The Good Lord Bird

The Good Lord Bird : A Novel

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Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction Soon to be a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiberand 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 "and "Song Yet Sung "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. "show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 422 pages
  • 152.4 x 238.76 x 40.64mm | 635.02g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Riverhead Books,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1594486344
  • 9781594486340
  • 168,249

Review quote

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction Winner of the Morning News Tournament of Books 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 Birdrockets toward its inevitable and, yes, knee-slapping conclusion. Never has mayhem been this much of a humdinger. "USA Today" An impressively deep comedy...It s a view of the antebellum world refreshingly free of pieties, and full of questions about the capacity of human beings to act on their sense of right and wrong, about why the world is the way it is, and what any one of us can do to make it better. It s the rare comic novel that delves so deep. Salon Both breezy and sharp, a rare combination outside of Twain. You should absolutely read it. Kathryn Schulz, "New York Magazine" "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 back door of history, telling you something you might not know by putting you in the heat of the action It is a compelling story and an important one, told in a voice that is fresh and apolitical. "Minneapolis Star Tribune" Exhilarating McBride makes what could be a confusing tale clear and creates suspense even in a story whose end is well-known. Beneath the humor lies sympathy for Brown and all those whose lives were caught up with his. "Columbus Dispatch" "Outrageously funny, sad...McBride puts a human face on a nation at its most divided." "Publishers Weekly" (starred review) A sizzling historical novel that is an evocative escapade and a provocative pastiche of Larry McMurtry s salty western satires and William Styron s seminal insurrection masterpiece, The Confessions of Nat Turner. "Booklist "(starred review) ["The Good Lord Bird"]recalls the broad humor and irony of Mark Twain. "Bloomberg News" ""The Good Lord Bird" is just so brilliant. It had everything I want in a novel and left me feeling both transported and transformed the last book I remember loving so thoroughly was "The Orphan Master s Son."" John Green (in judging the Morning News Tournament of Books) "[McBride's] effervescent young narrator is pitch-perfect and wholly original." Geraldine Brooks (in judging the Morning News Tournament of Books) "For years we have waited for a response to William Styron s "The Confessions of Nat Turner." So long, in fact, that we forgot we were waiting. "The Good Lord Bird" sings like a bird set free, with a voice that ought to join Huck Finn, the narrators of Toni Morrison s "Jazz," and Junot Diaz s Oscar Wao as a voice which is here to tell us who we are in music so lovely we almost forget it was born in terrible pain. It s an alarmingly beautiful book." John Freeman (in judging the Morning News Tournament of Books) "show more

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. McBride is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York more