A major novel of the American slave trade that annihilates the myths of black African docility and white humanity on an unforgettable nightmare voyage that takes the reader into the hearts and minds and private hells of the slavers as well as the enslaved.
At a time when nearly every civilized nation, including the United States, had outlawed the trade, the American flag still flew from the masts of hundreds of slaving ships off the west coast of Africa. Aboard one such ship, the Jubilation, is Captain Edward Horneby, a quietly lethal man for whom slaving is a way of life and a chance to play God. Below decks, in a hold overflowing with degradation and death, is Osai Adoko, a proud Ashanti warrior who waits to prove that chains do not make a man a slave.
And there are Hollister and Dunbar–one, a sadistic youth who uses slaves to cure his boredom; the other, a sensitive journalist traveling incognito who intends to expose the atrocities of the trade, yet is forced himself into becoming the owner of a beautiful child-woman.
The action moves swiftly, from a ruinous jungle slave factory to an opulent African court, from a bizarre shore leave, to a bloody sea battle, to rampant depravity aboard the Jubilation itself. With mounting tension between whites and blacks, the book builds toward a brilliant, horrifying climax. Jerrold Mundis brings an era of shame into true perspective in a novel of startlingly powerful significance.
A superior adventure yarn, but not for the squeamish. The action is quick, gory and rings with verisimilitude. Hair-raising adventure on the high seas.
The dramatic actions snap along with sea battles, slave rebellions, and moral conflicts, all played out by thoroughly believable characters and building to a shattering climax.