Black Boy by Richard Wright

Happy New Year! I’m back after a much needed hiatus and feeling quite optimistic about 2014. I hope to get back on schedule with posting each weekend and plan to continue sharing recipes along with more movie reviews and reviews of books I’m reading for pleasure. I’d like to kick off 2014 with something new so I’ll start with a book review.

(If you’re an avid reader, I’d highly recommend that you visit Goodreads if you haven’t already. You can keep track of books that you’ve read and rate titles so the website can recommend other books you might enjoy.)

Black Boy by Richard Wright

Click the image above or this link to purchase “Black Boy” on Amazon.

The edition of Black Boy that I read was pretty much two volumes of a series packaged together. The first volume (“Southern Night”) covered Richard Wright’s childhood to early teenage years in the South. The second volume (“The Horror & The Glory”) covered Wright’s late teens and some of his time in the North.

“Southern Night” on its own would be a 5 star book. I was completely drawn into the story from the very first page. While our childhoods were drastically different in some ways, I related to a good deal of Wright’s story and I think many other readers would as well. The writing style allowed me to envision the events he described and empathize with the feelings he expressed to the point of damn near tearing up at some points.

Unfortunately, the things that drew me into the first volume seemed to gradually disappear as I got further into “The Horror & The Glory”. A large part of the second volume dealt with Wright’s relationship with local communist groups and organizations and it just seemed to drag on for far too long. However, it was interesting to read about the unethical methods that insurance brokers used to take advantage of policyholders.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and thought it was a very quick read. It’s not perfect and definitely not for everyone but you might enjoy this book if you like reading about the lives of regular people and stories that don’t necessarily have a neat and tidy ending.

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