As someone noted, this book can't compare with Book of Negroes. Any Known Blood lacks the compelling characters and gripping story. I could have stopped reading this book at many points. The book does bring to light some historical events, though, that I found interesting, such as the raid at Harpers Ferry. I suppose the author gave a lot of thought as to why the men of each generation in the book needed the same name. He gets close to explaining it when a female character says, "What is it with men? They all want boys named after them." Maybe so, but it makes the book confusing.
This title is the story of five generations of the Canes, an African-Canadian-American family. I liked this book but it just wasn't as engaging as Hill's "Book of Negroes". My main beef with this book was the constant jumping back and forth between the various Langston Canes (all 5 of them). I found it confusing and it took away from my enjoyment of the book.
A humourously sensitive account of a determined and successful black Canadian family. Through five generations the story unfolds, between present-day Ontario, the Underground Railway, two World Wars, and John Brown's Harper's Ferry. Hill explores the relationship between Langston Cane V and his family as the latter sets out to discover their history and write their story.
Our hero, Langston Cane V, is very lovable. I liked his willingness to go with the flow once he makes the big decision to quit his job and "find his roots". Hill weaves the history of the previous four Langstons in with the current Langston journey, and I think he is very successful in taking us along for this ride of discovery. Local references to Oakville, Ontario and Canada make the narative that much more enjoyable. Quite different style and tone from "Book of Negroes" so cannot really compare them, even though the subject matter - negro history - is the same.
I found this book to have a slow start, but eventually I really got into it! He's a fantastic writer.
This is a book about a black man, or at least a partly black man writing, or at least researching, the history of his family. So you get his story, which is interesting, and the history of his family (see how I did that?). It’s a great piece of fiction but you also get some fact. Fictory.
Hill is a great story teller. His characters are vivid and I really liked the protagonist – I think I must have identified with him somewhat. Enjoyed this a bunch.
I enjoyed the book in terms of references to black people in Canada. However, it falls short of the Book of Negroes, which I gave 5/5.
I feel bad for Lawrence Hill in a way- while this is an excellent book, it just can't compare to his masterpiece, The Book of Negroes. That aside, this is an excellent read. I enjoyed the story of 5 generations of Langston Cranes and their battle with slavery and racism.
Really enjoyed this book, particularly the historic references to Toronto and Oakville. Fact and fiction are nicely intertwined to create a great story.
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