Tomb of the Unknown Racist: A Novel by Blanche McCrary Boyd
Published by Counterpoint
Published on: May 8, 2018
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Fiction, Literary
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About the Book
The award-winning author of The Revolution of Little Girls and Terminal Velocity concludes her grand survey of political activism twenty years later with her provocative new novel
Blanche McCrary Boyd’s first novel in twenty years continues the story of her protagonist Ellen Burns. When Tomb of the Unknown Racist opens in 1999, Ellen—now sober, haunted by her activist past, her failed relationships—is peacefully taking care of her demented mother in South Carolina.
Ellen’s brother, Royce, was a celebrated novelist who, a decade earlier, saw his work adopted by racists and fell under the sway of white supremacy. Ellen thought him dead from a botched FBI raid on his compound. But when his estranged daughter turns up on the news claiming he might be responsible for kidnapping her two mixed-race children, Ellen travels to New Mexico to help her newfound niece. The book chronicles Ellen’s search for Royce, her descent into the dark abyss of the simmering race war in the country, and the confrontation that occurs when she learns the truth about her family’s past.
Tomb of the Unknown Racist is a thrilling novel set in the shadow of the Oklahoma City bombing, the subculture of white supremacy, and deep state government. A family drama set against political and racial struggle, it is a tour de force end to a trilogy by a stunning writer whose work has offered a resonant survey of politics and activism across the American experience.
I was so excited when I received a copy of the Tomb of the Unknown Racist: A Novel by Blanche McCrary Boyd for review. The premise sounded so absolutely intriguing, especially given the political climate today. Unfortunately for me, I found it so incredibly boring and generally hard to follow, that after having read about half of the book, I had to put it down.
Now I absolutely hate giving a book a DNF (Did Not Finish) rating. I’m a blogger; I review things. The whole point is for me to read a book, watch a movie, test a product and then tell you, my readers what I thought of it. The problem for me is that I am no longer able to force myself to sit down and read something that I just am not following or getting any enjoyment out of. I.JUST.CANT.DO.IT.AND.YOU.CANT.MAKE.ME.
I personally found the Tomb of the Unknown Racist: A Novel by Blanche McCrary Boyd ridiculously hard to follow. It jumped from one thing to another and kept doing that throughout the part of the book that I read. I had to constantly remind myself who was who in the story and what happened last and so on. It was honestly a struggle. Not one of the characters, including the protagonist Ellen, were either likeable or relatable in any way shape or form. It was just a hot mess that I just couldn’t finish. Now I’m not sure how much of that had to do with the formatting issues of the review copy that I was reading, or the fact that I had not read any of the previous books. But honestly, none of that should have mattered when it all came down to it.
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