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If He Hollers Let Him Go (1945)

de Chester Himes

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496937,483 (3.81)40
  1. 00
    Little Scarlet de Walter Mosley (tangentialine)
    tangentialine: this takes place during the watts riots of 1965 in L.A. same sense of intolerable tension, same cool bravado on the part of the protagonist, same racial issues, and both great books.
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The feelings of a Black man expressed in this book written in 1945 are the exact same, word for word, that are being stated in 2021. Change has not occurred. This book kept my interest, but parts of it were too unclear for me to follow well, ( )
  suesbooks | Jul 8, 2021 |
An intense book dealing w the internal struggles of Bob Jones, an intelligent and intense black man in the shipyards of WWII California. A glimpse at the mental and at times physical toll of being black in pre-civil rights America. The book had little action or real story until the end but it finished well. This book is Himes' first and it must have poured out from him. ( )
  JBreedlove | Dec 11, 2020 |
This is the account of four life-changing days in the life of Robert Jones, a black leaderman of a black crew in a Californian shipyard during WWII. Bob is a fiery man who knows his own worth and tries to assert it in the white world he lives in, even with all the restrictions he knows he have to take into account. But there are things he's not willing to take, and he won't take. And when one of these happens and he is suspended from work because he stood his ground, his entire life is shaken to the roots.
Here starts a wild journey into Bob's soul, while he interrogates himself about what being a black man means in a white, segregated world, and what future there could ever be - what future of fulfilment there could ever be - for a man in his position.

The story is told in the first person by Bob and it's mindblowing. Himes takes you into Bob's heart of hearts and let you into his deepest, more secret thoughts and feelings. Into his most secrets fears, his most unspeakable of hopes, into his deepest frustrations. There had been moments I had to remind myself: "You are not Bob Jones", so deep the identification was. I really thought with him, felt with him, got angry with him, grabbed and lost hopes with him. It's like walking all the way right beside him.

Himes is a master of dialogue. I've always liked his strong grip on people's way of speaking of themselves in the sheer way they speak of anything. Sometimes it's more like listening to his characters than read them.
I've rarely read such an involving story. I enjoyed it a lot. ( )
  JazzFeathers | Jul 27, 2016 |
chester himes is a master. ( )
  julierh | Apr 7, 2013 |
Himes sets his story in WW2 where Bob Jones works as a “Leaderman” for a group of ship builders. After a build up of institutional racism and casual racism on the street Bob loses his temper with a white woman in work who calls him the N word and he cusses her out. From this small incident Bob’s life is soon spiralling out of control. Jones is an angry man and through his eyes we see the unfairness of the oppression that African Americans (and others – most notably the Japanese who are interned at the time the book is set) really is. Jones is not willing to take it lying down and Himes explores the way others react to this including Jones’s girlfriend who, being fair skinned, is more accepted and therefore advises Jones to be more placid. This is a gritty and compelling read in which you share the main character’s frustration.

Overall – highly recommended for thriller fans ( )
  psutto | Mar 12, 2012 |
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I dreamed a fellow asked me if I wanted a dog and I said yeah, I'd like to have a dog and he went off and came back with a little black dog with stiff black gold-tipped hair and sad eyes that looked something like a wire-haired terrier.
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