I did not enjoy reading The Book of Negroes. This is my original “review” of it. Yes, I did send this in for grade 11 english. It was written in about 20 minutes so there’s lots of spelling mistakes.
The characters were miserable puppets, manipulated around solely for the entertainment of the very old and boring author who seems to never have felt a single emotion other than extreme boredom, for that was the only thing he conveyed in this book. His descriptions of peoples appearance was not unlike how a computer would describe a cold bowl of porridge and his description of places was much the same with the porridge perhaps being lukewarm. The main character, Aminita has as much depth as one of those little kiddy pools.
The basic plot seemed to be that she was in a village in Africa or Bayou or Guantanamo depending on the authors mood at the time he seemed to choose randomly from any semi warm place on the planet. She was then forced into slavery by men from America or Britain though from the authors writing it may well have been that she was put on a boat by flying martians. She sailed over to America and there was a bunch of fighting on the boat which was just an excuse for the author to kill everyone he had gotten bored with, which was, actually, every single person except for Aminita. As she arrived in America she was put to work on a cotton field or maybe indigo, at this point my brain was desperately trying to abort from my skull and my fingers had involuntarily torn my eyeballs from their sockets such as to spare them from dragging their cold lifeless selves across the page, taking in another miserable excuse for a word written by this Laurence person. Aminita worked at this indigo farm for a few years and then she had a kid with some other guy but the author had another brilliant flash of brilliance and sent her baby to Cuba and her boyfriend to Alaska or some such place. It was like killing them off but easier for him because he can bring them back in after he kills other people. She had her head shaved because she had nice hair or something and then she was bought by someone called Solomon Lindo which seems like a poor decision of Mr Lindos mother but he bought her anyways despite having the kind of name that would usually make a man spend his life hiding in his basement, sending his parents to do his shopping.
Aminita moved in with Solomon Linda and met some other people but truthfully at this point you could care less because you know they’re going to die and you`ve given up all hope of the story improving or indeed ever ending because you are only just at the beginning. You process that she does shopping and housework and then start to wonder rather wishfully that Aminita herself would die and the rest of the book is just some of those blank pages filled with copyright things. But she doesn’t die, she meets that guy who got sent to Alaska and I think she has another baby or maybe that’s later but she definitely has 2 but it isn’t really important because they both die. Anyways, Mr Lindo takes her to New York where she runs away with a bartender and lives in some boxes. You can tell that you`re supposed to feel sorry for her but instead you feel boredom and apathy settling in, your bones have turned to rubber and you can’t move because, even though you couldn’t care less about aminiata and her miserable life you feel depressed at the death of everyone and the miserable style of the writing.
Somewhere around the point you contemplate drowning yourself and the book she meets a British officer and becomes a midwife for all of their underage pregnant girlfriends. Eventually she gets offered a place on a ship that goes to Nova Scotia, a place that nobody knows, or cares anything about because it’s such a distant and lonely and pathetic sounding place that it may as well be called “Miserable foggy island of lonely hopes and lost dreams”. Her boyfriend and baby drown or get lost or something, you don’t really know or care. She arrives in Nova Scotia and I think she has another baby or maybe she found her first one. You’re usually hallucinating at this point about something more fun than reading this book, swimming in steak sauce with piranhas, bungee jumping with no bungee or just lying a cold moist dungeon for the rest of your life. Someone steals her baby and she deals with more racism by reading or something . She then goes to Africa and your eyeballs slowly head in the direction of their sockets wondering if perhaps she could return home and that this miserable book would stop. She does go to Africa and at this point she’s about 4 thousand years old but she walks back to her old village with some slavers which is a bad idea but she has no real perception so it makes sense.
She gets back to her village but it’s burned down or maybe she was just bored as heck at this point so she leaves. You begin to stop feeling miserable and depressed at this point and actually put the book down for a few minutes to wonder what possible point this story could have and if there is any way you could burn every copy of this book to spare future generation from reading the mindless drivel that is The Book of Negroes. At this point she sails to England and writes a book and then finds her daughter who has actually survived but then she just dies and you dissolve into a hopeless mess, confused as to what on earth happened, angry that you chose this book, of all books and depressed that not one character could just live.
This book will probably leave you hating white people for being slavers, Africa for being hot and too boring for Aminata, boats for being so slow, Nova Scotia for making you depressed, Lawrence Hill for using his pen to make misery itself come to you in small black characters that seep into your eyes searing their depressing misery into your retinas forever, but very most of all you will curse the people who gave prizes to this book. You will despise your friends who said it was interesting and made them think. You will tell them that surely they forget to mention what it made them think about, which was killing themselves to avoid having any memory of reading this book. You will wish plagues upon the man who awarded it the Pulitzer or whatever awful prize it got. You will wish for a thousand years of pain on the entire lineage of Laurence hill’s editor and publisher for letting his pathetic scribblings be put between two covers. They must surely have been drunk out of their neatherndthalic brains to allow it to be published or possibly depraved and raving mad from reading just the very introduction to Laurence Hill’s 500 page insane ramblings about nothing that made sense.