A Rage in Harlem

This book opens with a scene where our hero is “raising” 10 dollar bills by turning them into 100 dollar bills.  “Poppycock!”, I thought aged 16 when I first attempted to read this book (well, the Scottish equivalent of poppycock, anyway).

Having been forced to give the book another chance by my sister I can confirm what a joy it is to have read “A Rage in Harlem” by Chester Himes.  The characters, dialogue and scenes are magnificent to read in a New York drawl.  It is amazing to realise that the book is not based in the 1970s, but almost 20 years before.  I say this as the style is definitely “blaxploitation” and was therefore clearly widely copied by many creative people for decades later.  Given that the style is what it is, this book is not for the faint-hearted.  White cops don’t like black people, or black cops.  Women are sluts or saints.

As you all know, I don’t like to give away too much of a book as for me, the fun is in the unexpected.  However I depart on this occasion to tell you that my favourite character is a mean old horrible man, our hero’s brother, who makes a living collecting donations dressed in disguise as a nun.  He is truly hilarious, when he isn’t being nasty.


2 Comments to “A Rage in Harlem”

  1. I read this book a few years ago – it’s great!

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