Review of Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

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3.5 out of 5 stars

I feel like I cheated with this book because I listened to it on audiobook so I didn’t experience the pain of the stream-of-consciousness style that the book is written in. The book was narrated by MacLeod Andrews and he did a fantastic job.

The book is about a group of friends who call themselves ‘the four little indians’. It’s a cute gag joke about how they met at a party. They all go to Berkley University in California and have a penchant for activism, which ends up going horribly wrong when they take their form of activism to D’Aron’s town, Braggsville, Georgia.

The first part of the book sets up the activism scheme in Braggsville while the rest of the book deals with the effects of it. The author does a fantastic job of critiquing race relations in the south, and perhaps all of America, while still being compassionate towards all sides. He is highly skilled at setting up a situation where the lines between right and wrong are blurred.

My main critique of the novel would be that I hated the character of Candice. I know she was well-meaning and earnest but she drove me nuts. She felt too much like a special snowflake character that D’Aron was constantly drooling over and it got tiring. Candice was the least realistic and interesting out of the bunch despite the time spent on development of her character.

My other smaller critique was that because of the stream-of-consciousness style, the book kept going off on tangents and sometimes it was great, but other times it took away from the story.

Other than that, the book was really well done and the writing was great. It was funny at times and highly tense at other times. I often found myself considering the points the author was making long after putting down the audiobook. I also thought that the appendix at the end was a nice touch.

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