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What the community says about 12 Years a Slave
- "This book is amazing, heartbreaking and haunting. It tells the tale of a man who lived in the U.S. as a free African American until he was drugged and kidnapped and sold into slavery. I highly suggest reading this book to anyone-- and if it all possible, reading it prior to seeing the movie (we all know that a movie hardly ever does the book justice). This would be an excellent read for an American history class, or a class about slavery-- so many times some of the facts brought to light in this book aren't ever taught in class."
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- "This story is heartbreaking, and very difficult to read at times. That being said, it is a phenomenal book. I watched the movie before reading the book, but it was still so detailed that it was like a whole new experience. I recommended it both for people who are and aren't familiar with the film."
- "This is truly one of the great true stories about slavery, and it is easy to see why it was turned into an award winning movie. The book captivates you from beginning to end and lets you fill in the blanks from your own imagination. I read the book and saw the movie and was impressed by both. "
- "Anytime I see that a book has been adapted to a movie, I make a conscious effort to read the source material before seeing the movie. This is the case for 12 Years a Slave, the book was much more gruesome and realistic than the movie. If you did watch the movie and enjoyed it, you should read the book to get more personal insights into how life was for slaves after the Civil War. "
- "If you've seen the movie, or heard the name at all (and it's hard to imagine you haven't), then pick this up and read through the book that told the story retold in the film. You'll come to understand why the atmosphere in pre-Civil War era United States was an extremely dangerous and brutal one for all African-Americans, freemen/freedmen or not, North or South. An atmosphere that no matter your status in so-called "free states," you could at any time be kidnapped, mistakenly identified as a fugitive slave or ramrodded through the courts and forced into bondage."
- "This is the best solution yet. I have heard of this book and think this is a totally valid solution to this problem. Though I have never read it, touches on issues in the hearts of many people of color. This of course is all in the back drop of what I imagine to be a truly great romantic story."
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in What are the best books about war"Sometimes it is hard to imagine the sordid tales of our history, yet sometimes it is worthwhile to be reminded of the struggles of African Americans in our country. 12 Years a Slave is historically powerful memoir that takes the reader back in time. Through his words, we are able to experience his pain, his suffering, and the strength it takes to be black in America during the 1800's. The writing is superb and gut wrenching at time. If there was ever a book that can accurately recall the struggles of American slaves, this is it. Although not set during the Civil War, it really lays the foundation for the tension that would start the division between North and South. "