Crook Manifesto (Hardback)
  • Crook Manifesto (Hardback)
  • Crook Manifesto (Hardback)
  • Crook Manifesto (Hardback)
  • Crook Manifesto (Hardback)
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Crook Manifesto (Hardback) Crook Manifesto (Hardback) Crook Manifesto (Hardback)

Crook Manifesto (Hardback)

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£20.00
Hardback 336 Pages
Published: 18/07/2023
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Waterstones Says

The Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad spins an irresistible sequel to the bestselling Harlem Shuffle, as Ray Carney's perpetual attempts to stay on the straight and narrow backfire spectacularly after one of his tenants is badly injured in a fire.

1971 - Trash is piled on the streets, crime is at a record high, and the city is careening towards bankruptcy. A shooting war has broken out between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army.

Ray Carney, furniture-store owner and ex fence, is trying to keep his head down, his business up, and his life on the straight and narrow. His only immediate need is Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter May, so what harm could it do to hit up Munson, his old police contact and fixer extraordinaire?

And suddenly, staying out of the game becomes more complicated - and deadly. When one of Ray's tenants is badly injured in a fire, he enlists the enduringly violent Pepper to look into how it started, leading the duo to battle their way through 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 indifference, chaos and hostility.

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9780349727646
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 560 g
Dimensions: 236 x 164 x 36 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

The only living novelist to have won the Pulitzer prize for fiction twice, for The Underground Railroad in 2016 and The Nickel Boys in 2019...Resilience and reinvention are qualities that Whitehead has poured into Ray Carney, the furniture salesman and middleman for stolen goods at the heart of his hugely enjoyable 2021 heist novel Harlem Shuffle and now its follow-up, Crook Manifesto. Part of a proposed trilogy set in Harlem in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the stories combine the family man turned crook dynamic of Breaking Bad with the hardboiled humour of crime novelists such as Chester Himes and Elmore Leonard. The blend of social realism, melodrama and farce prompted another comparison in my mind: Whitehead is fast becoming the Dickens of black American life - The Sunday Times

Whitehead's Crook Manifesto is a dazzling treatise, a glorious and intricate anatomy of the heist, the con and the slow game. There's an element of crime here, certainly, but as in Whitehead's previous books, genre isn't the point . . . gleefully detonates its satire upon this world while getting to the heart of the place and its people - New York Times

Crook Manifesto . . . is a delight . . . Few writers combine depth of insight and compassion with exquisite prose; Whitehead is one of them. I'd rather read his novels than those of just about any other writer alive. - Financial Times

Two-time Pulitzer-winning author Whitehead shows no sign of resting on his laurels. Crook Manifesto continues the brilliantly realised sequence that began with Harlem Shuffle, intricately depicting cultural history and family drama with the compelling energy of a crime thriller and the sharp wit of social satire...In ambition and scope, in the way the intimate is so deftly weaved with the epic, one is also reminded of Balzac. Whitehead has embarked on a great comédie humaine of his own. - Jake Arnott, Guardian

Full of the same sharp edges and biting humour that infused Harlem Shuffle . . . another hugely enticing read - Independent, Best Books for July

Fast, fun, ribald and pulpy, with a touch of Quentin Tarantino in its deadpan dialogue and don't-take-this-too-seriously tone - Sunday Times

Carney remains an appealing, amoral hero: a not-quite-innocent. Whitehead's New York, too, is masterfully characterful. It has intelligence, wiles, predatory cunning....And it hands down great, blunt judgements...For my money, Whitehead's crime series is one of the most enjoyable streaks in recent fiction...Crook Manifesto gave me something I had missed in recent reading: joy - Telegraph

Whether in high literary form or entertaining, page-turner mode, the man is simply incapable of writing a bad book - Guardian

Almost gleefully unhurried - meaning that blindsiding moments of pivotal drama arrive like a blow to the solar plexus. Roll on the third book in the series - Daily Mail

In Whitehead's second crime novel, Harlem's Ray Carney is once again a striving African American businessman and father trying to get ahead while sticking to the straight and narrow, a path that continually eludes him - Oprah Daily

Whitehead has a talent for creating ambiguous, complex scenes that fix in your memory - Evening Standard

More page-turning, perfect prose from the double Pulitzer prize-winner - Grazia's Summer Reads

Colson Whitehead is one of the most talented storytellers in contemporary fiction, and watching him switch his approach and flex new muscles is a wildly entertaining reading experience - Los Angeles Review of Books

Crook Manifesto examines how families work in the face of indifference, chaos and hostility - Irish Examiner

As usual, when he moves into a new genre, he keeps the bones but does his own decorating - Washington Post

Fierce and glorious ... Sentence by brilliant, funny sentence, a masterpiece - People

Whitehead excels at stitching gallows humour into some very heavy topics, and this novel is riven with them. It is violent, too, but he dispatches this with a Quentin Tarantino-esque swagger, which makes it all indecently entertaining . . . a stylist whose sentences sing - Nick Duerden, I Newspaper

As well as being funny, effortlessly streetwise and criminally pleasurable to read it's also politically enlightening and quietly incendiary - Jane Graham, Big Issue

Whitehead captures the menace and the beauty of the city in exhilarating detail within the many-faceted, rollicking plot that propels his second, magnificently vibrant and transcendent Ray Carney novel. Readers will hunt for any new book by Whitehead, but the newest in his Harlem saga will be sought with particular zeal - Booklist

Whitehead's gift for sudden, often grotesque eruptions of violence is omnipresent, so much so that you almost feel squeamish to recognize this book for the accomplished, streamlined, and darkly funny comedy of manners it is . . . It's not just crime fiction at its craftiest, but shrewdly rendered social history - Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

Literary titan Whitehead's Harlem Shuffle is one of the best New York novels in recent memory, one of those books one doesn't want to end, so it's a real treat to have a sequel - Publishers Weekly, Best Summer Reads

There's spikey humour and perceptive honesty from the get-go - Oldie

Sly plotting, vibrant characterisation, astute social history - this novel has it all - Hephzibah Anderson, Mail on Sunday

Whitehead has always been a diverse novelist, moving between historical fiction, science fiction, social realism and post-modernism. Yet, with these novels, it seems as if he has found a groove he can inhabit and expand at the same time - Stuart Kelly, Scottish Mail on Sunday

Blending family drama with history and culture, the sequel has the feel of a Quentin Tarantino movie, and we were hooked - Daisy Lester, Independent

Highly charged . . . colourful and captivating - Woman's Way, Ireland

Whitehead is as elegant a writer as there is - Bristol Magazine

Whitehead's writing is colourful and captivating - the characters jump off the page - The i

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Hardback

“City on Fire…”

I was happy to see Colson Whitehead returning to the characters of Harlem Shuffle, and Crook Manifesto doesn’t disappoint. Crooks and killers in early 70s Harlem- thrilling stuff. Whitehead writes like a dream, and... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 12

“beautifully written and unexpectedly funny”

Although I was aware of Colson Whitehead, I've never read any of his books; I think possibly because he's a Pulitzer prize winner, I was expecting them to be difficult to read and a bit inaccessible to the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 6

“Harlem hoodlooms”

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

A walk through the criminal underworld of 1970’s Harlem as told by three intertwining stories centred around Ray Carney’s Furniture Store. Despite efforts to go legit, Ray’s past... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 6

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