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Book Review: James By Percival Everett

Check out this spoiler free honest book review of James By Percival Everett. It’s a Great take on an American Classic from a great author


I barely remember Huckleberry Finn. It was one of those books I was required to read early on and it didn’t leave much of an impression on me even though it was an “American classic” So when i heard that Percival Everett was going to do his own re-telling of this classic I was curious enough to read it.

Here is my honest review


Fiction Satire

Synopsis of James

From the Book Jacket:

When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a man in New Orleans, separated from his wife and daughter forever, he decides to hide on nearby Jackson Island until he can formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Huck Finn has faked his own death to escape his violent father, recently returned to town. As all readers of American literature know, thus begins the dangerous and transcendent journey by raft down the Mississippi River toward the elusive and too-often-unreliable promise of the Free States and beyond.

My Spoiler Free Review of James By Percival Everett

I had to sit with this book for a minute before I gave a review.

So I went into this book only remembering the loose idea of the book, so James was almost new to me in that regard. But it’s not necessary to read Huckleberry Finn to enjoy this book.

It was fast-paced, and I appreciated the author’s more realistic tellings of the   “adventures” of this book. 

The main thing I can say about this is that, unlike the original book, this one points out that as a slave, Jim never had any options. It’s the original code-switching always changing to adjust to whatever type of white person or cruelty of slavery he comes upon.  He is always about to be killed or in danger of being killed. 

Which in some ways…hasn’t changed today but I digress…

There were a few big reveals that came and went so quickly that I had whiplash and had to think back on how they were in our faces the whole time. 

There were a few things that i will say…threw me off, but that’s Everrett’s way of writing and it always makes sense in the big picture. 

In the end, I enjoyed the retelling of an American ” Classic ”  from a slave’s point of view. I loved watching the progression of how Jim became James. It was at times fascinating, sometimes sad, sometimes cruel.

But a good read.  I’ll almost say…a must-read for the year. 

My rating


Where to Get This Book

Buy it on Amazon Here Or Buy it on here

A Word On My Rating System

5/5 stars: Couldn’t put it down, loved it. Will re-read. Will recommend to any and everyone. Will have a place on my bookshelf

4/5 Stars: A Solid book. I really really liked it. Or it or it made me think. I would recommend.

3/5 Stars:Not the best thing I’ve ever read but I finished it and most likely it was enjoyable. If someone asked, my response would be, yeah it was ok. Or, it was cute. Probably wouldn’t read it again.

2/5 stars: This is usually the lowest rating I will give. Means I didn’t really like it, but finished it because I felt I had to. Usually a book that disappoints me in some way. If someone asked I am quick to say: don’t do it.

1/5 Star: true WTH moment in reading. I usually list out the reasons why. Could be a DNF