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Harlem Shuffle: A Novel de Colson Whitehead
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Harlem Shuffle: A Novel (2021 original; edició 2021)

de Colson Whitehead (Autor)

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1,0546615,551 (3.97)96
From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s. "Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked..." To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home.  Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time.  Cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace, Ray doesn't ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who doesn't ask questions, either.  Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa--the "Waldorf of Harlem"--and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do. Now Ray has a new clientele, one made up of shady cops, vicious local gangsters, two-bit pornographers, and other assorted Harlem lowlifes.  Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he begins to see who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?  Harlem Shuffle's ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It's a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.  But mostly, it's a joy to read, another dazzling novel from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Colson Whitehead.… (més)
Membre:gbass6
Títol:Harlem Shuffle: A Novel
Autors:Colson Whitehead (Autor)
Informació:Doubleday (2021), Edition: First Edition/First Printing, 336 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Informació de l'obra

Harlem Shuffle de Colson Whitehead (2021)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 66 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This is the story of Ray Carney, owner of a furniture store in Harlem in the 1950s/60s. Ray's father was a criminal, and several of his family and friends are criminals, but Ray wants to lead a straight life. He tries to break into the upper ranks of Harlem Black society, despite his dark skin and questionable family, but finds that the Harlem elite practice a different kind of crime: white-collar crime. Despite his intentions of living lawfully, Carney finds himself drawn into various criminal worlds. The book explores the tension between lawfulness and lawlessness against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and race riots.

The plot meanders a bit: at times it feels like this is going to be a crime thriller, but the action ebbs and flows more like a biography. The book is as much about Harlem as it is about any of the people in the story. ( )
  Gwendydd | Apr 30, 2022 |
Colson Whitehead, a two time Pulitzer-prize winning author shows us a slightly different narrative than we've come to expect. Harlem Shuffle is an interesting mix of drama, comedy, and crime.

Welcome to 1959 Harlem. Ray Carney is a devoted family man trying to survive and provide for himself and his pregnant wife. He tries to put on a good front, wanting people to believe he's an honest stand-up guy. What most people don't see is the cracks in his convoluted front; Behind the scenes he's actually joined forces with a few questionable characters and is now a part time crook.

Harlem Shuffle is a wonderful homage to the Harlem of the past, one rich in culture and history and the love for the area shines through brightly in this narrative. However, the plot is a bit of a let down. It doesn't really go anywhere and a lot happens elsewhere while we're experiencing his love for the city.

Colson Whitehead is a brilliant writer so this is still a decent read however if you're expecting quality similar to his past literary contributions Harlem Shuffle simply falls flat.

Thank you to netgalley and publishers for providing an advanced e-copy for me to read and share my honest opinion. ( )
  chasingholden | Apr 26, 2022 |
I heard a reviewer call this Colson Whitehead novel a lesser work from the author of The Underground Railroad and Nickel Boys but after reading it, I disagree; Whitehead's novel is still examining racism and the cost of racism in its historical context. In this case, the historical context is Harlem in the 1950s and 1960s but some aspects of the novel are contemporary, like the shooting of an unarmed black youth by a white policeman. The protagonist triumphs in the end, but not without suffering losses. This looks like a genre novel but I felt Whitehead was doing more than writing a crime story. ( )
  nmele | Apr 14, 2022 |
This is Whitehead's take on a heist novel, set in Harlem in the early 1960s. We don't get in on the execution of the event itself, as our protagonist, Ray Carney is an involuntary participant on the periphery of the action. Ray has a retail furniture store, selling some pretty nice stuff, supporting his family well enough, and dreaming of a better apartment in a nicer neighborhood one day. OK, maybe some of his "second-hand" furniture might have fallen off a truck, or come from a source he'd rather not know about. Aaand, he's not averse to fencing a few pieces of jewelry and other smallish valuables his god-help-me cousin Freddie brings by from time to time. The extra cash is useful. But by and large, Ray would like to think of himself as a legitimate businessman who has risen out of the criminal circles his father was known to inhabit. Of course, he's learned a lot by association, and he understands how the underworld of Harlem works. So when Freddie gets involved in an overly ambitious heist of safe deposit box contents from the so-called "Waldorf of Harlem", it's no surprise that he volunteers his cousin Ray to move the stuff. The trouble is, Ray had previously told Freddie he wanted no part of this ridiculous scheme, and now he is stuck between the gang and the cops, with no apparent means of escape. The novel is not high on narrative tension, but it is gripping in another way, as Ray and the reader explore the nuances of "doing the right thing", family loyalties, and all kinds of other issues that truly cannot be reduced to "black and white" simplicity. The setting is irresistible, and rendered with the love of NYC in general, Harlem in particular, which was so beautifully displayed in Whitehead's The Colossus of New York. This is how you make us understand what there is to love about a place that is home despite its dangers. ( )
1 vota laytonwoman3rd | Apr 11, 2022 |
Harlem Shuffle gets off to a good start with a heist of Harlem's most upscale hotel. Furniture store owner Ray Carney gets pulled in by his cousin (but more like a brother) Freddie, who tells his confederates that Ray can fence the stolen goods. Ray is a fence all right--but only on a small scale up to that point. Now he has to get involved with "Miami Joe" and the ominous gang member named "Pepper". After this fast start, however, the book sort of meanders as it covers the years from 1959 to 1964. Whitehead's conjuring of a long-lost Harlem and of New York City in a period of great change is superb, not to mention his seeming knowledge of all sorts of furniture brands and styles. All of this is set against social unrest that results in riots in Harlem that are the background for the last part of the novel. The story includes other subplots involving Carney seeking revenge and become further entangled in Freddie's troubles. Even as his furniture store grows more profitable, Carney still has part of his late father's (Big Mike's) criminal side that he can't get rid of. Pepper plays more of a role as the story goes on, and he is a fascinating character. I love the family dinner scene, when he eats with Carney's wife and their two children. Even more Pepper would have made for a better story. The end of the book should be some sort of epiphany, and Whitehead tries to deliver it, but too many elements of the final confrontation and its aftermath are unbelievable. Compared to the harrowing journey in Whitehead's Underground Railroad, this sort of fizzles. As I was reading, I kept telling myself, "This is a standalone novel, not part of some series, so who knows what may happen to the main characters." Some reviewers call this novel intricately plotted and state (correctly) that the heist parts of the story are not the best parts. I don't think the plotting is intricate; it just sort of rambles on, and it leaves more than a few loose ends. Even so, it is still an enjoyable ride and a bit of a history lesson for most of us. I expect that Whitehead has moved on to something totally different by now, so how Ray Carney survives the rest of the 1960s is left up to our imaginations--which are pretty feeble compared to this author's.

My pleasure was enhanced by listening to the audiobook read by Dion Graham, who did a superb (beyond superb) job in bringing the story and characters to life. ( )
  datrappert | Apr 1, 2022 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 66 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Already having tackled everything from zombies to metaphorical railroads, Whitehead turned to noir and humor for his latest release, Harlem Shuffle. At once a character study about a furniture salesman living in New York City in the early 1960s and a narrative that explores how even good people can be slightly crooked for all the right reasons, Harlem Shuffle is a funny, violent novel that doubles as a love letter to New York City’s seedy underbelly and the plethora of characters that made it unique....Harlem Shuffle is many things. On the surface, it is a crime novel with a family saga at its core. However, as readers have come to expect from Whitehead, the narrative is also an exploration of race and power dynamics that coexists with a story about the eternal battle between ethics and need whenever money enters the equation.
 
A heist with a cast of zany characters, tongue-in-cheek dialogue, questionable criminal skills, and of course, a bumbling, incompetent thief or two are undoubtedly part of the charm of Colson Whitehead's Harlem Shuffle. But the novel is also a powerful tale of a man's love for his family and the neighborhood where he lives. And the man at the center of that tale is a devastatingly enjoyable character who has a true gift for words — if not always the smartest actions.
 
“Harlem Shuffle” brings Whitehead’s unwavering eloquence — at one point he describes traffic as “honking molasses” — to a mix of city history, niche hangouts, racial stratification, high hopes and low individuals....Though it’s a slightly slow starter, “Harlem Shuffle” has dialogue that crackles, a final third that nearly explodes, hangouts that invite even if they’re Chock Full o’ Nuts and characters you won’t forget even if they don’t stick around for more than a few pages.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaThe New York Times, Janet Maslin (Web de pagament) (Sep 10, 2021)
 
Throughout, readers will be captivated by a Dickensian array of colorful, idiosyncratic characters, from itchy-fingered gangsters to working-class women with a low threshold for male folly. What’s even more impressive is Whitehead’s densely layered, intricately woven rendering of New York City in the Kennedy era, a time filled with both the bright promise of greater economic opportunity and looming despair due to the growing heroin plague. It's a city in which, as one character observes, “everybody’s kicking back or kicking up. Unless you’re on top.” As one of Whitehead’s characters might say of their creator, When you’re hot, you’re hot.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaKirkus Reviews (Jun 16, 2021)
 
It’s a superlative story, but the most impressive achievement is Whitehead’s loving depiction of a Harlem 60 years gone—“that rustling, keening thing of people and concrete”—which lands as detailed and vivid as Joyce’s Dublin. Don’t be surprised if this one wins Whitehead another major award.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaPublisher's Weekly (Apr 20, 2021)
 
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If something big was afoot, Aronowitz twirled in his chair and scurried into the workshop in the back, to more grunts. He reminded Carney of a squirrel in the park, darting helter-skelter after lost nuts.
The way he saw it, living taught you that you didn’t have to live the way you’d been taught to live. You came from one place but more important was where you decided to go.
Everyone had secret corners and alleys that no one else saw—what mattered were your major streets and boulevards, the stuff that showed up on other people’s maps of you.
Finding out you were free six months after the fact didn’t seem like something to celebrate. More like it was telling you to read the morning paper.
Carney didn’t go to church. Blasphemers on one side of the family, skeptics on the other, and both sides liked to sleep in.
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From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s. "Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked..." To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home.  Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time.  Cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace, Ray doesn't ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who doesn't ask questions, either.  Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa--the "Waldorf of Harlem"--and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do. Now Ray has a new clientele, one made up of shady cops, vicious local gangsters, two-bit pornographers, and other assorted Harlem lowlifes.  Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he begins to see who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?  Harlem Shuffle's ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It's a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.  But mostly, it's a joy to read, another dazzling novel from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Colson Whitehead.

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