Sydenham Book Group - February

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mikej
Posts: 409
Joined: 14 Dec 2006 21:55
Location: New Beckenham

Sydenham Book Group - February

Post by mikej »

Four of us gathered in the Golden Lion to discuss The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

We had quite a long and very lively discussion about this book. It was quickly established that the author's account of the escape of slaves in the years before the start of the Civil War (which began in 1860) was not historically accurate. Certainly, there was definitely no physical railroad as he describes in the book, it was just a metaphor. Also, the descriptions of South and North Carolina bear no resemblance at all to reality. Rather, we concluded, it was an amalgam of various escape experiences drawn from the US, but also the Holocaust (Cora hiding for weeks in a hidden roof space like Anne Frank) and points in between. For example, the female slaves' sterilisation operation (not clear but presumably removal of ovaries) mentioned in the context of South Carolina would have resulted in death in the mid 19th C as there was little understanding of antiseptics.

We agreed that no character in the book was fully developed by the writer - in the case of Cora this was a missed opportunity as she was the centre of the account.

Nevertheless, we felt the book was a much easier read than Milkman, and we all gave it the thumbs up.

Reminder: March book is White Nights by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (which is a short story) which we'll discuss in the Golden Lion as usual on Wednesday March 25th.

New members welcome - we had one new member this time and we'd love to see more. We get there from around 7.30 pm.

mikej
Posts: 409
Joined: 14 Dec 2006 21:55
Location: New Beckenham

Re: Sydenham Book Group - February

Post by mikej »

Obviously, the book group won't be able to meet for some time - certainly not in late March.
I'll post on here when we know a meeting will again be possible.
Stay safe!
Mike

Tim Lund
Posts: 6695
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: Sydenham Book Group - February

Post by Tim Lund »

mikej wrote:
19 Mar 2020 20:33
Obviously, the book group won't be able to meet for some time - certainly not in late March.
I'll post on here when we know a meeting will again be possible.
Stay safe!
Mike
Happy to host with Zoom.

Useful looking info about Zoom secruity here

https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/blog/ ... rm=5265393

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