The Nickel Boys

The Nickel Boys

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 01/08/2019
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Nickel Boys
Shawshank Redemption for the 21st Century
Colson Whitehead's next book after the Pulitzer prize winning The Underground Railroad was always going to be a tough act to follow. But, The Nickel Boys i... READ MORE
Terence, Bookseller Newry
The Nickel Boys
Shawshank Redemption for the 21st Century
Colson Whitehead's next book after the Pulitzer prize winning The Underground Railroad was always going to be a tough act to follow. But, The Nickel Boys i... READ MORE
Terence, Bookseller Newry
The Nickel Boys
Real life story fictionalised expertly
Loved this book. It’s heartbreaking but expertly crafted. Endearing protagonist who endures many injustices and abuse. Thoroughly researched brilliantly ... READ MORE
Linda@{Livingston]
The Nickel Boys
Beautiful, rage inducing and heart breaking
This was such an exceptional book that was wonderfully accessible, beautifully written, rage inducing in content and absolutely heart breaking. It tells th... READ MORE
Laura at Harrogate
The Nickel Boys
Another Great Novel From Whitehead
Stephen King talked about crafting his novels in this manner: 'I try to create sympathy for my characters, and then I turn the monsters loose'. This feelin... READ MORE
Jack Wightman
The Nickel Boys
Deserved Pulitzer Prize
Have wanted to read this for a while so ordered it whilst on furlough and glad I did.tells the story of Elwood Curtis who is black and has ambitions to go ... READ MORE
Neil Challis @Windsor

Synopsis

Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 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 1960s Florida. Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide 'physical, intellectual and moral training' which will equip its inmates to become 'honorable and honest men'. In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear 'out back'. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King's ringing assertion, 'Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.' But Elwood's fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors. The tension between Elwood's idealism and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions. Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.

  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • ISBN: 9780708899410
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Weight: 350g
  • Dimensions: 220 x 140 x 26 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Nickel Boys
The Nickel Boys
The Nickel Boys is a careful bruise of a novel. Whitehead's calm, measured prose delivers the friendship of Elwood and Turner and, at the same time, of Ame... READ MORE
A S at Hanley
The Nickel Boys
Reform School Hell
Elwood Curtis' summer started well, he'd had a job and saved up, he was off to college. A Grandma who loved him dearly. Like a lot of boys his colour he wa... READ MORE
Nicole @hemelwstones
The Nickel Boys
A tough read
I found it difficult to engage with this story. Elwood Curtis grows up in 60's Florida, a time of race riots yet balanced with that the wonderful influenti... READ MORE
Rob
The Nickel Boys
Colson Whitehead – The Nickel Boys
Elwood Curtis has done everything right: he is diligent, reliable in his after school job and he eagerly follows this charismatic preacher named Martin Lut... READ MORE
miss.mesmerized
The Nickel Boys
Heart Breaking
This is brilliantly written, it will certainly pull on your emotions. Heart breaking read - whilst this is a work of fiction, it was I believe inspired by ... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp
The Nickel Boys
The Nickel Boys
Really enjoyed this book. Good story, sad in places but topical considering everything going on at moment with the BLM movement. Hard to believe decades ... READ MORE
Angela Walker