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Monday, March 05, 2012

The Interesting Narrative of The Life of Olaudah Equiano

The Interesting Narrative of The Life of Olaudah Equiano
by Olaudah Equiano
p. 1789
this edition read on ipad ebooks program 2012

  This is one of/the first accounts of the horror of the slave trade in the 18th century.  Olaudah Equiano was a real guy- and African born or African American born guy from the mid 18th century.  This book supposedly tells his life story- from his beginnings as a kidnap victim in Africa, to his life as a slave in the New World and Europe, to being freed by his owner and his adventures.   According to the Wikipedia article on the author, there is some doubt as to whether parts of the book- particularly the details of his kidnapping from Africa- actually happened- many think Equiano is from the U.S., and I suppose that's why I learned about it in a source that is devoted to listing Novels, rather then biographies

 I suppose the issues about authorial identity are rather besides the point- considering that this was a book published in 1789, the smooth writing style is commendable.   Also worth the effort are the horrid scenes that accompanied the slave trade in the 18th century- as Schopenhauer wrote, anyone familiar with the details of the slave trade in the Americas in the 18th century can never be shocked at man's inhumanity to man.

 This is the first book I've read on an electronic reading device- in this case the IPAD my wife owns.  The Interesting Narrative by Olaudah Equiano is a good eread candidate- it costs more than a penny on Amazon, is available in a free ebook version- in every format, I would imagine.  Also, it's short- many of the 18th century classics I've downloaded on the IPAD run to 500-600 pages in the Ebook program.

 I did find that I read faster- some of that is page size, but part of that is also that the IPAD is easier to read then a book- most definitely - something I would not say about performing a similar task at a desk top computer or lap top.

  However, there is little question to me that my Ebook interest is limited to free titles. It is hard for me to imagine paying five bucks or more for a book and not receiving hard copy, i.e. a book.

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