Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead

I would like to thank Little, Brown Book Group UK for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.


I have to say, I was really looking forwards to this book but the writing style just wasn't working for me. I found myself putting the book down and not being drawn to pick it up again. I did go back to it several times hoping that it was just a matter of time before the story drew me in, but I found that what I was reading just wasn't sinking in and it just wasn't holding my interest.


Obviously, because I didn't finish the book I'm unable to review it in its entirety, but I feel that I need to at least explain why it wasn't working for me. The storyline jumped back and forth between the main plot and backstory quite a bit so I really struggled to keep everything and everyone in the right order. Had I been invested in the characters I don't think this would have been as much of a problem, but I wasn't able to connect to the characters either. I couldn't build a mental image of them, nor was I able to connect with them on an emotional level. I felt like I was watching them from a distance.


The writing style just didn't work for me. I found it to be distant and impersonal, it didn't pull me in or engage me in the way I wanted it to. I was being told a story rather than experiencing the story, and there were too many distractions veering me away from the main storyline.


Many of my friends enjoyed it and highly recommended it so I'm not going to write it off completely. It may just not be the book for me at this moment in time so I will give it another try at a later date.



Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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