Outrageous, shocking, wonderful (New York Times Book Review
Himes wrote spectacularly successful entertainments, filled with gems of descriptive writing, plots that barely sidestep chaos, characters surreal, grotesque, comic, hip, Harlem recollected as a place that can make you laugh, cry, shudder. (John Edgar Wideman)
Chester Himes is one of the towering figures of the black literary tradition. His command of nuances of character and dynamics of plot is preeminent among writers of crime fiction. He is a master craftsman. (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)
A fantasia with a hard brilliant core (Evening Standard
A fine crime writer of Chandlerian subtlety though in a vein of sheer toughness very much his own (The Times
Chester Himes is the great lost crime writer, as well a great American dissident novelist per se, and an essential witness to his times. Every one of his beyond-cool Harlem novels is cherished by every reader who finds it. (Jonathan Lethem)
Hieronymus Bosch meets Miles Davis (The New York Times
He belongs with those great demented realists ... whose writing pitilessly exposes the ridiculousness of the human condition (Will Self)
That he could channel this pain and misery into some of the greatest crime novels ever written is a testament to his skill as a writer and his spirit as a man. If this is the first Chester Himes novel you will read then, believe me, you are in for a treat. (Noel "Razor" Smith)
From the Back Cover
To be square in Harlem is to risk your life. And Jackson is so square he can't see through the lovely Imabelle, even when she introduces him to a man who knows the 'secret' of turning $10 bills into $100s. Soon Jackson is losing his life-savings to this con man, stealing money from his boss and then blowing this 'borrowed' money on the crap tables.
So begins Chester Himes' first foray into crime fiction, the novel which was to win him massive international acclaim.
A Rage In Harlem introduces readers to Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, Harlem's toughest cops and Himes' most memorable fictional creations. Renowned for their meanness and always armed with their legendary nickel-plated Colts, they patrol the streets of the ghetto trying to keep some semblance of order.
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