The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction): A Novel Audiobook

BOOK DETAIL

Written By: Colson Whitehead
Narrated By: Colson Whitehead, Jd Jackson
Date: July 2019
Duration: 6 hours 46 minutes

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The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction): A Novel Audiobook Summary

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
 
When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.
 
Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers and “should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation’s best’ (Entertainment Weekly).

Arch Colson Chipp Whitehead was born in New York City on November 6, 1969, and grew up in Manhattan. He is one of four children to successful entrepreneur parents who owned an executive recruiting firm. As a child in Manhattan, Whitehead went by his first name Arch. He later switched to Chipp, before switching to Colson. He attended the elite prep Trinity School in Manhattan and graduated from Harvard University in 1991. In college he became friends with poet Kevin Young.

Early in his career, he lived in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Whitehead lives in Manhattan and also owns a home in Sag Harbor (The Hamptons), on Long Island. His wife is a literary agent and they have two children.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead Reviews

A necessary read.” —President Barack Obama

“This is a powerful book by one of America’s great writers. . . . Without sentimentality, in as intense and finely crafted a book as you’ll ever read, Whitehead tells a story of American history that won’t allow you to see the country in the same way again.” —Toronto Star

Colson Whitehead continues to make a classic American genre his own. . . . The narration is disciplined and the sentences plain and sturdy, oars cutting into water. Every chapter hits its marks. . . . Whitehead comports himself with gravity and care, the steward of painful, suppressed histories; his choices on the page can feel as much ethical as aesthetic. The ordinary language, the clear pane of his prose, lets the stories speak for themselves. . . . Whitehead has written novels of horror and apocalypse; nothing touches the grimness of the real stories he conveys here” —The New York Times

“Inspired by a real school in Florida, The Nickel Boys is a haunting narrative that reinforces Whitehead’s prowess as a leading voice in American literature.” —TIME

“[The Nickel Boys] should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation’s best.” —Entertainment Weekly

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Winner of the 2020 Pulizer Prize for Fiction

In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller 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 Jim Crow-era Florida.

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.

Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.