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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published July 9th by Modern Library first published January 28th More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 15, Christopher Tirri rated it did not like it.
With one of the blandest plots I've ever encountered that is buried under pages of useless exaggerated "factual" details, this novel deserves nothing more than a quick speed read. Maybe it's just me, but I have no interest in having a white dude with a ridiculous name tell me about the horrors of captivity and the wonders of being a Christian Federalist. Royall Tyler's "Barbary captive" narrative has the distinction of being known as the United States' first novel, and it's still a good read today for its take on events in the early republic.
Supposedly it's the tale of a young New England doctor named Updike Underhill, who unknowingly signs aboard a slaver as ship's surgeon, only to end up captured by Algerian pirates and sold as a slave himself. Royall Tyler uses the novel format as an opportunity to make statements about the horrors of America Royall Tyler's "Barbary captive" narrative has the distinction of being known as the United States' first novel, and it's still a good read today for its take on events in the early republic.
Royall Tyler uses the novel format as an opportunity to make statements about the horrors of American and African slavery, comment on life as a Christian in Muslim North Africa, and poke fun at some of the political and educational standards of his time.
For a writer of historical fiction, these works contemporary to the period in which one is writing can be a valuable research tool. I would recommend The Algerine Captive to anyone interested in the history of the early American nation.
Mar 19, Greg rated it liked it Shelves: fiction-literary. Anachronistic, sarcastic, stereotypical…all of these are words that could be used to describe this novel of 18th century American characteristics, complete with an uninformed look the first such look at the Islamic world, and a castigation of the slave trade. This novel has the benefit of being the first of its kind, and as such, earned its place of distinction.
That said, the Anachronistic, sarcastic, stereotypical…all of these are words that could be used to describe this novel of 18th century American characteristics, complete with an uninformed look the first such look at the Islamic world, and a castigation of the slave trade.
That said, the novel is fairly straightforward and misrepresents so many facts that it is difficult to call this fiction historical. The novel essential serves as a time capsule, documenting for posterity the limitations of knowledge of the first American novelist. Apr 02, Alexandria rated it liked it. This is a really great read if you can pick up on all the irony and satire - otherwise, it would probably be pretty hard to get through. It's definitely not a book meant to be powered through thoughtlessly.
However, with the necessary consideration and a little guidance , this is a fascinating read. While the beginning is admittedly a little slow and the second half is a little dense, it offers an incredible perspective on "The American Dream" that people still idealize today, despite it's many This is a really great read if you can pick up on all the irony and satire - otherwise, it would probably be pretty hard to get through.
While the beginning is admittedly a little slow and the second half is a little dense, it offers an incredible perspective on "The American Dream" that people still idealize today, despite it's many, well, lies, to be blunt. Would I bring The Algerine Captive into a classroom?
I think that this would really depend on the students. They would have to not only understand the concepts of irony and satire, but be very adept at recognizing them in texts.
While I would love to teach this novel, I'm not about to try to pulling teeth to get students to read it. After all, while the content is good, it is a little hard to get through. The engagement factor is probably pretty low for the majority of the text though there are certainly spikes of very interesting points in the narrative and I think that there might be more relatable texts that teach the same things. Usually, when I read a book, I can immediately identify it as a text I would or would not bring into my classroom, but this is one of the few that I hesitate to say either way.
I do really like it, and taught well I think that students could gain a lot from it it would work amazingly well with multiple literary theories. All right, on that note, I've convinced myself: yes, I would bring it into the classroom or perhaps excerpts of it would work better than then entire text, now that I'm thinking about it.
Ooh, yeah! This would not be a text for every group of students that came through the door. Feb 06, Lena Lee rated it really liked it. It was okay. I understand and appreciate it's importance to the Early American literature tradition, but I would not read it again. I think it points out the folly of America's anger toward Algiers for taking its citizens as slaves when America was currently holding millions in slavery at that time, but that it could have been much more effective.
Underhill is not a dynamic character. He should have been changed by his experience, but he comes home just as impotent, misogynistic, and ridiculous It was okay. He should have been changed by his experience, but he comes home just as impotent, misogynistic, and ridiculous as he began. Jan 19, Noran rated it it was ok. Volume I is more credible and powerful. The captivity part, in my opinion, was a failure. Instead telling readers how he suffered as a captive, Updike gives readers a history, geography, politics, and religion lesson that is incomplete, fragmented, half cooked, and just scattered over few pages.
Aug 30, Scott Smith rated it liked it. This book interesting as a very early American look at the world. The first half is a fun little romp through American society with a clueless Ichabod Crane character in a way Twain would later copy.
The second half is a much more somber account of his slavery in Algiers, that tries to make some sort of grand statement but largely falls flat I think. No life changer but an interesting little thing. Apr 29, Elizabeth marked it as to-read.
I now feel that my eleventh-grade English class was deficient. Oct 12, Laura rated it liked it Shelves: schoolbooks. Not bad - although he doesn't get captured until halfway through the book! And it's not so much about his captivity as it is a kind of travel narrative. Sep 12, Rachel rated it did not like it. Had to read for class. Did not pick this by choice. Grant Gilmore rated it really liked it Jul 31, Allyce rated it it was ok Jun 06, Peter Nicewicz rated it liked it Dec 27, Nick Rueth rated it liked it Dec 15, Batoul rated it it was ok Jan 11, Farah Omer rated it liked it Oct 06, Nicole DiStasio rated it liked it Jul 14, Aya Zain rated it did not like it Mar 05, BeaMarinoni rated it liked it Jul 13, Sarah Nolan rated it liked it Mar 04, Mhouseho rated it it was amazing Jan 23, Taylor rated it it was ok Feb 27, Jonathan rated it it was ok Sep 12, Doug White rated it it was amazing Jul 01, Shane rated it liked it Jan 20, Hannah Ringler rated it it was ok Jun 05, Amanda Campbell rated it liked it Jul 19,
The novel takes the form of a fictitious memoir. The Algerine Captive tells the story of the upbringing, early career, and later enslavement of fictional Boston native, narrator Updike Underhill. The first volume chronicles Updike Underhill's youth and early adulthood in America; the Preface suggests that its aim is to "at least display a portrait of New England manners, hitherto unattempted. Upon the encouragement of a local minister, Underhill's parents agree to prepare the narrator for college by placing him under the minister's tutelage. Underhill's classical education, through which he learns Greek and Latin, provides him with the ability to recite copious lines of poetry, which his countrymen ridicule.
The Algerine Captive
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Access options available:. Royall Tyler's The Algerine Captive , America, and the Blind Man of Philosophy Matthew Pangborn bio Royall Tyler's early-republic barbary-hostage tale, The Algerine Captive , owns the distinction of being one of America's first novels and one of its least effective abolitionist texts. The story of a white American's enslavement by African pirates, based on historical events during the Washington presidency, Tyler's narrative has challenged readers desiring to rescue a compelling indictment of slavery's practice in the "Barbary states of America" from a satire that just as enthusiastically targets dueling, medical quackery, and classical education. Hailed as the emergence of a "tough-minded realism" in the American imaginary and as proof the national character developed from sensibility, the novel has been criticized for its irreligion and its piety, for its didacticism as well as for its failure to sustain a "moral imperative. The Algerine Captive appeared, after all, at a desperate time in American history.
The Algerine Captive, or The Life and Adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill