Colson Whitehead - The Underground Railroad - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780708898413
    • Publication date:02 Aug 2016
  • Downloadable audio file £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781405537261
    • Publication date:06 Oct 2016

The Underground Railroad

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017

By Colson Whitehead

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent, wrenching, thrilling tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017

WINNER OF THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD 2017

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER 2016

AMAZON.COM #1 BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

'Whitehead is on a roll: the reviews have been sublime' Guardian

'Luminous, furious, wildly inventive' Observer

'Hands down one of the best, if not the best, book I've read this year' Stylist

'Dazzling' New York Review of Books


Praised by Barack Obama and an Oprah Book Club Pick, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award 2016 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017.

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.

In Whitehead's razor-sharp imagining of the antebellum South, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated box car pulled along subterranean tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But its placid surface masks an infernal scheme designed for its unknowing black inhabitants. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher sent to find Cora, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

At each stop on her journey, Cora encounters a different world. As Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America, from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once the story of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780708898406
  • Publication date: 29 Jun 2017
  • Page count: 400
  • Imprint: Fleet
It has invaded both my sleeping and waking thoughts . . . Each character feels alive with a singular humanity . . . Whitehead is on a roll, the reviews have been sublime — Bim Adewunmi, Guardian
An engrossing and harrowing novel — Sunday Times
[A] brutal, vital, devastating novel...This is a luminous, furious, wildly inventive tale that not only shines a bright light on one of the darkest periods of history, but also opens up thrilling new vistas for the form of the novel itself — Alex Preston, Observer
This thrilling tale of escape from a deep south plantation takes in terror, beauty and the history of human tragedy..This uncanny novel never attempts to deliver a message - instead it tells one of the most compelling stories I have ever read. Cora's strong, graceful hands touch on the greatest tragedies of our history — Cynthia Bond, Guardian
It's so good it's hard to praise it without whipping out the cliches: it's an elegant, devastating powerhouse of a book, following a young black woman all over America as she tries to escape the horrors of slavery. When it was published with Oprah's imprimatur, in August, it was universally acclaimed. It deserved it — Michelle Dean, Guardian
One of the best, if not the best, book I've read this year . . . Whitehead never exploits his subject matter, and in fact it's the sparseness of the novel that makes it such a punch in the gut — Sarah Shaffi, Stylist
My book of the year by some distance...It's a profound and important novel, but more than anything it's an absurdly good read, gripping you in its tightly wound plot, astonishing you with its leaps of imagination. If Whitehead doesn't win every prize going next year, I'll appear on Saturday Review in my underpants — Alex Preston, Observer, Best Fiction of 2016
Whitehead is a superb storyteller . . . [he] brilliantly intertwines his allegory with history . . . writing at the peak of his game . . . Whitehead's achievement is truly remarkable: by giving the Underground Railroad a new mythology, he has found a way of confronting other myths, older and persistent, about the United States. His book cannot have enough readers — Telegraph
It is an extraordinary novel, a rich, confident work that will deservedly win - on the basis of literary merit as well as moral purpose . . . History and human experience as well as an artist's obligation to tell the truth have shaped a virtuoso novel that should be read by every American as well as readers across the world. And it will be, it should be — Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
An utterly transporting piece of storytelling — Alex Heminsley, The Pool
Bestselling author Colson Whitehead's novel is a searing indictment of slavery with a detailed inventory of man's inhumanity to man - and Cora's flight is a harrowing and shocking trip for the reader — Daily Mail
A stunning, brutal and hugely imaginative book. It's a favourite of both Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. It is painful history re-imagined in a powerful and brilliant way — Emerald St
Recommended by none other than Obama AND Oprah, The Underground Railroad arrives deserving every last drop of hype that's come its way . . . There are many twists and turns in Cora's long, treacherous journey towards freedom and while The Underground Railroad is at times brutal and disturbing, it's also hopeful and an addictive, compulsive read. After reading it, a corner of your heart will always belong to Cora. An instant classic — Sarra Manning, Red
Reaches the marrow of your bones, settles in and stays forever . . . a tour de force — Oprah Winfrey
This bravura novel reimagines that same network as a real subterranean railway, upon which a girl named Cora flees the slave-catcher Ridgeway. Throughout, horrific experiences are rendered in lapidary prose, but it's Cora's daring that provides the story's redemptive oomph — Mail on Sunday
Inventive and hard-hitting — Metro
It is a bold way of reimagining the slave experience and, in the capable hands of Whitehead, succeeds triumphantly — Mail on Sunday
Brutal, tender, thrilling and audacious — Naomi Alderman, Guardian
An enchanting tale . . . full of vivid images, learned allusions and astute observations . . . The most important and acclaimed American novel of the past year — London Review of Books
I stayed up way too late to finish this... It will be haunting me in the best way — Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You
A fantastical picaresque through the dark side of American history — Daily Telegraph
Thrilling and unsentimental — Scotsman
The Underground Railroad is a noble descendant of the great narratives of slavery, and among the very finest of its novels — Wesley Stace, Times Literary Supplement
An audaciously imagined and profoundly moving novel — Eithne Farry, Express
Stunning and unsentimental . . . required reading — Jenny Niven, Herald
A charged and important novel that pushed at the boundaries of fiction — Justine Jordan, Guardian, Best Books of 2016
Leaves the reader with a devastating understanding of the terrible human costs of slavery . . . with echoes of Toni Morrison's Beloved, Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and with brush strokes borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka and Jonathan Swift . . . Colson Whitehead has told a story essential to our understanding of the American past and the American present — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
The Underground Railroad isn't the modern slave narrative it first appears to be. It is something grander and more piercing, a dazzling antebellum anti-myth...Whitehead's prose is quick as a runaway's footsteps — New York Review of Books
A book that resonates with deep emotional timbre. The Underground Railroad reanimates the slave narrative, disrupts our settled sense of the past and stretches the ligaments of history right into our own era . . . The story charges along with incredible power . . . The canon of essential novels about America's peculiar institution just grew by one — Ron Charles, Washington Post
[The Underground Railroad] is really good - good, in fact, in just about every way a novel can be good . . . a grave and fully realized masterpiece, a weird blend of history and fantasy that will have critics rightfully making comparisons to Toni Morrison and Gabriel García-Márquez — Boston Globe
This book should be required reading in classrooms across the country alongside Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. If this isn't Colson Whitehead's masterpiece, it's definitely the best book of the year and maybe the most important work of the decade — Chicago Tribune
Masterful, urgent . . . one of the finest novels written about our country's still unabsolved original sin — Charles Finch, USA Today
The Underground Railroad has serious ambition, especially within the tradition of literary satire . . . With deadpan virtuosity and muted audacity, Whitehead integrates the historical details of slavery with the present — Los Angeles Review of Books
Whitehead is a fantastic novelist, one of the best in America today. (Certainly better than Franzen.)... Oprah is right: The Underground Railroad is Whitehead's best book yet... This is the rare critically acclaimed bestseller that deserves every ounce of its adoration, and more. The hype is real. You can believe Oprah, and its scores of other fans, including some guy who took The Underground Railroad on summer vacation and can't stop talking about its "terrific... powerful" portraiture of race in America. That fan's name is Barack Obama — Seattle Times
Magnetizing and wrenching . . . Each stop Cora makes along the Underground Railroad reveals another shocking and malignant symptom of a country riven by catastrophic conflicts, a poisonous moral crisis, and diabolical violence. Each galvanizing scene blazes with terror and indictment as Whitehead tracks the consequences of the old American imperative to seize, enslave, and profit . . . Hard-driving, lasersharp, artistically superlative, and deeply compassionate, Whitehead's unforgettable odyssey adds a clarion new facet to the literature of racial tyranny and liberation — Booklist
Startlingly original . . . Whitehead continues the African-American artists' inquiry into race mythology and history with rousing authority and razor-sharp ingenuity; he is now assuredly a writer of the first rank — Kirkus
In powerful, precise prose, at once spellbinding and ferocious, the book follows Cora's incredible journey north, step by step . . . the story is literature at its finest and history at its most barbaric. Would that this novel were required reading for every American citizen — Publishers Weekly
Colson Whitehead's staggering, haunted new novel . . . [is] a book that is fully expected to win all the awards this year - Pulitzer Prize, Booker Prize, National Book Award, etc - and it deserves every last one — Chapter 16
Hard-driving, laser-sharp, artistically superlative, and deeply compassionate, Whitehead's unforgettable odyssey adds a clarion new facet to the literature of racial tyranny and liberation — Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence, shortlist announcement
Virago

Caldicott Place

Noel Streatfeild
Authors:
Noel Streatfeild
Sphere

Three Little Lies

Laura Marshall
Authors:
Laura Marshall

Someone told a lie.Someone knows the truth.Someone is watching you.*****When Sasha North comes into Ellen's life, Ellen falls under her spell. As Ellen is welcomed into Sasha's family, she doesn't see the darkness that lies beneath their bohemian lifestyle. Not until a brutal attack changes all their lives forever.Ten years later, Ellen and Sasha share a flat in London, still bound together by that night. When Sasha disappears, Ellen fears the worst. The police won't take her seriously, but the events of the past give Ellen good reason to be frightened.What really happened that night? Who is telling the whole truth? These are the questions Ellen must confront when searching for her friend. But someone knows Ellen is looking. And they don't want the answers coming out . . .*****Praise for Laura Marshall's debut thriller FRIEND REQUEST:'An excellent twist' Marian Keyes'A read-it-in-one-sitting thriller . . . Twisty and gripping but always relatable' Erin Kelly'Brilliant' Jenny Colgan'Laura Marshall ramps up the tension page by page until it's impossible to know who to trust . . . I loved it!' Rachel Abbott'Unnerving' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING'Sharp, relevant and tightly plotted, with a fabulous twist' SUNDAY MIRROR'Twisty and gripping . . . You must read this!' Emma Kavanagh'Tightly plotted and brilliantly tense, this is a devour-in-one-sitting must' HEAT'I simply couldn't put it down . . . a fast-paced, exciting thriller' Hollie Overton'A slick psychological thriller with a killer hook' RED ONLINE'Intriguing and compulsive' Louise Candlish'A gripping read' CLOSER 'Utterly gripping' Tammy Cohen

Sphere

Daisy's Vintage Cornish Camper Van

Ali McNamara
Authors:
Ali McNamara
Hachette Australia

The Secrets at Ocean's Edge

Kali Napier
Authors:
Kali Napier
Orbit

84K

Claire North
Authors:
Claire North

*CLAIRE NORTH WAS SHORTLISTED FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES/PFD YOUNG WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2017*From one of the most original new voices in modern fiction comes a startling vision of a world where nothing is so precious that it can't be bought . . .Theo Miller knows the value of human life - to the very last penny. Working in the Criminal Audit Office, he assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full. But when his ex-lover is killed, it's different. This is one death he can't let become merely an entry on a balance sheet. Because when the richest in the world are getting away with murder, sometimes the numbers just don't add up.From the award-winning Claire North comes an utterly gripping, page-turning and thought-provoking new novel which will resonate with readers around the world. 'An extraordinary novel that stands with the best of dystopian fiction, from Riddley Walker to Nineteen Eighty Four to The Chrysalids, with dashes of The Handmaid's Tale' Cory DoctorowPraise for Claire North:'Poignant and intensely gripping' Guardian'Little short of a masterpiece' Independent'Ambitious, immensely humane and full of philosophical panache' Sunday Times'One of the fiction highlights of the decade' Judy Finnigan, Richard and Judy Book Club

Orbit

Everything About You

Heather Child
Authors:
Heather Child

Freya has a new virtual assistant. It knows what she likes, knows what she wants and knows whose voice she most needs to hear: her missing sister's. It adopts her sister's personality, recreating her through a life lived online. This data ghost knows everything about Freya's sister: every date she ever went on, every photo she took, every secret she ever shared. In fact it knows things it shouldn't be possible to know. It's almost as if her sister is still out there somewhere, feeding fresh updates into the cloud. But that's impossible. Isn't it?

Sphere

A Girl's Best Friend

Jules Wake
Authors:
Jules Wake

Welcome to your new cottage in the country - complete with grumpy vet, village gossip and a giant, lolloping, and very muddy dog . . . City girl Ella wants to take refuge in the country, lick her wounds and work out what she's going to do with the rest of her life. She certainly doesn't want a four-legged house guest or have anything to do with village life. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of Wilsgrave have other ideas and before long she finds herself re-evaluating everything she thought she wanted out of life - with the help of her new furry best friend . . .

Hachette Audio

The Little Italian Bakery

Valentina Cebeni
Authors:
Valentina Cebeni
Sphere

Million Love Songs

After splitting up with her cheating ex-husband, Ruby Brown is ready for a change. She's single again for the first time in years and she's going to dive into this brave new world with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. The last thing she's looking for is another serious relationship.Mason Soames represents everything Ruby wants right now: he's charming, handsome, and perfect for some no-strings-attached fun, and yet Ruby can't help feel that something is missing. Joe Edwards on the other hand is also lovely and handsome but he comes with the sort of baggage Ruby wants to avoid: an annoyingly attractive ex-wife and two teenage children.Ruby soon has some very tough decisions to make. Is she ready for a relationship of any kind, and what type of life does she really want? Because while Ruby may think she knows what she wants, is that what she needs to be truly happy?Feel-good, wonderful and an absolute must-read from the queen of romance Carole Matthews, Ruby's story will make you laugh, cry and leave you wanting more. It's about to get emotional in Million Love Songs.

Fleet

Apex Hides the Hurt

Colson Whitehead
Authors:
Colson Whitehead
Fleet

The Colossus of New York

Colson Whitehead
Authors:
Colson Whitehead
Hachette Audio

The Last Romeo

Justin Myers
Authors:
Justin Myers

'So funny and sharp, yet tender and emotional too. I loved it!' Jill Mansell'I adored The Last Romeo . . . funny, clever and warm' Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt'Extremely funny, with real heart, depth and resonance' Daisy Buchanan'Warm, witty, wicked and wonderful . . . What an amazing debut' John Marrs, author of The One'Justin's writing is razor-sharp and so funny . . . I inhaled it in one sitting' Francesca Hornak, author of Seven Days of Us'Hilarious and insightful, The Last Romeo is the perfect blend of heart, spark and snark' Isabel Costello, Literary Sofa'Predictably wise, beautifully written and enormous fun' Marina O'LoughlinJames is 34 and fed up. His six-year relationship with Adam has imploded, he hates his job making up celebrity gossip, and his best friend Bella has just announced she's moving to Russia.Adrift and single in loved-up London, James needs to break out of his lonely, drunken comfort zone. Encouraged by Bella, he throws himself headlong into online dating, blogging each encounter anonymously as the mysterious Romeo.After meeting a succession of hot/weird/gross men, James has fans and the validation he's always craved. But when his wild night with a closeted Olympian goes viral and sends his Twitter-fame through the roof, James realises maybe, in the search for happy-ever-after, some things are better left un-shared. Seriously, wherefore art thou Romeo . . . From Justin Myers, author of sensational blog The Guyliner, this razor-sharp and cringingly candid account of one man's quest for The One is as sad, fearless and funny as dating itself.

Sphere

The Endless Beach

Jenny Colgan
Authors:
Jenny Colgan

Run away to a beautiful Scottish island and let the unmissable new novel from Sunday Times bestseller Jenny Colgan warm up your spring!Dreams start here... 'Charming, made me long to escape to Mure. Total joy.' - Sophie KinsellaOn the quayside next to the Endless Beach sits the Summer Seaside Kitchen. It's a haven for tourists and locals alike, who all come to eat the freshest local produce on the island and catch up with the gossip. Flora, who runs the cafe, feels safe and content - unless she thinks too hard about her relationship with Joel, her gorgeous but emotionally (and physically) distant boyfriend. While Flora is in turmoil about her relationship. her best friend Lorna is pining after the local doctor. Saif came to the island as a refugee, having lost all of his family. But he's about to get some shocking news which will change everything for him. As cold winter nights shift to long summer days, can Flora find her happy-ever-after with Joel?

Abacus

A Backward Place

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Authors:
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Piatkus

Seven Days of Us

Francesca Hornak
Authors:
Francesca Hornak
Little, Brown

Force of Nature

Jane Harper
Authors:
Jane Harper

The gripping new novel from the author of the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, Waterstones Thriller of the Month, Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month, and Simon Mayo Radio 2 Book Club Choice, The Dry. FIVE WENT OUT. FOUR CAME BACK...Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice's welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case - and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

Little, Brown

Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng
Authors:
Celeste Ng
Little, Brown

The House of Unexpected Sisters

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith
Sphere

Friend Request

Laura Marshall
Authors:
Laura Marshall
Abacus

The Dry

Jane Harper
Authors:
Jane Harper