Customer Reviews for

Song Yet Sung

Average Rating 4
( 45 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Song Yet Sung - A Book for All Americans

    The Maryland Humanities Council chose Song Yet Sung, by James McBride, as the book every Marylander should read in 2009.

    As a supporter of reading and literacy, and as a native Marylander, I felt compelled to read it, particularly because the story is set in my homeland.


    The way James McBride describes the Eastern Shore of Maryland, naming familiar places like East New Market, Blackwater, Bishop's Head, Cook's Point, the Spocott plantation, the reader would presume he was a native - but he's not. Set in pre-Civil War Dorchester County, (birthplace of Harriet Tubman) the story is rich with suspense and drama bringing legendary characters like Patty Cannon alive. Cannon is not a fictional character. She actually lived in Dorchester County, very near the Caroline and Sussex County lines. She was a legendary slave-catcher and murderer, who committed suicide when she was finally arrested. McBride brings Cannon's character to life in Song Yet Sung.


    The tale McBride weaves about the trials of escaped slaves and free Blacks that were captured and "sold down the river" is poignant and riveting. It vividly paints a picture of the Eastern Shore when the Underground Railroad was in operation.


    McBride also links the details of this story - set in 1850 - to future America. The main character, a slave named Liz Spocott (aka "the Dreamer") is captured by Patty Cannon. She soon escapes capture and spends the rest of the story as a fugitive being led by other slaves and free blacks to freedom through use of a "code." Liz had a unique clairvoyant gift that allowed her to see into the future, and see her people in the present day, with their present challenges. McBride shows how complex relationships between Blacks and Whites evolved, and became the relationships of today. His juxtaposition of the race relations of then and now shows that there is still much work to be done towards healing.


    Phoebe Stein Davis, Maryland Humanities Council Executive Director states, "Song Yet Sung offers Marylanders the opportunity to come together around the state in our communities and talk about this beautiful and important novel and the picture it paints of this chapter in Maryland history. ... This is not simply a story of slavery, but rather a tale of freedom, hope, redemption, and identity, with a generous dose of commentary on modern American society."


    The story is a great story for all Americans. If you love America, and her heritage, if you love descriptive settings and compelling characters, if you're curious about pre-Civil War race relations in a border state, or if you've ever visited Maryland's Eastern Shore - Song Yet Sung is a MUST read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    Considering the numerous books about slavery in America that I h

    Considering the numerous books about slavery in America that I have read this book has certainly been one of the more enjoyable. The story, while still painful, has a fluidity that eases you into the material. I appreciate how the author links Black Americans future and past.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    Excellent reading.

    Very enjoyable and informative. James McBride is very imaginative, a great story teller; he mixes history with today's world to create a very moving and emotional journey of hope and the search for freedom. A must read for all who want a deeping insight into slavery in the south, and its impact upon one slave's vision of freedom for all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2008

    inspirational

    I would recommend this book as a required reading to all inner city high school students because it is a great reminder of the struggles that black people had to go through but also a realization of what we have become.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Song Yet Sung

    This is a complex and very compelling story based on life on the Eastern Shore of Maryland during the slavery era. There are many characters whose stories interweave into a complex story about slaves, slave traders, and the Underground Railroad. This is a must read just for figuring out the complex code of life and the dangers that were everywhere.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Amazing

    This book is a joy that taker the reader on a true adventure. It also provides a vivid picture of that time in history. I could not put this book down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    Kp- TX

    One of the best books I have read. Excellent. You will not be disappointed.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    At first I thought this book was going be slow, but after readin

    At first I thought this book was going be slow, but after reading into it the book was pretty good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2011

    Great Story

    This book was great, I could not put it down! There were some areas where the description of the land did seemed almost too descriptive, but at the same time I could picture each and every character with the amount of details given in the book....

    Thanks Mr. McBride for another great read. I'm officially hooked!

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Great series

    Every book is better than the last! I cant wait for #4

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  • Posted February 5, 2011

    Great Read!

    I love all historical fiction and this book did not disappoint McBride is a great writer and this book should be on the school reading list! Loved it!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    other books better

    disappointing read..long drawnout ....didn't hold my interest at all........

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2009

    One State One Book

    Good for book group discussion.

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  • Posted May 24, 2009

    Great Plot

    I enjoyed this book. The main character's "visions" did not seamlessly flow with the rest of the storyline. After a certain point, I began to just skip over them. Other than that, I would strongly recommend this novel.

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  • Posted March 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Historically inaccurate

    As a resident of Maryland's Eastern Shore I was offended by the apparent lack of research on the author's part. He has the area settled by the wrong people (Germans), sets plot points in towns that did not exist during the time his story takes place (Ocean City), and forgoes historic and cultural details that would make his story credible. A much better book is "The Entailed Hat", also fiction, written by George Alfred Townsend. It tells the same story of an escaped slave and the problem of Patty Cannon and her son-in-law, and uses recognizable details to make the story believable. McBride's book could be a better one if not for the distraction of inaccuracies.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    What a great read!

    This book was recommended to me by an associated at B&N. It is a wonderful book. I didn't want it to end because it really made you think about the characters and what was going on. I recommended it for anybody who really wants to be a part of a story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2008

    Geography lesson

    I wanted to like this book but- but I found it somewaht frustating getting the geography lesson of the land in Maryland. There was so much mentioning of the land, thickets, brush, rivers, the way the wind blowed etc. to me-- it just took away from the book.<BR/>The characters were intersting- Amber, Liz, Patty and the gimp. the Woolman was quite interesting. There were times when I thought something needed to happen and it didn't. The book would go off into some long dialougue as to what a person was thinking.<BR/><BR/>The book did make me think-about the free black man at this time. What was it like for him etc. and for that part kudos to McBride for portraying a sampling of what it may have been.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2008

    Very good read

    This book was very interesting, well structured with some very interesting characters. There are alot of characters in the book so at times you have to refresh your memory on the various characters. The story is about the underground railroad of the slaves 'the code' and the experiences that slaves and free blacks have to go through to get to freedom. His literary style is great, he really takes you back into the heart of American slavery. It is a very good book, well paced, page turner. It really shows the heart and determination of black slaves in America.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is one of those books that once you are about 10 to 15 pages into it, you flip back to count the pages and you are happy that its about 350 pages long.I didnt want it to end and couldnt put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
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