Looking for a specific book about a slave

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naamaloomi
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Looking for a specific book about a slave

Postby naamaloomi » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:13 pm UTC

I'm trying to find a book I read thirty years ago.

My girlfriend is doing the modern mrs Darcy reading challenge and asked me to choose a book for her. For some reason I came to think of a book from when I had just started reading by myself. Unfortunately, all I remember from the book is this:

- It's about a slave.
- The slave is male.
- He's extraordinarily strong.
- At one point he gets thrown in prison and he escapes by removing the huge stones that the prison wall was made of, one by one.

I know it's not a lot to go on, and that it's a long shot, but since searching for it myself hasn't resulted in success, do any of you recognize this?

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PAstrychef
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Re: Looking for a specific book about a slave

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:44 pm UTC

Can you remember anything else about the man? Was the book set in Africa, or Europe, or was it a fantasy?
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Tyndmyr
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Re: Looking for a specific book about a slave

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:41 pm UTC

Yeah, that could describe...a number of books. Strong guy in prison removes stones from wall for escape attempt is bewilderingly common. Slave narrows it down some, but not a great deal.

melladh
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Re: Looking for a specific book about a slave

Postby melladh » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:14 am UTC

I had no idea extraordinarily strong slaves removing stones from prison walls published pre 1996 was such a common book event. If it's a long list, could you perhaps mention a couple, to sate my curiosity?
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naamaloomi
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Re: Looking for a specific book about a slave

Postby naamaloomi » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:34 pm UTC

I'm almost certain it was set in USA. The only "unnatural" part of the story was his strength. There was no other magical of fantasy-like elements or environments involved.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Looking for a specific book about a slave

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:44 pm UTC

Ruling out fantasy helps.

Googling still is mostly unhelpful, as every combination I can think of just pulls up various historical or quasi historical texts.

Hell, it's not THAT far off from the first bit of Count of Monte Cristo, but that doesn't mesh with the American description. Likewise, The Great Escape involves tunnelling and stones, but...not so much on the slavery, being a POW event. Maybe one of the books written about the Libby Prison escape, if it's historical? It wasn't just one guy in the breakout, but otherwise, could be it?

More details about the breakout itself would help, if remembered. Or the character. Digging out is one of the classical ways to escape a prison, and...in such a tale the digging out, strong protaganist is almost invariably male, so that doesn't provide much additional info. Slave, prison, escape...these are just really commonly put together in a story, I'm afraid. I can think of a lot that are sort of like that, but that are either not exactly that, or that particular incident isn't central.

Cover, even, might be helpful.

naamaloomi
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Re: Looking for a specific book about a slave

Postby naamaloomi » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:30 pm UTC

I remember that the escape is not the focus of the book, it only covers a small portion of the story. I just happen to remember that part. It's not so much digging out as removing these huge stones that the prison wall is made of. I'm pretty sure it's a fictional character and not an actual historical event.
The cover, if I remember correctly, consists mostly of trees, a dirt and/or stoney road and the slave walking/running.

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LaserGuy
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Re: Looking for a specific book about a slave

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:12 pm UTC

Your best bet is probably to go talk to somebody at a used book store or a librarian.

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Jahoclave
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Re: Looking for a specific book about a slave

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:09 am UTC

naamaloomi wrote:I remember that the escape is not the focus of the book, it only covers a small portion of the story. I just happen to remember that part. It's not so much digging out as removing these huge stones that the prison wall is made of. I'm pretty sure it's a fictional character and not an actual historical event.
The cover, if I remember correctly, consists mostly of trees, a dirt and/or stoney road and the slave walking/running.

Well, the problem you're going to run into is, the descriptions you're given describe fairly common parts of slave accounts, from being in prison to possessing excessive strength. So, it's unlikely anybody would really be able to track it down unless you can think up more specific details of plot, time frame, or really things that might be more uncommon. And, if the novel were of a historical bases, nothing short of finding it yourself is probably going to track it down because both abolitionist and anti-abolitionists spent a great deal of time publishing various iterations of these. And I don't recall most of the major writers of the period having similar narratives.

An estimate of how old the book was might help; such as did the language usage seem modern or not. And how you came across it.


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