John Henry Days

John Henry Days

Book - 2001
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Colson Whitehead's eagerly awaited and triumphantly acclaimed new novel is on one level a multifaceted retelling of the story of John Henry, the black steel-driver who died outracing a machine designed to replace him. On another level it's the story of a disaffected, middle-aged black journalist on a mission to set a record for junketeering who attends the annual John Henry Days festival. It is also a high-velocity thrill ride through the tunnel where American legend gives way to American pop culture, replete with p. r. flacks, stamp collectors, blues men , and turn-of-the-century song pluggers. John Henry Days is an acrobatic, intellectually dazzling, and laugh-out-loud funny book that will be read and talked about for years to come.
E-journalist J. Sutter travels to West Virginia for the first John Henry Days celebration.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385498203
Characteristics: 389 p. ; 25 cm


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Jan 31, 2018

It runs long and is full of digressions, but the digressions (such as a little girl buying random sheet music) are so entertaining they're worth the extra time. Since it's set in 1996, it's also a bit of a period piece now, as it deals partly with then-new Internet and startup culture, as well as more timeless things like race, work, journalism, and the march of technology.

Dec 06, 2007

Finalist of the 2002 Pulitzer prize for fiction.


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