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Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Autor(a) de Friday Black

5+ Works 1,532 Membros 81 Críticas

About the Author

Image credit: Limitless Imprint Entertainment

Obras por Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Friday Black (2018) 852 exemplares
Chain Gang All-Stars (2023) 666 exemplares
Cuma Karasi (2020) 1 exemplar
Catene di gloria (2023) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 2019 (2019) — Contribuidor — 180 exemplares
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 (2019) — Contribuidor — 107 exemplares
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 101 • October 2018 (2018) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



Didactic and repetitive. You could skip over entire pages and not miss a thing.
Iudita | 32 outras críticas | Apr 22, 2024 |
Imagine a world of privatised prisons, instruments of control that are torture and Black prisoners fighting each other to death as entertainment on TV. Yes, this is a powerful book with a powerful message set in adystopian future but one where the seeds were sown a decade or so ago. Imagine a prison system where you have to fight to survive and if you do so for three years, you are set free.

Each prisoner on the entertainment scheme has a weapon, often similar to the Greek Gods. Loretta Thurwar has a hammer but there are also spears and scythes and the fights take place in front of a live audience as well as televised, the live audience not unlike the Roman Colosseum and the film Gladiator by Russell Crowe where the gladiators taunt and excite the audience. Interspersed throughout the story are factual snippets in the audiobook and footnotes in a hard copy that provide statistics and data about what is happening in prisons nowadays and this has the effect of ensuring that the two tracks of fact and fiction in this novel run parallel with one another but with fiction slightly ahead and the factual information chasing to catch up.

The producers of the TV show change the rules each season and for the 33rd season their new rule is that there can not be two fighters at the highest level on the same chain. If there are, they must fight so that only one is left. This would be the last fight for Thurwar and it is against Staxxx, her lover.

The message is loud and clear: you can't win.

Whilst the Thurwar and Staxxx story is the main one I think, there are several sub-plots. There are the abolitionists that protest at the fights, there are the producers of the programme and the guards, there is the live audience baying for blood and their favourite characters. There is the story of Bad Water, an innocent man imprisoned and through that now a killer because of the programme. There is also the circular history of Thurwar in that she was incarcerated because she killed a woman, one assumes a lover, and here to gain her freedom she must once again kill her lover. This time it is sanctioned by the system, commercialism, capitalism and the people.

The book shows us time and time again that the prison system is as violent and inhumane as the rest of society or should that be the other way round? There is no difference. In fact, I felt like I had been slammed by Thurwood's hammer with this message. I also felt that in the middle, the story slowed down and it felt like we were going over the same material again and again.

This is no delicate, subtle story - this is a story to bludgeon us with.
… (mais)
allthegoodbooks | 32 outras críticas | Apr 16, 2024 |
This book received a lot of positive reviews and was a finalist for the National Book Award. I read his first book of short stories "Friday Black" and it was very creative. This book is not a happy book but it deals with an important topic- our prison system and incarceration in America. The premise is that in a dystopian future prisons are being run by private companies. A program called CAPE has been established which allows prisoners sentenced to long prison terms and death to participate. They are part of a chain of links that fight other links in other chains to the death in gladiator style fights. These are televised and attended in stadiums and are presented as action sports. If the participants can win their matches through 3 years then they can get their freedom. The book presents all of this as acceptable to most of the country but also as something that is constantly being protested. The story centers around Thurwar and Staax ,two of the most successful participants who are links in the same chain. The author creates a lot of details about the prison system and how it all works but basically it creates a view of our society in a mostly negative conflicted way. There are footnotes throughout the book that cite real life incidents within the justice and penal systems in our country. The major theme is that our system of incarceration which is the largest in the world is not reducing crime or making this a safer country. It also is a commentary of a potential future that we may be heading towards. A lot of other themes such as racial injustice, corporate greed, and how people become immune to violence are part of the book. A worthwhile and important book.… (mais)
nivramkoorb | 32 outras críticas | Apr 9, 2024 |



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