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Crook Manifesto

por Colson Whitehead

Séries: Ray Carney (2), Harlem Saga (2)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
5422744,439 (3.95)24
Fiction. African American Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Summer by The Washington Post ? TIME Magazine ? NPR ? The Los Angeles Times ? USA Today ? Vulture ? Lit Hub ? Kirkus Reviews ? CrimeReads
The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of Harlem Shuffle continues his Harlem saga in a powerful and hugely-entertaining novel that summons 1970s New York in all its seedy glory.

It??s 1971. Trash piles up on the streets, crime is at an all-time high, the city is careening towards bankruptcy, and a shooting war has broken out between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army. Amidst this collective nervous breakdown furniture store owner and ex-fence Ray Carney tries to keep his head down and his business thriving. His days moving stolen goods around the city are over. It??s strictly the straight-and-narrow for him ?? until he needs Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter May and he decides to hit up his old police contact Munson, fixer extraordinaire.  But Munson has his own favors to ask of Carney and staying out of the game gets a lot more complicated ?? and deadly.
1973. The counter-culture has created a new generation, the old ways are being overthrown, but there is one constant, Pepper, Carney??s endearingly violent partner in crime.  It??s getting harder to put together a reliable crew for hijackings, heists, and assorted felonies, so Pepper takes on a side gig doing security on a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem.  He finds himself in a freaky world of Hollywood stars, up-and-coming comedians, and celebrity drug dealers, in addition to the usual cast of hustlers, mobsters, and hit men. These adversaries underestimate the seasoned crook ?? to their regret.
1976.  Harlem is burning, block by block, while the whole country is gearing up for Bicentennial celebrations.  Carney is trying to come up with a July 4th ad he can live with. ("Two Hundred Years of Getting Away with It!"), while his wife Elizabeth is campaigning for her childhood friend, the former assistant D.A and rising politician Alexander Oakes.  When a fire severely injures one of Carney??s tenants, he enlists Pepper to look into who may be behind it. Our crooked duo have to battle their way through a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent, and the utterly corrupted.
CROOK MANIFESTO is a darkly funny tale of a city under siege, but also a sneakily searching portrait of the meaning of family.  Colson Whitehead??s kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem is sure to stand as one of t
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Mostrando 1-5 de 27 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
What an amazing follow up to Harlem Shuffle.
Hopefully there will be a third outing for Ray Carney and Pepper. Fantastic Book and set in the Early Seventies. This is a top class performance from a fantastic writer at the top of his game. ( )
  dano35ie | Mar 26, 2024 |
Actually three separate stories set in 1971, 1973, and 1976 in Harlem centering around furniture store owner and fence for stolen items, Ray Carney. Ray has been living the straight life for several years, but now his teen age daughter wants tickets to Michael Jackson. In order to get them for her he reconnects with corrupt cop, Munson. From their the plot tangles into more thief and eventually murder. Ray survives.

The second story focuses more on Ray's old friend, Pepper, who works "security" for a film crew filming a Blaxpotation movie. The main star disappears and Pepper sets out to find her. Once again, it leads to murder. But Ray survives.

The third story involves a Black candidate for City Hall whom Ray's wife, Elizabeth, is support. Oakes was a childhood friend of Elizabeth's - but like what seems to be every policeman, government official, business owner, etc. he is corrupt. This story involves arson and Ray's furniture store as well as his "exclusive club" is burned. It too ends on a positive note as Ray is rebuilding and planning how the furniture will be arranged.

Ray is likeable, gullible, but always on the shady side. The cultural history of New York is interesing; it was a time of high crime, run down buildings, etc. The thing that I don't like is the many uses of slang and references that I simply don't yet - don't have the same vernacular as Ray. Still read in almost one day. ( )
  maryreinert | Mar 16, 2024 |
A continuation of the story and characters in Harlem Shuffle. Ray Carney had gone straight, but now he is back in the con game. This story set in NYC is at times funny, but also an interesting look at NYC in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I loved the Jackson 5 reference and the comments about Teen Beat. It brought back memories! I also loved the humor in the story.
Ray is a flawed character, but you still find yourself rooting for him. When a fire rages through Harlem, your hope for Ray is that he comes out ok.
Another gem from Whitehead. ( )
  rmarcin | Mar 8, 2024 |
This sequel to Harlem Shuffle is a novel in three parts. In the first, set in 1971, Ray Carney, self-made furniture salesmen and sometime fence, has been on the straight and narrow for four years... until his daughter wants impossible-to-get Jackson 5 tickets, and he looks for help from a crooked cop and gets drawn into a night of unexpected violence. The second, set in '73, sees a high-minded Blaxploitation film shooting a scene in the furniture store... until the leading lady goes missing. There is, you guessed it, more violence, although this time mostly involving Pepper, the muscle hired as security for the film set. The third, in '76, features a political campaign, Carney attempting to find who set a fire that injured his tenant's kid, and one hell of a lot of arson.

Really, though, I found the crime-laden plots only moderately interesting. The real draw here is in the way Whitehead brings to life the New York City of the 1970s, with all its seediness, depression, and intractably corrupt systems. That, and Whitehead's fantastic writing skills. The man can absolutely turn a phrase, evoke a scene, and draw you into a time and a place, not to mention being full of dark and unhappy insight. I'm also impressed by the way he plays with structure, especially within a scene. He can jump around in time in strange ways or leave out things you'd expect him to include, and while that seems like it should be distracting or confusing, he pulls it off so well most of the time that it's easy to not even notice that he's doing it.

Rating: 4/5, although the writing really is good enough that I feel a bit stingy not throwing it another half-star, however I felt about the plot. ( )
1 vote bragan | Mar 6, 2024 |
Whitehead's follow-up (part 2) to "Harlem Shuffle". Not quite as good as its predecessor, it still shines. ( )
  ben_r47 | Feb 22, 2024 |
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Crooked stays crooked
and bent hates straight.
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From then on whenever he heard the song he thought of the death of Munson.
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A man has a hierarchy of crime, of what is morally acceptable and what is not, a crook manifesto, and those who subscribe to lesser codes are cockroaches.
p179
It's not arson - it's years of shitty urban planning biting us in the ass.
p258
Numbers can't be racist, right?
p259
Maybe shit jobs were the true path to equality, so dulling and numb that there was no room left in the brain for bigotry.
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Fiction. African American Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Summer by The Washington Post ? TIME Magazine ? NPR ? The Los Angeles Times ? USA Today ? Vulture ? Lit Hub ? Kirkus Reviews ? CrimeReads
The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of Harlem Shuffle continues his Harlem saga in a powerful and hugely-entertaining novel that summons 1970s New York in all its seedy glory.

It??s 1971. Trash piles up on the streets, crime is at an all-time high, the city is careening towards bankruptcy, and a shooting war has broken out between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army. Amidst this collective nervous breakdown furniture store owner and ex-fence Ray Carney tries to keep his head down and his business thriving. His days moving stolen goods around the city are over. It??s strictly the straight-and-narrow for him ?? until he needs Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter May and he decides to hit up his old police contact Munson, fixer extraordinaire.  But Munson has his own favors to ask of Carney and staying out of the game gets a lot more complicated ?? and deadly.
1973. The counter-culture has created a new generation, the old ways are being overthrown, but there is one constant, Pepper, Carney??s endearingly violent partner in crime.  It??s getting harder to put together a reliable crew for hijackings, heists, and assorted felonies, so Pepper takes on a side gig doing security on a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem.  He finds himself in a freaky world of Hollywood stars, up-and-coming comedians, and celebrity drug dealers, in addition to the usual cast of hustlers, mobsters, and hit men. These adversaries underestimate the seasoned crook ?? to their regret.
1976.  Harlem is burning, block by block, while the whole country is gearing up for Bicentennial celebrations.  Carney is trying to come up with a July 4th ad he can live with. ("Two Hundred Years of Getting Away with It!"), while his wife Elizabeth is campaigning for her childhood friend, the former assistant D.A and rising politician Alexander Oakes.  When a fire severely injures one of Carney??s tenants, he enlists Pepper to look into who may be behind it. Our crooked duo have to battle their way through a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent, and the utterly corrupted.
CROOK MANIFESTO is a darkly funny tale of a city under siege, but also a sneakily searching portrait of the meaning of family.  Colson Whitehead??s kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem is sure to stand as one of t

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