Ishmael Reed's electrifying first novel zooms readers off to the crazy, ominous kingdom of HARRY SAM - a miserable and dangerous place ruled for thirty years by Harry Sam, a former used car salesman who wields his power from his bathroom throne. In a land of a thousand contradictions peopled by cops and beatniks, black nationalists and white liberals, the crusading Bukka Doopeyduk leads a rebellion against the corrupt Sam in a wildly uproarious and scathing satire, earning the author the right to be dubbed "the brightest contributor to American satire since Mark Twain" (The Nation).
©1967 Ishmael Reed (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"For all the talk of the black aesthetic, few black novelists have broken sharply with the traditional devices of the realistic novel. One writer who departs from such conventions, however, is Ishmael Reed.... The Free-Lance Pallbearers uses an explosive combination of straightforward English prose, exaggerated black dialect, hip jargon, advertising slogans and long, howling uppercase screams." (Newsweek)
Similar to Paul Beatty's style (I just finished The Sellout), but tighter in story, rougher around the edges, funnier, and with a lighter twist which all lend to a more enjoyable listen. But like Beatty, Reed got sloppy and a bit confusing in his last couple chapters, but his was nevertheless fun to listen to. The narration was perfectly matched to the book. Unlike Beatty, I'll proceed to another by this author.
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