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The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead


The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead was an intriguing read but did not help much in the lives of our members. So much in our world has been revealed that has made us suspicious of everybody and everything.

Some were suspicious even of the Book Club Bag and its content obtained from the public library which were perplexing: 10 Nickel Boys books only available in the Book Club Bag, analysis of the book by Yahdon Israel that included reference to Trump and recent police killings, articles about the Dozier School for Boys where atrocities actually happened to young boys (the facility was closed 8 years ago), and a list of “Read-alikes” which are a list of “historical fiction” books about racism, violence and trauma with diverse characters where the fictional Nickel Boys’ story is inserted to show the analogy.

Then the Book Club Bag was topped off with 15 superficial questions about the Nickel Boys story such as “Which character was your favorite and which character would you like to have played in the story?” This made us question why this additional material was inserted? 1) Was it an attempt to elevate the Nickel Boys to the literary level as Colson Whitehead’s previous book, The Underground Railroad that won a Pulitzer prize, or 2) Was it simply an attempt by someone to influence our way of thinking, getting us to become enraged and to cause chaos? Maybe we are overly suspicious. On a 5 point rating scale, the ladies rated the Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead a 3.09.

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