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Dramatic,
Interesting,
Dark

2 reviews

Underground Airlines
by Ben Winters

Published: 2016-07-05
Hardcover : 336 pages
3 members reading this now
19 clubs reading this now
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NOMINATED FOR BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL BY THE ITW THRILLER AWARDS
A FINALIST FOR THE CHAUTAUQUA PRIZE
A New York Times Bestseller; a Goodreads Choice finalist; named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, Slate, Publishers Weekly, Hudson Bookseller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kirkus Reviews, ...
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Introduction

NOMINATED FOR BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL BY THE ITW THRILLER AWARDS

A FINALIST FOR THE CHAUTAUQUA PRIZE

A New York Times Bestseller; a Goodreads Choice finalist; named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, Slate, Publishers Weekly, Hudson Bookseller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kirkus Reviews, AudioFile Magazine, and Amazon

It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred.

A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right--with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

A mystery to himself, Victor suppresses his memories of his childhood on a plantation, and works to infiltrate the local cell of a abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines. Tracking Jackdaw through the back rooms of churches, empty parking garages, hotels, and medical offices, Victor believes he's hot on the trail. But his strange, increasingly uncanny pursuit is complicated by a boss who won't reveal the extraordinary stakes of Jackdaw's case, as well as by a heartbreaking young woman and her child who may be Victor's salvation. Victor himself may be the biggest obstacle of all--though his true self remains buried, it threatens to surface.

Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country's arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.

Underground Airlines is a ground-breaking novel, a wickedly imaginative thriller, and a story of an America that is more like our own than we'd like to believe.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of July 2016: A powerful look what might have been, Ben Winters creates an alternate reality based on the absence one of our most important historical events: The Civil War. Slavery has infected the United States, permeating the everyday lives of most Americans without much thought until a group of citizens come forward to try and make a difference. This trailblazing and well thought out novel plays the role of mystery-thriller while poignantly illuminating the many ways life today is more like Winters' alternative world than we may want to admit. --Penny Mann, The Amazon Book Review

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  "underground airlines"by Carolynr (see profile) 07/28/17

A young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service in exchange for his freedom. He's got plent... (read more)

 
by itsdingee (see profile) 07/11/17

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