Black No More by George S. Schuyler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Talk about being sick and tired of every. damn. body. I often wondered about the thoughts that must've ran through George Schuyler's mind as he wrote this book. I wondered about the experiences that served as inspiration for this satirical work, and I marveled at how his astute observations regarding race, class, and culture have endured the test of time.
On the surface, this novel is clearly dated. The dialogue between characters contained terms and references that were clearly of their time. But delving further, the novel presents a scathing, cynical and damning critique about the dark crevices of American culture - the racism, religious fundamentalism, political dogmatism, and the really messed up things that people will do for a dollar, no matter with whom or where they identify socially.
The author pulls no punches. He brilliantly employs satire to hold up a mirror to the worst of American society. Heavy on the sarcasm, burningly cynical, borderline crass and at times a bit morbid, this book is not for the soul who is unready for a massive dose of truth. But if you're like those of us who have long found ourselves jaded by the everlasting turmoil of America's darkest sins and who silently detest those who choose to capitalize on them, this book will be a balm for your soul.
The book goes by speedily, and if you can appreciate the humor, you'll enjoy this book tremendously. You will giggle and sigh at the painfully familiar characters, you will laugh at the absurdity of the scenarios, and you will shake your head at the sobering silhouettes of human (and particularly American) nature. You may also find yourself wondering at points: was this book really written in the 1930s? Because in too many ways, too many things have remained the same.
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Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Octavia Butler never fails to leave me wide-eyed and speechless. To say that this story is *out there* is an understatement. At first it felt like I was waiting a while for things to pick up and for something substantial to happen, but once it did, I was completely enthralled. By the end of it I found myself heavily invested in the protagonist, Lilith, and eager to see where her wild ride goes next.
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