The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead audiobook

The Nickel Boys: A Novel

By Colson Whitehead
Read by J. D. Jackson

Random House Audio 9780385537070
6.77 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781984891389

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    ISBN: 9781984891372

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men." In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

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Summary

Summary

New York Times bestseller

A #1 Amazon.com bestseller in African American Literature

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

A BookPage Top Pick for August in Historical Fiction

A July 2019 LibraryReads Pick

A Literary Hub Pick of the Best Reviewed Books This Week

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.


As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."
In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.
The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.
Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“America’s storyteller. A book that will further cement his place in the pantheon of influential American writers.” Time magazine
"A tense, nervy performance…The sentences plain and sturdy, oars cutting into water. Every chapter hits its marks…Whitehead has written novels of horror and apocalypse; nothing touches the grimness of the real stories he conveys here…It is justice.” New York Times
The Nickel Boys shreds our easy confidence in the triumph of goodness and leaves in its place a hard and bitter truth about the ongoing American experiment.” Washington Post
“Stellar…heartbreaking…a beautiful, unforgettable young hero who walks right off the page and into your heart.” Newsday
“In an unvarnished performance, JD Jackson captures the inevitable aftermath of America’s buried legacy of racism and violence…Jackson’s deep, gravelly voice remains steady while navigating the often harsh narrative. However, when Elwood reflects on the words of Dr. King, Jackson transforms his voice to reflect their echoing impact and the stark contrast to the reality at hand. ” AudioFile
“Whitehead’s brilliant examination of America’s history of violence is a stunning novel of impeccable language and startling insight.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Whitehead’s magnetic characters exemplify stoicism and courage, and each supremely crafted scene smolders and flares with injustice and resistance, building to a staggering revelation…YAs who can process explicit violence and fathom complex social and historical cues will be riveted by young Elwood and the horrors he faces.” Booklist (starred review)
“A leaner, meaner saga of Deep South captivity set in the mid-twentieth century and fraught with horrors more chilling for being based on true-life atrocities…Whitehead’s novel displays its author’s facility with violent imagery and his skill at weaving narrative strands into an ingenious, if disquieting whole.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Propulsive and gorgeous and completely devastating. LitHub.com

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Colson Whitehead

Author Bio: Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and recipient of a Whiting Award and a MacArthur Fellowship.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Fiction/Historical
Runtime: 6.77
Audience: Adult
Language: English