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The Harlem Cycle, Vol. 2: The Big Gold Dream, All Shot up, the Heat's on Paperback – 1 Sep 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 491 pages
  • Publisher: Payback Press (Sept. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0862416310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0862416317
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 679,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I came acress Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones by chance, but I quickly became a fan. ISaw the film "Cotton Comes To Harlem" a short while ago, and happened upon this book the next day, and bought it, as I had enjoyed the film. The book is made up of three stories featuring Harlems toughest detectives. They are known, feared and respected all through Harlem, with their tough attitude and matching side-arms. Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones deal with all kinds of strange crimes in this anthology, from murder to theft, by way of transvestite prostitutes, corrupt politicians, and racist white detectives. Himes painted a vivid picture of life for the poor black population of 40's/50's Harlem. My favourite scene involves a group of detectives, all white but for our heros, looking at a body and trying to figure out how it got to where it is now. One detective keeps using that most taboo word "nigger" to describe the corpse(I only use it here as it figures largely in Himes writing). After a warning, Coffin Ed,not being known for his cool temper, lets loose on him, leaving him badly beaten. The senior detective, who is white, just shrugs it of with "he shouldn't say that in front of Coffin Ed." This summed up the stories for me, funny, shocking,beafutifully written by a man who really knew, lived with and loved his subject material.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hard boiled detective fiction 23 Mar. 2012
By BbP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Chester Himes-born 7/29/1909-died 11/12/1984

Writes about the black man doomed by white racism and self hate.

An American author but he hated America-moved to France/died in
Spain.1 black wife, 1 white wife and several white lovers.

His writing is also about inconsistencies,triumphs,failures,ecstasies
and the absurdities in life.

+++++
NYPD--Grave Digger/lumpy face,red eyes,Coffin Ed-acid scarred face.
both
M E A N...It does not matter if you are black or white -If you do wrong
in Harlem you will meet these 2 detectives.
+++++

*****
THE BIG GOLD DREAM--The sweet prophets temple/a large amount of $
and murder.

ALL SHOT UP--a homosexual/stolen political $.THE HEATS ON--a lost heroin
shipment.
*****

A MUST READ ! I plan to read EVERYTHING Mr.Himes wrote--he is that good!
If you want to read a really good writer like Himes..read WALTER MOSELY.

bbp okc ok 62 retired--aries
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