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    All Souls' Rising (Hardback) By (author) Madison Smartt Bell, Edited by Ursula Doyle

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    DescriptionThe Haiti of this novel is a malarial, fetid place, haunted by its genocidal past. The slaves are planning a rebellion and the aristocratic French plantation owners are preparing to crush it. At the heart of the novel lies Toussaint Louverture, a self-educated, second-generation African slave.


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  • Full bibliographic data for All Souls' Rising

    Title
    All Souls' Rising
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Madison Smartt Bell, Edited by Ursula Doyle
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 544
    Width: 142 mm
    Height: 216 mm
    Thickness: 52 mm
    Weight: 798 g
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780140141177
    ISBN 10: 0140141170
    Classifications

    LC subject heading:
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: F2.3
    DC20: 813.54
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: FV, FA
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: FIC000000, FIC014000
    Thema V1.0: FV, FBA
    BIC E4L: HST
    Publisher
    Penguin Books Ltd
    Imprint name
    Penguin Books / Granta
    Publication date
    25 January 1996
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Review text
    The clash of cultures and the blood of revolution form the contours of a long, uneven tale of the 18th-century slave uprising in Haiti. The prolific Bell (Save Me, Joe Louis, 1993, etc.) here undertakes the portrayal of legendary figure Toussaint L'Ouverture, the slave who started a revolution and whose intellect and noble cunning recast him as the Napoleon of the New World. Saint Domingue, with it's varied population of slaves and aristocrats, of Creoles and 64 different ranks of mulattoes, lived in an uneasy alliance that deteriorated with the onset of the French Revolution, which further splintered society into royalist and Jacobin camps. From this mix, Bell assembles a broad cast of characters to follow, beginning with the first whispers of unrest, into the heat of the savage rebellion, and to the fall of the French colony. The shifting perspectives - from the tales of escaped slave Riau, who tells of his time in Toussaint's army, to the journey of Dr. Hebert, fresh from France to look for his missing sister, to the sadistic plantation owner Arnaud - provide a panoramic study of the revolt. But the principal character of this fiction is violence, ever present and speaking louder than the characters of flesh and blood. Bell provides an all too realistic depiction of the atrocities of both colonial life and war, describing rape and torture - being flayed alive, slowly dismembered, and undergoing a host of other imaginative abominations - in the most minute, lengthy detail. This in some ways is the novel's failing. The bombardment of graphic imagery offers a realistic portrait but also detracts from the story of revolution - making violence the dominant theme and putting the important ideological questions that Bell raises in the back seat. A rousing and vivid account of the independence of Haiti, though at times overburdened by its own excesses. (Kirkus Reviews)