The Good Lord Bird

The Good Lord Bird : A Novel

3.75 (17,166 ratings by Goodreads)
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Look out for McBride's new book, Five-Carat Soul
Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith
A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year
Winner of the Morning News Tournament of Champions
-A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride.- -cover review of The New York Times Book Review
-Outrageously entertaining.- -USA Today
-James McBride delivers another tour de force- -Essence
-So imaginative, you'll race to the finish.-
-Wildly entertaining.---4-star People lead review
-A boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel.- - Washington Post
From the bestselling author of The Color of Water, Song Yet Sung, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography, 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 422 pages
  • 152.4 x 238.76 x 40.64mm | 635.02g
  • Riverhead Books,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1594486344
  • 9781594486340
  • 194,859

Review quote

- One of NPR's "5 Books to Look Forward To This Summer"
- One of "USA Today" 's "30 Hot Books for Summer"
Praise for "The Good Lord Bird"
"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"
"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
"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"
"Wildly entertaining...From the author of The Color of Water, a rollicking saga about one of America's earliest abolitionists." --"People "(4 star review; "People Pick")
"McBride delivers another tour de force...A fascinating mix of history and mystery."--"Essence"
"A story that's difficult to put down."--"Ebony"
"Outrageously entertaining...The Good Lord Bird rockets toward its inevitable and, yes, knee-slapping conclusion. Never has mayhem been this much of a humdinger." --"USA Today"
"A superbly written novel....McBride...transcends history and makes it come alive."--"The Chicago Tribune"
"Absorbing and darkly funny."--"The San Francisco Chronicle
""An irrepressibly fun read."--"The Seattle Times"
"As in Huck Finn, this novel comes in through the b
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About James McBride

James McBride is an accomplished musician and author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, the #1 bestselling 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. He is also the author of Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. McBride is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
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Rating details

17,166 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 26% (4,402)
4 38% (6,505)
3 25% (4,350)
2 8% (1,389)
1 3% (520)
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