Bell drew on anthropological studies of vodou and other sources, but Riau is truly his own invention.
Riau, with his contradictions and his capacity for growth, seems more plausible than the stereotypical black freedom fighters imagined by some historians, and even of Toussaint Louverture, as Bell portrays him in his novels. The last volume in the trilogy is not as compelling as the first two. There are too many battle scenes, too many more or less indistinguishable characters, and, in my opinion, an overly adulatory portrayal of Toussaint Louverture, elevated to the status of a martyred saint. The Story of the Haitian Revolution. Their richness comes from their length and their profusion of characters and incidents, but those qualities make it difficult to assign them to students.
His novels challenge us to expand the boundaries of our own thinking about the past, to use our imaginations more creatively even as we insist on our duty to remain true to what we find in our documents and, above all, to recognize that this history was made by human beings, with all their contradictions and weaknesses, and that it speaks to us precisely because of this human dimension. Pantheon, , pp. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Main menu Skip to primary content.
The balance is close to perfect. What is most remarkable about this novel, and indeed the entire trilogy, is how he can make the pieces add up to the whole, like a pointillist painter, and how that whole can ultimately point to one amazing man.
We empathize with his faithful assistant Riau, even as he cuts the throats of French women. And we feel, along with white cane farmers, black soldiers and French military rivals, the overwhelming awe for a remarkable man in a remarkable time.
Napoleon should have been so admired. Vintage February 14, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. This trilogy is a beautifully written history of the Haitian revolution.
It makes Haiti and it's people live as you read it, and will make you want to learn more.
What you will learn is that much of its history is tragic, and it's people deserve the world's respect and support in an ongoing struggle against poverty and natural disaster. Aside from my personal recommendation that you read this story of a great and troubled country, but that you consider further research into the art and culture of Haiti.
I have traveled back and forth to Haiti over the past 20 years and I will never look at the country or it's people in the same way! Learn more about Amazon Prime. Bell had done such an excellent job realizing his characters that I felt deeply involved in their lives. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. In terms of gallons of blood spilled, our own revolution was a mere skirmish. One person found this helpful. Appendices, including a chronology of events, Creole glossary, and real correspondence between Toussaint and Napoleon, round out the backstory.
I've begun collecting Haitian art and am planning a trip there soon. I believe other visitors when they describe the country and it's people as magical. As with the first two books, Bell does an excellent job framing the story of the Haitian revolution in a way that is both highly entertaining and historically true.
This book is not nearly as bloody as the first book, which I was glad for. And Bell also made sure that our favorite "blancs" made it safely to America without being slaughtered sorry, did I just give it away? My only problem with this book is that it ends so abruptly. Of course, how does one end the story that is still taking place today? But it would have been nice to have a more solid of an ending. And for the guy who says he could tell the story wasn't going to end well an earlier review , I wonder how he would have preferred for it to end? One person found this helpful.
This book was a masterful finish to a fantastic trilogy! If the subject were not somewhat obscure I am certain this series of books would be already be an American classic. I am so thankful for Professor Bell's exhaustive research and unparalleled writing skills.
He brings the Haitian revolution to life. I have traveled back and forth to Haiti over the past 20 years and I will never look at the country or it's people in the same way! His development of characters and the seamless flow between chapters kept me in avid anticipation of my nightly reads.
I am lost at the moment for what to read next!! If you want to understand the fierce national pride of the Haitian people this is a must read! Thank you Professor Bell!!! I love this trilogy!
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Very interesting personal perspectives of the Haitian revolution. Accidentally stumbled on this book and glad that I did! Highly recommend the series. I cannot recommend this series enough. Finishing these books it feels like I'm saying goodbye to people I know.
Yes it doesn't have a happy ending because it wasn't a happy time but it stayed true to the time and the characters to the end. I had read the first 2 books of this trilogy and looked forward to the third with a great deal of anticipation. After a hundred pages, however, I felt a sinking sensation as I realized that this story could not possibly have a happy ending. Bell had done such an excellent job realizing his characters that I felt deeply involved in their lives. After the horrendous atrocities of slavery and the slave revolts and subsequent battles, it seemed that the island was finally at some sort of peace.