Category Archives: historical fiction

The Good Lord Bird Discussion

good lord birdThe book club met yesterday morning to talk about¬†The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. The discussion was spirited and far-reaching, including discussions of current events as well as the historical realities of John Brown’s time.

One of the most interesting parts of the discussion revolved around comparisons to Huckleberry Finn, which many reviews have noted. Some of the book clubbers thought this was a valid comparison, given the dialect, the humor, and the satire, but some didn’t quite see it.

One book club member brought a biography of John Brown in order to talk about the accuracy of the book’s portrayal of Brown. Most of the broad strokes of Brown’s life were true to all accounts, but some of the specific actions of secondary characters were embellished or completely created by McBride.

Because this book was based on real events and real people, we also discussed some of the additional secondary characters, such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Douglass does not get a particularly positive treatment in the book, but we discovered no basis in reality for these descriptions.  Continue reading

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Book Club Meeting Tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning, July 15, at 10 am, we will be meeting to discuss John Brown and Henry (Onion) Shackleford in the novel The Good Lord Bird. What did you know about John Brown, aka the “Old Man,” before reading this book? Did it change your views at all?

And if you get a chance, watch this interview with the author James McBride before then. He has a lot of interesting things to say about the book.

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Filed under book club, Book Club Selections, historical fiction, libraries, library, novel, reading