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The Nickel Boys

the new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad

Fleet

Author of The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead, brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in 1960s Florida.

Praise for Pulitzer Prize-winning The Underground Railroad:
'My book of the year by some distance . . . luminous, furious, wildly inventive' Observer
'An engrossing and harrowing novel' Sunday Times
'Tells one of the most compelling stories I have ever read' Guardian
Whitehead is a superb storyteller . . . [he] brilliantly intertwines his allegory with history . . . writing at the peak of his game' Telegraph

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Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide 'physical, intellectual and moral training' which will equip its inmates to become 'honorable and honest men'.

In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear 'out back'. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King's ringing assertion, 'Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.' But Elwood's fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors.

The tension between Elwood's idealism and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions.

Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.

Portrait
Colson Whitehead
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Format ePUB i
Kopierschutz Ja i
Seitenzahl 224 (Printausgabe)
Erscheinungsdatum 16.07.2019
Sprache Englisch
EAN 9780708899403
Verlag Little, Brown Book Group
Dateigröße 342 KB
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Colson Whitehead – The Nickel Boys
von Miss.mesmerized am 30.07.2019
Bewertet: Einband: gebundene Ausgabe

Elwood Curtis has done everything right: he is diligent, reliable in his after school job and he eagerly follows this charismatic preacher named Martin Luther King. When his teacher recognizes his intellect and promising future, he helps him to attend college courses. Yet, fate didn’t want his life to turn out like this and bein... Elwood Curtis has done everything right: he is diligent, reliable in his after school job and he eagerly follows this charismatic preacher named Martin Luther King. When his teacher recognizes his intellect and promising future, he helps him to attend college courses. Yet, fate didn’t want his life to turn out like this and being black even after the Jim Crow laws meant that there are certain roads not to be travelled. Thus, instead of learning for college, Elwood find himself in Nickel Academy, a juvenile detention centre. He doesn’t fit in the group of delinquent and illiterate boys but he has to be what the supervisors see in him and either he plays by the rules or he gets to know the other side of Nickel, the one that is hidden and buried and will only be excavated half a century later. “The Nickel Boys” undoubtedly is one of the most awaited novels of 2019. After his tremendous success with “Underground Railroad” and winning the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, expectations ran high for his next book and there is no denying: Colson Whitehead surpassed what I had anticipated. Another tragic story that needed to be told, narrated in a gripping and heart-breaking way that leaves emotionally exhausted. Institutions like Nickel Academy were a reality not only in the US but also in Europe. Establishment for boys whom nobody cared for or missed were the ideal place for abuse and maltreatment of every kind and where, under the disguise of pedagogy and good-will, the most horrible atrocities took place. It is not only the fact of bringing this piece of eagerly forgotten history back to our mind why Whitehead’s novel is so important and relevant, first and foremost, he masterly narrates how a young boy could become an innocent victim of the circumstances without the least hope of every getting justice or at least an apology for the wrong that has been done to him. Apart from this, this story – even though it is fictitious – underlines that it takes people who stand up for their ideals, who endure hardship and injustice in order to make a change. We can see these people in the news every day and all of them deserve our support. Taking into consideration the current state of the world, we surely need more Elwoods who fearlessly fight for the right cause.

Erschütternd & erschreckend
von Tara aus Ratingen am 01.06.2019
Bewertet: Einband: gebundene Ausgabe

In seinem Roman „Die Nickel Boys“ berichtet der Pulitzer-Preisträger Colson Whitehead über die Besserungsanstalt Nickel Academy in Florida zu Beginn der 1960er-Jahre. Der schwarze 16-jährige Elwood sieht seiner Zukunft positiv entgegen. Er ist gewissenhaft und sein Traum hat sich erfüllt. Er hat einen Platz am College bekomm... In seinem Roman „Die Nickel Boys“ berichtet der Pulitzer-Preisträger Colson Whitehead über die Besserungsanstalt Nickel Academy in Florida zu Beginn der 1960er-Jahre. Der schwarze 16-jährige Elwood sieht seiner Zukunft positiv entgegen. Er ist gewissenhaft und sein Traum hat sich erfüllt. Er hat einen Platz am College bekommen. Aber da er beim Trampen in ein gestohlenes Auto gestiegen ist, landet er ohne Verfahren und ohne Hilfe direkt in der Nickel Academy. Dort herrscht ein mehr als rauer Ton. Aber Elwood will sich nicht unterkriegen lassen, glaubt an seine Ideale, versucht sich Ungerechtigkeiten entgegenzustellen, hat aber keine Chance. In einer sehr deutlichen, bildhaften Sprache berichtet der Autor über die Zustände der Besserungsanstalt. Es ist erschreckend, wenn man bedenkt, dass es sich nicht um Fiktionen des Autors handelt, sondern um amerikanische Vergangenheit, die noch gar nicht so lange zurückliegt. Die Sachlichkeit, wie Colson Whitehead ohne anzuklagen erzählt, ist so eindringlich, dass ich das Buch immer wieder ungläubig zur Seite gelegt habe. Diskriminierung, Rassismus, Hass, Unterdrückung, Willkür und Gewalt unter dem Deckmantel des Staates rufen verstörende Bilder hervor. Man mag es kaum glauben, was Menschen anderen Menschen antun. Die Jugendlichen werden auf das Übelste gedemütigt, misshandelt und sogar umgebracht. Die Zwei-Klassengesellschaft ohne Aussicht auf entkommen wird mehr als deutlich. Dieses Buch ist kein Roman, den man zur Unterhaltung liest. Er ist ein Stück Geschichte, das erschüttert und erschreckt, aber unbedingt gelesen werden sollte.

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