBride masterfully conjures up the violent past while touching on issues (race, identity, fanaticism) that are still with us. Fredrick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Jeb Stuart all make appearances. Two other novels about Brown worth checking out: Russell Banks's "Cloudsplitter" and G.M. Fraser's "Flashman and the Angel of Light."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
sipost11, October 27, 2014 (view all comments by sipost11)
Read the comments submitted by those before me for the details of why "The Good Old Bird" is such a great book. And then take it from me that you will love Onion's narrating and John Brown's speechifying in this amazing chronicle of all that leads up to John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry. James McBride tells a serious story of slavery and the politics in 1860's America in a way that will make you understand, make you laugh, make you want more. A great book!!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Janna Mauldin Heiner, January 31, 2014 (view all comments by Janna Mauldin Heiner)
From the day John Brown appears in his father's barbershop, Henry Shackleford's life becomes entwined in the passionate, righteous, and slightly insane crusade of one of the most enigmatic figures of American history. Son of a privileged slave, Henry is torn from a life that, in his view, is hardly worth the fuss Brown is making about slavery; and in the fire of Brown's disturbed charisma, becomes party to the abolitionist's efforts to free the Negro from slavery. Henry--mistaken for a girl and given the nickname Onion by Brown--is a perceptive narrator, but young, naïve, and not entirely reliable. Brown comes to vivid life through his eyes, in all his authority, glory, and insanity, his dedication and dereliction. Henry's own confusion and uncertainty adds a layer of meaning to the slave story as well as to this particular one. And in the writing, James McBride offers up a fascinating combination of history and possibility to explain Brown's God-fueled, turbocharged, ultimately doomed attack at Harper's Ferry--and shows clearly the ultimate winning power of his defeat.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781594486340
Author:
McBride, James
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20130820
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » General
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Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2014
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Fiction and Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » African American » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » African American » Historical
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

The Good Lord Bird Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Riverhead Hardcover - English 9781594486340 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Outrageously funny, sad…McBride puts a human face on a nation at its most divided.”
"Review" by , "A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride...a brilliant romp of a novel....McBride — with the same flair for historical mining, musicality of voice and outsize characterization that made his memoir, The Color of Water, an instant classic — pulls off his portrait masterfully, like a modern-day Mark Twain: evoking sheer glee with every page."
"Review" by , "You may know the story of John Brown's unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry, but author James McBride's retelling of the events leading up to it is so imaginative, you'll race to the finish."
"Review" by , "A boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel by James McBride....There is something deeply humane in this [story], something akin to the work of Homer or Mark Twain. 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."
"Review" by , "Absorbing and darkly funny."
"Review" by , "A sizzling historical novel that is an evocative escapade and a provocative pastiche of Larry McMurtry's salty western satires and William Styron's seminal insurrection masterpiece, The Confessions of Nat Turner."
"Review" by , "McBride delivers another tour de force....A fascinating mix of history and mystery."
"Review" by , "A superbly written novel....McBride...transcends history and makes it come alive."
"Review" by , "An irrepressibly fun read."
"Review" by , "A story that's difficult to put down."
"Review" by , "Both breezy and sharp, a rare combination outside of Twain. You should absolutely read it."
"Review" by , "As in Huck Finn, this novel comes in through the back door of history, telling you something you might not know by putting you in the heat of the action....It is a compelling story and an important one, told in a voice that is fresh and apolitical."
"Review" by , "Exhilarating....McBride makes what could be a confusing tale clear and creates suspense even in a story whose end is well-known. Beneath the humor lies sympathy for Brown and all those whose lives were caught up with his."
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