Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
Now Previous Articles Road Essays Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass
Dark Days by James Ponti
Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan
Doctor Who: The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Crazy Critter Race by Maxwell Eaton III
For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu
Fred and Ted's Road Trip by Peter Eastman
Free Fall by David Wiesner
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
Ghostbusters: Get Real by Erik Burnham
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 3: 1983-1984 by Ed Piskor
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper
The Master of Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
Nothing Up My Sleeve by Diana López
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean
The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
The River by Alessandro Sanna
Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen
The Sleepover by Jen Malone
Threadbare by Monica Ferris
To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson
Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

Miscellaneous
Diversity report for September 2016

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Underground Airlines: 09/26/16

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters is more of a thought experiment than a novel. It supposes an alternate time line where slavery is still institutionalized in four states in the South and the relationship between the South and the Union is along the lines of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The protagonist is a black man working in deep undercover as a bounty hunter of slaves making their way to Canada.

The title and nifty cover art are both misnomers as there is no flight based underground escape system. The "railroad" motif has really been supplanted with trucking, rather than flying. Both instead are there just to let the reader know that it's set in the present day — with airplanes, cellphones, GPS tracking, the internet, etc.

As the main character, who calls himself Victor (along with Brother and a few other names), is a black man in a nation that still has institutionalized slavery and more overt racism than we admit here in this reality, the book's itinerant plot falls into the traveling while Black road narrative.

As the author isn't Black, Victor's experiences are as much thought experiments as the book as a whole. Victor's troubles on the road, whether in White neighborhoods in the North or Black ones, or in either in the South, read like a check list from the Travelguide.

Three stars

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment: