as stated in previous installments, I have only read MANDINGO in its abridged form, and now I understand why an abridgement of such a bestseller was neccessary...
JESUS H. CHRIST, IS THIS BOOK A PLODDING MOTHERFUCKER!!!
Sorry, but I had to get that out of my system.
I normally devour books as I read them — in fact I read the entirety of James Clavell's SHOGUN while laid up in bed with a rampaging flu, a read that took about six nonstop hours — but the original MANDINGO is thwarting me like no book that I have ever read. I am currently stalled at page 235 and nothing, NOTHING is happening, just a bunch of badly-written white dudes sitting around talking about forcing eggs down a major character's throat as part of his training as a "fightin' nigger." Let's face it: the hook of this work is the bizarre interracial soap opera tensions between Hammond and his slave Ellen, and the upcoming "fuck me or else" coupling between white Southern belle Blanche and big, hung like a mastadon buck, Mede, and as of almost halfway through the ponderous volume the real action of the plot is often derailled for scores of pages by endless jibba-jab that amounts to little but the occasional drop of foreshadowing.
As of this point I say stick to the movie version; true, there is some stuff that's coming up in the book that is far more twisted and offensive than anything found in the film adaptation — and that's REALLY saying something — but the film trims away enough fat to feed a village of Eskimos for three decades. The things I suffer through to keep you enlightened...