Crook Manifesto: ‘Fast, fun, ribald and pulpy, with a touch of Quentin Tarantino’ Sunday Times
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF THE SUMMER BY OPRAH DAILY, NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, TIME, NPR, LOS ANGELES TIMES, ESSENCE AND MORE
A BBC BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR PICK
'Whether in high literary form or entertaining, page-turner mode, the man is simply incapable of writing a bad book' IAN WILLIAMS, GUARDIAN
'A dazzling treatise . . . gleefully detonates its satire upon this world while getting to the heart of the place and its people' NEW YORK TIMES
'Crook Manifesto gave me something I had missed in recent reading: joy' TELEGRAPH
'A masterpiece' PEOPLE MAGAZINE
From two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead comes the thrilling and entertaining sequel to Harlem Shuffle
1971, New York City. Trash piles up on the streets, crime is at an all-time high, the city is going bankrupt, and a shooting war has broken out between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army. Furniture store owner and ex-fence Ray Carney is trying to keep his head down, his business up and his life straight. But then he needs Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter May and he decides to hit up an old police contact, who wants favours in return. For Ray, staying out of the game gets a lot more complicated - and deadly.
1973. The old ways are being overthrown by the thriving counterculture, but Pepper, Carney's enduringly violent partner in crime, is a constant. In these difficult times, Pepper takes on a side gig doing security on a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem, finding himself in a world of Hollywood stars 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, while the country gears up for the Bicentennial. Carney is trying to come up with a celebratory July 4th advertisement he can actually live with, while his wife Elizabeth is campaigning for her childhood friend, rising politician Alexander Oakes. When a fire seriously injures one of Carney's tenants, he enlists Pepper to look into who may be behind it, navigating a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent and the utterly corrupt.
In scalpel-sharp prose and with unnerving clarity and wit, Colson Whitehead writes about a city that runs on cronyism, threats, ego, ambition, incompetence and even, sometimes, pride. Crook Manifesto is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem, and a searching portrait of how families work in the face of chaos and hostility.
'Funny, effortlessly streetwise, and criminally pleasurable to read it's also politically enlightening and quietly incendiary' BIG ISSUE
'When he moves into a new genre, he keeps the bones but does his own decorating' WASHINGTON POST
'Indecently entertaining . . . [Whitehead] is a stylist whose sentences sing' I NEWSPAPER
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