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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
Oh my my my, how horrible! This was my first time reading a book about gay people, be it man, woman, black or white. I am a black female and I have too many gay male friends to ever count, and I do love them all, and I do not think they would appreciate this portrayal of their lives and characters. Beyond the actual finishing of this book there was another jood thing, that at times you forgot they were men, they were just people with issues. That concludes the praising session.
The rest of this was terrible! Mitchell was a fool, flat out, Raheim was just plain scary. Their relationship was not a 50/50 partnership, Raheim used Mitchell, hello. All he did was lay up in his house, leave a mess, and pay no rent. Also certain things that should have been delved into just weren't, did Raheim's mother know he was gay? Did his son know? Did his baby's mama know? Did he ever plan on paying rent? Mitchell on the other hand was a human doormat, and let's be real, anyone who allows someone to treat them like that in their personal life will not stand up for themselves like that at work. Also Mitchell dropping his friends and familial contacts when triflin Raheim came into his life and that is just plain DUMB! Their relationship lacked any substance and at times they seemed just [unbelievable]. Basically what was the point of the whole thing? Hmm, no answer? Thought so!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book on the suggestion of one of my students. The subject -- love and passion between two black men -- is an important and underrepresented one. Most of the dialogue Hardy uses is true to the common speech of the gay black community, and his descriptions of the men therein are right on. Although I found them irritating, I can overlook his excessive use of parentheses and his abuse of platitudes to say the writing is fairly good, though a bit simplistic. What I cannot overlook is the blatant racism contained within these pages. Hardy goes way beyond black-pride when he generalizes and condemns all white people (to the point where Black folk get a capitol "B" but white people aren't deserving of that "W"). Hardy's characters see bigotry in everything. White people swat flies - FLIES ARE BLACK and thus it is just another example of the white man keeping the black man down! Prejudices are real and prevalent enough without Hardy's delusional creations. The story is good and the characters are interesting; however, the shortcomings of the book are such that I would not recommend it to anyone with either a social conscience or true literary sense.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. I hate romance novels but this book tells of a romance that was both beautiful and tragic. Raheim and Mitch were characters that I interact with everyday. My friends that are gay have a similar problem. Both are gay but the male in the relationship has a problem admitting what he is. Raheim has this same problem. He is gay but feels that by admitting who he is he is less than a man. Mitch knows who he is and is not ashamed of who he is. Their resulting clash made me cry. When Reheim hurt Mitch I wanted to hurt him myself. Buy this book it is a beautiful love story between two gay men. Even if you're not gay you'll enjoy this well written, compassionate book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the first in Hardy's seemingly endless B-Boy Blues soap opera, and it's all downhill from here. Hardy's style of writing is simplistic, at times reading like a sanctimonious sermon, and grates on the nerves. Hardy wants his novels to be read by black gay men, but his dumbed-down style reeks of talking down to that group, rather like an all-knowing teacher to a class of children.

His characters are, without exception, obnoxious, arrogant, rude and wholly unappealing. Of the two leads, Raheim is painted as a blue collar stud who speaks in monosyllables. Contrary to the widely held view that he uses the middle-class Mitchell, the reverse is true. Mitchell - surely the most conservative, xenophobic, self-important character ever portrayed in literary fition - uses Raheim as a bit of blue collar meat to parade before his equally big-headed friends.

B-Boy Blues is a cringe worthy - and sometimes nasty - portrait of selfish self-serving gay men, complete with a bitter dose of class snobbery and reverse racism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Child, there is no other book that can give you such an in depth feel of the life of a gay black brutha. James Earl Hardy is so talented with his vivid characters, and his use of words. The tone of this book is excellent. It has so many ups and downs that it is a very hard book to put down. Once you read this book, you never want to stop, and you'll read it over and over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book a few years ago and am finally reviewing it. I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and there isn't much praise I can shower upon it that hasn't already been repeated several times here. I'm willing to overlook a few flaws in the plot itself. Notably, there isn't much space devoted to developing main character Mitch; maybe Hardy felt that because this was a 1st person story it would happen naturally, but it didn't. All we really know about his personality is that he's highly organized and loves R&B music (& thugs). Also, there's a few glaring contradictions in the story, most notably, Mitch despises the use of the N-word as a term of endearment to the point of sparking debates with people who use it, but tosses around the derogatory F-word with glee several times. He states that he doesn't understand femmes but has one as a best friend. Furthermore, as an assertive journalist Mitch never asks him about his femimine tendencies or why he has them, neglecting an opportunity for more vivid dialogue in an already rich book.
Raheim is stereotypical, despite what Hardy- I mean, Mitch declares. Getting most of the questions right on Jeopardy! and being able to draw does not make him any more unique than droves of other young urban Black men who wear sagging clothes. Blasting music, being misogynistic, B.S.ing loudly, and speaking chopped-up ebonics makes him a very generic.
One more thing... Hardy tackles the subject of racism towards Blacks which is commendable. However, the way he tells it firmly implies that Whites are the only ones guilty of practicing this. Sorry, not true in New York City! The omission of even lightly admitting this is very conspicuous on the author's part and makes it seem like he just has a personal vendetta against one group of people.
Even with those little imperfections, I love this book and highly recommend it. I promise you'll finish it in less than a weekend.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I think Hardy has read Terry McMillan's "Disappearing Acts" one too many times. A friend raved about the book, and gave it to me to get my opinion. It was a real let down. Authors shouldn't fall in love with their characters, and Hardy clearly has. Raheim is so perfect I half expected him to ascend bodily into heaven at the end. These characters are all smart, accomplished, good looking, and financially secure, and all they do is complain(at least that part is realistic). It's filled with stereotypes, even though it preaches against them. He uses the same phrases over and over again, until you never want to see "jood", or "gagged", or "kissed down", again in your life. And the man has some serious black/white issues(I won't even go there). I know this is his first novel and maybe the next ones will be better. In that case someone will have to tell me about it because I won't be finding out first hand. Instead of reading this stuff people should check out the novels of E. Lynn Harris, or better yet James Baldwin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
B-BOY BLUES is the coming together love story of young black journalist Mitchell Crawford and yummy muscled B-boy messenger Raheim Rivers. The two meet at a bar and sparks fly --- but it isn't until their first date that those sparks catch fire and really begin to blaze. Mitchell and Raheim quickly discover that despite their different life-experiences, backgrounds, obstacles, conditions, and basically worlds - they're meant to be together. They're so right together. This is a grand romance in an almost classical style that skillful captures the trials and triumphs of this charismatic couple. Along the way this gripping read provides lots of snappy dialogue, great characters, some phenomenal sex scenes, and emotionally moving moments as well. In addition to being a big juicy read B-BOY BLUES is a frank depiction of life from divergent sides of the African-American experience. And I love when books I love has SEQUELS!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book maybe about two weeks ago and it was a very good or should I say a "jood" read. The book is about two men who come from two different walks of life who just happen to fall in love. It also gives an understanding on what it's like to be gay and black in today's society. I'm not gay but I really enjoyed this book. Raheem is the B-Boy (bad boy) that Mitchell (sort of normal guy) falls in love with. Raheem has alot of issues that Mitchell has to accept and help him get through them in order to be with Raheem. On the other hand, Raheem has some ways he has to change in order to be with Mitchell. This book has alot of humor, tragedy, per the title it's seriously sexy and it's a wonderful love story. I recommend anyone read this book whether you are gay or straight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
As one of the newest, youngest members of the gay black society, I have found this book to be one the best that I have ever read. I think it presents a great view of the relationships and social life that these guys in the story go through. I found it hard (no pun intended) to not get into the story--cry when Mitchell and Raheim cried, and feel the groove when they were in the club. Although it does contain many graphic terms and expletives, I had no problem looking around for the incredible story that it is. I do indeed look forward to reading the other two books! Email me sometime and we'll talk about it.
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