Middle Passage Author:Charles Johnson It is 1830. Rutherford Calhoun, a newly freed slave and irrepressible rogue, is desperate to escape unscrupulous bill collectors and an impending marriage to a priggish schoolteacher. He jumps aboard the first boat leaving New Orleans, the Republic, a slave ship en route to collect members of a legendary African tribe, the Allmuseri. Thus begins... more » a daring voyage of horror and self-discovery.
Peopled with vivid and unforgettable characters, nimble in its interplay of comedy and serious ideas, this dazzling modern classic is a perfect blend of the picaresque tale, historical romance, sea yarn, slave narrative, and philosophical novel.« less
I am an avid historical fiction reader and found this book fascinating. The author's descriptions of events are candidly brutal. This story was unfortunately a part of this country's history and every American should be aware of the horrid conditons Africans were forced to endure on slaveships.
Books like this are why I love to read literary fiction. To say that Charles Johnson has a "command of the English language" is a bit of an understatement, really. The man is a master of metaphor and allusion and this book is wildly entertaining, challenging and clever. Highly recommended.