The greatest find in American crime fiction since Raymond Chandler Sunday Times Himes wrote spectacularly successful entertainments, filled with gems of descriptive writing, plots that barely sidestep chaos, characters surreal, grotesque, comic, hip, Harlem recollected as a place that can make you laugh, cry, shudder. -- John Edgar Wideman Chester Himes is one of the towering figures of the black literary tradition. His command of nuances of character and dynamics of plot is preeminent among writers of crime fiction. He is a master craftsman. -- Henry Louis Gates, Jr. A fantasia with a hard brilliant core Evening Standard A fine crime writer of Chandlerian subtlety though in a vein of sheer toughness very much his own The Times That he could channel this pain and misery into some of the greatest crime novels ever written is a testament to his skill as a writer and his spirit as a man. If this is the first Chester Himes novel you will read then, believe me, you are in for a treat. -- Noel "Razor" Smith He belongs with those great demented realists ... whose writing pitilessly exposes the ridiculousness of the human condition -- Will Self Hieronymus Bosch meets Miles Davis The New York Times Chester Himes is the great lost crime writer, as well a great American dissident novelist per se, and an essential witness to his times. Every one of his beyond-cool Harlem novels is cherished by every reader who finds it. -- Jonathan Lethem
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About the Author
After arriving on the American literary scene with novels of scathing social protest like If He Hollers Let Him Go and The Lonely Crusade, Chester Himes created a pioneering pair of dangerously charming African-American sleuths, Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, who attempt to maintain some kind of order in a series of violent and funny page-turners.