Viper's Dream (Paperback)
  • Viper's Dream (Paperback)
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Viper's Dream (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 192 Pages
Published: 20/04/2023
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A hard-boiled crime novel set in the jazz world of Harlem between 1936 and 1961, Viper's Dream combines elements of the epic Godfather films and the detective novels of Chester Himes to tell the story of one of the most respected and feared Black gangsters in America.
At the centre of Viper's Dream is a turbulent love story. And the climax bears an element of Greek tragedy. For the better part of 20 years, Clyde 'The Viper' Morton has been in love with Yolanda 'Yo-Yo' DeVray, a singer of immense talent but a woman consumed by demons. By turns ambitious and self-destructive, conniving and naive, Yo-Yo is a classic femme fatale. She is a bright star in a constellation of compelling characters including the chauffeur-turned-gangster Peewee Robinson, the Jewish kingpin Abraham 'Mr. O' Orlinsky, the heroin dealer West Indian Charlie, the corrupt cop Red Carney, the wife-beating singer Pretty Paul Baxter, the pimp Buttercup Jones and the brutal enforcer Randall Country Johnson.
But Viper's Dream has a fast-paced vibe all its own, a story charged with suspense, intrigue and plot twists and spiced with violence and humour. It is also steeped in music. The Viper's story is intertwined with the history of jazz over a quarter century.

Publisher: Bedford Square Publishers
ISBN: 9780857305497
Number of pages: 192
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

For too long, Jake Lamar, an American expatriate in Paris, has been one of French Crime Fiction's best kept secrets. But now, at last, thanks to No Exit Press, Viper's Dream, widely considered to be Jake Lamar's masterpiece, is published in English and it does not disappoint. Viper's Dream is one Long High, sweeping us through Harlem from the 1930s to the 1960s on riffs of melancholy poetry cut through with the hardboiled beats of gangsters and their streets, leaving us hooked on a pure, true Jazz Noir Classic - David Peace

Laced with a stiff shot of politics, romance and jazz, Viper's Dream is moody, poetic and immersing - Deborah Levy

Viper's Dream, with its African-American gangster anti-hero, is reminiscent of Ray Celestin's jazz-oriented thrillers and similarly introduces real jazz greats into a fascinating mélange - Financial Times

Wonderful writing. From the first lines, you're there. You can almost see sweat flying off the strings of a slapped upright bass. You've been listening to the music, reading the book, for hours now -- and it's still full of surprises - James Sallis

Dark poetics, magical prose and meticulous storytelling-Viper's Dream is way more than a crime novel. It is an intriguing seduction. A revelation - Stephen Mack Jones, author of the August Snow series

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“Stunning period noir”

The storyline follows Clyde Morton a black, country hick and his adult journey from Meachum Alabama to becoming a big player in the Big Apple, New York. It is told through two strands, a night of reckoning in 1961 and... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

“Harlem in 1930s,crime noir”

Looks at the Harlem drug trade and the jazz scene linked to it. Clyde Morton left Alabama to become a musician but was told he didn't have it. Was recruited into the fledgling marijuana business where he was... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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