"Nothing, not one thing or activity, can replace the experience of a good read—being transported to a different land, a different realm, through words and language. I just finished an advance copy of Colson Whitehead's new novel, The Underground Railroad. Every now and then a book comes along that reaches the marrow of your bones, settles in, and stays forever. This is one. It's a tour de force, and I don't say that lightly."
— Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine
"Whitehead, whose eclectic body of work encompasses novels playing fast and loose with 'real life,' both past and present, fires his most daring change-up yet. . . . Imagine a runaway slave novel written with Joseph Heller's deadpan voice leasing both Frederick Douglass' grim realities and H.P. Lovecraft's rococo fantasies…and that's when you begin to understand how startlingly original this book is. Whitehead continues the African-American artists' inquiry into race mythology and history with rousing audacity and razor-sharp ingenuity; he is now assuredly a writer of the first rank."
Kirkus (starred review)
"[A] magnetizing and wrenching saga. . . . Hard-driving, laser-sharp, artistically superlative, and deeply compassionate, Whitehead’s unforgettable odyssey adds a clarion new facet to the literature of racial tyranny and liberation."
Booklist (starred review)
"[S]pellbinding and ferocious.... The story is literature at its finest and history at its most barbaric. Would that this novel were required reading for every American citizen."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)