This is one of those books which I read after knowing that the film has won an Academy Award. Pretentious much? Yes maybe but I am glad I read the book instead of watching the movie first.
12 years of a slave is about Solomon Northup, who was born in New York as a freeman. He lived what was known as the quintessential “American dream”, with a home and family of a wife and two kids. His life changed when he was drugged, kidnapped, and sold as a slave in the deep south. The book is a true account of the twelve years he spent as a slave. What makes this book extraordinary is Solomon’s journey of undying hope and the indomitable human situations that helped him triumph worst possible adversity.
This book will make you squirm, exposing you to the harshest abnormality that was a part of our society once. It reduces you to tears and leaves you distressed. It took me many days to complete this as it was dark, made you think and in parts really heavy. The book has been a delightful read purely because it is a fine body of work which gives you an unique human insight. You squirm at the horrors of human slavery, the piteous situations and your heart goes out to the lost souls caught in this vicious cycle. I was reduced to tears while reading about Northup’s life as a slave, the way he was beaten up, other times when he was forced to beat other slaves. To think of a human being to be reduced to being someone’s property gives you a feeling of being non existent.
This book makes you weep, reflect and instills you with a sense of hope. This has been truly phenomenal. Such has been the fate of the book, that it gets lost in oblivion and gets resurrected over time. Here’s hoping that people would pick the book up and read it and resort to seeing the movie as the easier alternative. There are certain things only words can convey without being limited by time or creative representations. This book has been an eye opener.
This is a must read if you love reading non-fiction.
Genre: Non- Fiction
Publisher : Pirates