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The Prophets

by Robert Jones Jr.

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. X
The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.
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  • Published:
    Jan 2021, 400 pages

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There are currently 13 member reviews
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  • Shelley C. (Eastport, NY)
    An Amazing Story
    Brilliant! A masterpiece! Those adjectives don't even begin to describe how incredible this book is. Toni Morrison must be jealous up there in heaven, for Mr. Jones seems to have picked up where she left off.

    I have read many books about slavery in America, and a lot of them were excellent. But, none seems to come close to capturing the mood, the torment, the horror, the monstrosity, of this terrible time in our nation's history.

    Mr. Jones' writing is so very beautiful. His characters are finely drawn and came to life in a world that is achingly beyond belief.

    This is a book that the publishing house should and must go full press in an advertising campaign to promote, "The Prophets". For it needs to be read. It needs to be shared in this time of, Black Lives Matter. It stands out and is truly remarkable.
  • Robert M. (Smyrna, GA)
    Will Be Critically Acclaimed in 2021
    This is a powerful novel that is sure to garner some awards in 2021. It is a fantastic debut from Jones, who follows the advice of Toni Morrison (as indicated in his acknowledgements) and wrote the book he wanted to read, but could not find. The story of true love in the midst of American slavery's horror could not have been told with more compassion. Include the magical realism that would have made Ms. Morrison proud and the enthralling characters throughout (Maggie the most compelling to me), and you have an impressive feat of literary historical fiction.
  • Brittany P. (Brookline, MA)
    Beautifully Written, Powerful Story
    While difficult at times to read, due to the subject and the graphic nature of certain scenes, I thought that THE PROPHETS was a powerful, beautifully written book. The writing style was reminiscent of Toni Morrison and had a very poetic rhythm to the writing. I enjoyed reading the different perspectives of various characters and seeing how all of it came together, including the chapters that were written in the past. Often heartbreaking, Jones really captured the emotional despair and pain that many of these characters felt and conveyed it perfectly to the reader.
  • Laurie W. (Sunnyvale, CA)
    Challenging but worth reading
    This was a difficult book for me in several ways. Firstly, the experience of slaves in the South is so far removed from my own experience that it's a stretch for me to visualize and identify with the characters. It's enlightening for me to be exposed to this piece of American history, but it's a stretch nonetheless. Secondly, the story is difficult to absorb because the characters experience so much pain. It's disturbing to witness the torture and indignities inflicted by one human being upon another. Thirdly, there were sections of the book I couldn't quite follow. It may be that my normal reading speed is too fast and I should have slowed down a bit to absorb what was being said.
    Despite all these challenges, I'm glad that I read this book. I was able to see a bit of the world from an unfamiliar point of view. What most impressed me was the strength of spirit that many of the characters possessed. Amidst all the pain and suffering, they found small bits of comfort and relief. This is expressed most clearly through the eyes of the main characters, Samuel and Isaiah, who rely on their relationship with each other, even though it takes them into territory forbidden not only by the white landowners but also by most of their fellow slaves. As I said at the beginning of this review – it's not an easy read but it's definitely worth reading.
  • Susan S. (Springdale, AR)
    The Prophets
    This book contains lots of hard subjects to think about - slavery, oppression, and sexual orientation. It was at times brutal, but so was slavery. I don't think I've heard about any other authors taking on the subject of sexual orientation during the time of slavery, especially with respect to "breeding". The treatment of human beings like breeding stock was sickening. A very dark time in history becomes blacker still. Maybe a more appropriate title would be "Fifty Shades of Gay".
  • Amber H. (Asheville, NC)
    Sigh, wanted to love
    I love the story of this book, but didn't love the way the story was told. I found myself struggling to stay focused. Sometimes I couldn't follow the story, sometimes I was bored and sometimes I was confused. I really wanted to enjoy this book, I was interested in the story of a gay black couple during slavery. But it was a struggle to get through.
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