Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Out of curiosity because it is so famous and had such a huge sale when it came out 142 years ago, I read Uncle Tom's Cabin. I recommend it, especially the first 300 of its 450 pages. It is strongly anti-slavery from a moral point of view. It is based on facts--each incident in the novel is based on a true one that the author knew about first hand or from a reliable source. The writing reflects the author's intelligence and education, and sense of humor. My main objection is that the book is too long and that the ending is contrived to leave no loose ends, which is not lifelike. All the main characters from various parts of the country meet each other at the end of the book and turn out to be each other's long-lost mother, brother, sister, son, or daughter. Also, the author has a habit of describing in detail what the various characters are thinking, which means that she is writing from an omniscient, God-like point of view. On the other hand, she addresses the reader directly at several points in the book, like actors in comedy shows sometimes do, to remind you that this isn't real. On the whole, it shows more intelligence and morality than any of the 20th-century American novels I've read.

Year Read: 1993


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