1999
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Robert Jones is a crew leader in a naval shipyard in Los Angeles in the 1940s. He should have a lot going for him, being educated, with a steady job and a steady relationship. But in the four days covered in this novel, the impossibility of life as a black man in a white world is made devastatingly clear. Jones is surrounded by prejudice, suspicion and paranoia, and his daily experiences influence his thoughts, dreams and behaviour. Immediately recognised as a masterful expose of racism in everyday life, If He Hollers Let Him Go is Chester Himes' first book, originally published in 1945.

 

Details

ISBN: 9781781255667
Series: Serpent's Tail Classics
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Edition: Main - Classic edition
Publication Date: 14 Jan 2016
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 19.8(H) x 12.9(L) x 1.6(W)
Weight (gm): 230

 

Reviews

Youthful, insulting, risky, brash, bad-assed, revolutionary, violent, and struts about as if to say, here come cocky Chester Himes, you litterateurs, and I hope you don't like it -- Ishmael Reed
The greatest, most brutally powerful novel of the best black novelist of his generation * Chicago Tribune *
Hard and fast and sure * New York Review of Books *
Relentless, gripping, classic novel, one of the most powerful exposes of what it is like to be black in America * LA Times *
One of the most important American writers of the twentieth century ... [a] quirky American genius -- Walter Mosley
Himes never soft-pedaled his disdain for the systemic racism of the day or for black integrationists, whom he referred to as "whining beggars" ... One hundred years after his birth, for better and for worse, the great Chester Himes remains nearly one of a kind -- John Ridley, Emmy Award winning writer and commentator * Huffington Post *
With his first novel, Chester Himes secured his place in the vanguard of the emerging young black writers of his time who were honestly detailing the rigors of black life in America ... If He Hollers Let Him Go is a masterpiece for its bitter and honest portrayal of the life of a normal black man in America * Barnes & Noble *
[Himes] taught me the difference between a black detective and Sherlock Holmes -- Ishmael Reed
America's central American black writer -- James Sallis
A howling rage of a novel... an uncomfortable and challenging read. * The Big Issue *
Brutal * 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
One of the most dazzlingly pissed-off books we have ever read... an enraged existentialist romp across LA... a wildly compelling window into the tormented black soul of America in the mid-20th century. You didn't realise it, but it turns out you really need to read it. -- Stuart Hammond * Dazed and Confused *
A compulsive read. It has the quality of a Greek tragedy in which the terrible fate of the hero is a foregone conclusion. -- John Green * Morning Star *
A striking debut -- Geoff St Louis * Time Out *
A noir masterpiece... its message is still urgent. * Bookanista *

 

Author Biography

Chester Himes was born in Missouri in 1909 and grew up in Cleveland. As a child, he was deeply traumatised when his brother, badly injured in an accident, was refused hospital treatment due to the Jim Crow laws. At nineteen years old he was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for committing an armed robbery. During that time he began writing short stories, and after his release published several acclaimed Harlem thrillers and novels, including The Crazy Kill, The Real Cool Killers, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Lovely Crusade and an autobiography, The Quality of Hurt. In the 1950s he moved to Paris, and he died in Spain in 1984.
If He Hollers Let Him Go
1999

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