Tim McCarthy and the Business of Good

Book of the Month  |  Crook Manifesto

Jan 31, 2024 2:39:03 PM / by Tim McCarthy

02-2024 Book - Crook Manifesto-1


Book of the Month: “Crook Manifesto”, by Colson Whitehead

Editor’s note:  This is my second Whitehead read and I haven’t even gone back to his Pulitzer Prize winners (“Underground Railroad” and “Nickel Boys”) yet.  It is also his second book featuring Ray Carney, a sometimes-good bad guy set in 1970s Harlem.  Carney, a full-time furniture store owner and part-time fence, gets in and out of trouble with characters named Zippo, Pepper and Chink Montague in search of tickets to a Jackson Five concert for his daughter.  Yep, pretty crazy and also very entertaining.

Favorite excerpt (and an example of Whitehead’s rich writing style):

“They were tearing up the street outside the Martinez Funeral Home again, exposing the layers beneath the black asphalt.  The jackhammers did not stop, the racket went on for hours, and it was as if the noise from out of the hole was that of the machine of the city and you could now hear the true operation of the metropolis.  The noisy industry of vales and pistons, the great gears grinding against each other, the clack and snap and bang.  Maybe after midnight in the hours of crime and sleeplessness you may hear it, too, if you listen closely: a distant whir or rumble.”


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