23 Jul 2010


Purchased through Book People, The Long Story is my 8th choice and final read in the TYPICALLY BRITISH BOOK CHALLENGE which can mean only one thing - whoopee! - I've reached 'Cream Crackered' level. To see the last book reviewed and links to all other books read for this challenge click HERE.

You do not know me yet but I am the narrator of this work. My son Thomas, who is printing this book, tells me it is customary at this place in a novel to give the reader a little taste of the story that is held within these pages. As your storyteller, I must convey that this tale is set in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed.

...... from the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (from the foreword): The book you are now holding within your hand was born of a craving.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: Although once the groom at Amity, he had purchased his freedom many seasons ago, laying down two hundred pounds in coins and notes while the massa's mouth gaped.

One of the most prettiest eye-catching covers I've ever seen -  bright yellow with a gold leaf design and an inner cover that is of the softest shade of pale blue.

At first I really struggled with this story, frustrated as the way the author constructed sentences was difficult to grasp. However, once this was overcome, I found myself enjoying the book.

That said, I couldn't help but find the constant use of the word 'nigger' rather upsetting. Perhaps realistic in the context of the story, I never-the-less found its usage to be disturbing and not always necessary. Perhaps this though was the objective of Andrea Levy - to take her readers out of their comfort zone.

With a similar feel to it as A MERCY by Toni Morris this is a far better read in my opinion.Thought provoking with some well written characters, though, truth be told, for some reason or other, I did not find myself warming to a single one of them, it is ripe for a sequel and could make a good film. Would I read any such follow-up/see the movie? Certainly. 

The Long Story was a Book People buy.


Boonsong said...

Thanks for an interesting review. I don't care for racist terminology either. I never buy into the argument that it's necessary.

All the best, Boonsong

Jen said...

It is an ugly word that I never like to hear. In a book, though, it wouldn't be serving the characters to omit it's usage. If it is so hard for us to hear, imagine how it must have been to be it's target. To be treated like a commodity...to be less valuable than the sofa...to have your children sold...

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I think that's one of those moments where the movie would be better than the book-easier to get into. :)

Bev Hankins said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Kelly said...

Not a word I've ever been comfortable with, either.

Congratulations on reaching the top tier in the Typically British Reading Challenge!! I'm still working on book 4.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I'm with Kelly on this one. This is such a bad word.
And CONGRATS on reaching successfully that big challenge!!
Hope you're having a nice weekend!
B xx

Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my blog!
Love to hear from you!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Hey Tracy, sorry...I've being having some big issues with my laptop, from time to time. Hence I am a bit late to comment.
Big hugs!
B xx

Suko said...

Hi, I am here via the Hop! Your blog is wonderful and witty. I am a new follower. :)

NabilaHazirah said...

Interesting.. and the cover IS pretty!


Jessica said...

I keep meaning to get this one out the library at some point but there abit of a queue for it.