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The Nickel Boys

av Colson Whitehead

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,8801226,331 (4.27)177
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 10 BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE WINNER OF THE KIRKUS PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.… (mer)
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» Se även 177 omnämnanden

engelska (115)  katalanska (2)  nederländska (2)  spanska (1)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (121)
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Young Elwood grows up in the Black Frenchtown neighborhood living with his grandmother, working hard and planning on going to college. But all of that gets derailed when he is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he's sent to a reform school. The "school" is little more than a way for those in power to abuse it, and Elwood and the others dream of leaving.

This short book packs a powerful punch, not least because the Nickel School is based on a real school - the Dozier School - where unmarked graves were found after it was closed for good. In the 1960s, the dorms are segregated, so we get Elwood and his friends, as well as Jaimie, the Mexican boy who doesn't really fit in either dorm. Elwood's idealism is tested as he copes with terrible circumstances. An omniscient narrator includes both flashbacks of the school's history and a future of a man from the school now living in New York. Intense and powerful, this is masterfully done. ( )
  bell7 | Nov 28, 2020 |
My review of this book can be found on my Youtube Vlog at:

https://youtu.be/ENXzovyiZqs

Enjoy! ( )
  booklover3258 | Nov 25, 2020 |
I suppose you could call this historical fiction as it is based on a real story of what life was like back in the deep south after the Civil Rights Act was passed. I small sliver of life from a boy's perspective whom the system deeply wronged. A very moving tale and I am grateful for the recommendation, just can't recall who recommended it to me. Thanks ( )
  aldimartino | Nov 24, 2020 |
I suppose you could call this historical fiction as it is based on a real story of what life was like back in the deep south after the Civil Rights Act was passed. I small sliver of life from a boy's perspective whom the system deeply wronged. A very moving tale and I am grateful for the recommendation, just can't recall who recommended it to me. Thanks ( )
  Andy_DiMartino | Nov 24, 2020 |
L’Elwood ha crescut a la Florida dels anys seixanta i està a punt de començar els estudis universitaris. Seriós, educat i treballador, somia participar en l’incipient moviment pels drets civils, fins que un error innocent el condemna a ingressar en un reformatori juvenil anomenat Acadèmia Nickel, on descobrirà que per a un noi negre n’hi ha prou amb un petit error per destruir tota opció de futur. Els nois de la Nickel, que recrea la història real dels assassinats i abusos que van patir desenes de nens i adolescents afroamericans, s’endinsa en un dels episodis més foscos i violents del sistema educatiu dels Estats Units Whitehead analitza la violència racial i els crims d’odi, la indiferència social, la deshumanització i la imposició de l’oblit en un text impactant i necessari.
  bcacultart | Nov 23, 2020 |
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The books feel like a mission, and it’s an essential one. In a mass culture where there is no shortage of fiction, nonfiction, movies and documentaries dramatizing slavery and its sequels under other names (whether Jim Crow or mass incarceration or “I can’t breathe”), Whitehead is implicitly asking why so much of this output has so little effect or staying power. He applies a master storyteller’s muscle not just to excavating a grievous past but to examining the process by which Americans undermine, distort, hide or “neatly erase” the stories he is driven to tell.
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraThe New York Times, Frank Rich (betaljsajt) (Jul 14, 2019)
 
Even when he’s arrested on the flimsiest evidence and sentenced to Nickel Academy, Elwood clings to his faith that goodness will be rewarded, that the rule of law will prevail. The academy, as Whitehead presents it, is a place of well-groomed exteriors and encouraging principles — a place, if you will, like the United States at large... And what a deeply troubling novel this is. It shreds our easy confidence in the triumph of goodness and leaves in its place a hard and bitter truth about the ongoing American experiment.
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraThe Washington Post, Ron Charles (betaljsajt) (Jul 9, 2019)
 
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They were sent to Nickel for offenses Elwood had never heard of: malingering, mopery, incorrigibility. Words the boys didn’t understand either, but what was the point when their meaning was clear enough: Nickel. I got busted for sleeping in a garage to keep warm, I stole five dollars from my teacher, I drank a bottle of cough syrup and went wild one night. I was on my own trying to get by (Whitehead 81).
He had a date, now he needed a course of action. He felt rotten those first days out of the hospital until he came up with a scheme that combined Turner’s advice with what he’d learned from his heroes in the movement. Watch and think and plan. Let the world be a mob Elwood will walk through it. They might curse and spit and strike him, but he’d make it through to the other side. Bloodied and tired, but he’d make it through (Whitehead 93).
“It used to be worse in the old days,” Harper said, “from what my aunt says. But the state cracked down and now we lay off the south-campus stuff.” Meaning, they only sold the black students’ supplies. “We had this good old boy who used to run Nickel, Roberts, who would’ve sold the air you breathe if he could’ve. Now that was a crook!” (Whitehead 97).
The boy had been a reedy little runt when he got to Nickel and regularly punked out his first year until he learned to fight, and then he preyed on the smaller kids, taking them into closets and supply rooms—you teach what you’re taught (Whitehead 170).
Plenty of boys had talked of the secret graveyard before, but as it had ever been with Nickel, no one believed them until someone else said it.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 10 BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE WINNER OF THE KIRKUS PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

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