Saturday, May 30, 2015

THE BIG GOLD DREAM by Chester Himes


*Book 4 of the Harlem Cycle*

Since absolutely loving Chester Himes's first two books in his Harlem Cycle, A Rage in Harlem and The Real Cool Killers, it's sad that the next three books that I read in the cycle have gotten progressively worse. Himes's writing is always assured and fun to read. But while both Rage and Killers feel fresh and alive and filled with memorable characters, this novel feels uninspired and was frankly boring, as if Himes was phoning it in by this time with more of the same formula. After Alberta White drops dead after drinking a bottle of water blessed by the Sweet Prophet Brown during one of his mass street baptisms, it's somehow linked to more murders and a heap of stolen money everyone wants to get their hands on. You might like it, but if you want to start reading books by Chester Himes, I wouldn't recommend starting with this one.

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