Title: Underground Airlines
Author: Ben H. Winters
Pub Date: July 5th, 2016 (US)
My Rating: ★★★★☆
This book really surprised me. I was not expecting such a fast paced alternative history thriller with a bit of sci-fi at the end.
Alternative history of United States, we are in Indianapolis where we meet Jim, or Victor or what he’s name at a given time is, who is trying to infiltrate an organization The Underground Airlines. He’s a free black man, that is searching for an escaped slaves from the states with legalized slavery, the Hard Four, where slavery is legal and very much in use. He lives in a completely different version of our modern world, where slavery is either accepted or practiced, but overall legal.
“What the slave wants but can never have is not only freedom from the chains but also from their memory.”
This book tackles a lot of issues that are sadly very true today. You may read the book and be glad that we are lucky not living in such world anymore. But think about it. When I was reading about the textile production in the Hard Four, about slaves that were working on sawing tops and dresses that will be sold cheap in some mall. And how people from different states, that didn’t practice slavery, passes a bill that forbid selling ‘blood goods’, goods that were made by the slaves. Such an easy law to overpass. When I think about it, this is something that is still happening today, but without the slavery. We still love our cheap clothing and other goods, and we are not thinking about who made them and how much pain went into creating this merchandise. There are still manufactures that are using people, that are treating them horribly, that are paying them wage that is barely a minimum to survive. And those people are forced to work there, not by some legal paper that corporation bought them and owns them, but because they have no other option to earn money. They have to work for this corporation, so after all, this corporation is owning them…
Very good book that with some small changes would be even better. There are a lot of surprising plot twists and disturbing discoveries. Some of them are lacking in power, but overall the whole story made a huge impression on me. Worth reading.
The post was spell checked using Grammarly.