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Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. A review

Hi, Little Bears!!

Hope you’re having a good time.

Coming with another book review.

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Doubleday for granting me early access to a copy of this book.

I gave it 2 stars.

Ray Carney established an honest furniture business and has tried to live live as straight as possible, but he grew up and lives in Harlem. Surrounded by heist, crime and dangerous people, he finds himself involved in trouble regularly, especially because of his cousin, who for some reason tends to put his name up for things he didn’t do.

This is an adult standalone historical fiction that takes us through the life of Carney for three decades from the 1950s.

I loved how it emphazises the importance of Juneteenth, explains what it means and what life was like for black people in those years. We should all become better allies and feel shame at how the white man treated others, segregation, racism, classism, oppression, slavery and an endless list of issues that continue to this day.

This book is character driven, so we get to see people act and reflect on their own reasons to live a certain life, understanding that you cannot always choose how it’s going to go.

However, the story is full of reflections and remembrances that don’t take us anywhere. Just in the last part is that we see the logic in some of what happened before, but throughout the book, the general feeling I had was that everything just jumped form one place to another, many characters where simply thrown in without explanation and there were pages that were just there, not having a purpose. Very messy indeed.

Shamefully, I gave this book 2 stars, having loved his previous work. Well, not all your books can be as good, right?

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any book by this author. I wasn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be for you.

Bear hugs!!


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