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Black Will Shoot: A Novel Paperback – February 5, 2008

3.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This razor-sharp debut from Washington—the controversial former editor-in-chief of Vibe's spinoff magazine, Blaze—offers a searing look at the rap industry. New York City writer Marquis Wise, having done a cover story about the murder of Large, a hip-hop star turned Oscar winner, lands a dream job at the hip-hop magazine Fever. Marq is also fortunate to have Holliday Watkins, a gorgeous lawyer, as his sweetie. In contrast, Marq's older brother, down-on-his-luck producer Dontay, has a crack habit, too many bills and an inability to forget his idol, Large. The author alternates between Dontay's dazzling streetwise voice/rap lyrics (Tall nigga, name of Dontay/ I rap tight like turbans in Bombay) and Marq's journalistic account of how things went down when money, drugs and violence overpowered music originally intended to enlighten not frighten. Currently the Associated Press's entertainment editor, Washington courageously tells it like it is in this roman à clef about one of the most influential American subcultures of our era. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416938796
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416938798
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,699,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I first picked up Black Will Shoot I didn't know what to expect. I'm allergic to mediocre fiction so it was a risk.

First thing I noticed: The prose is extremely clever. Right away I was laughing. The plot moves at a rapid pace but that's not what kept me interested. I was riveted by the way Washington captures some of the industry's most ridiculous, scary, profound, and undeniable truths. The characters are believable -- I know people just like the ones in this book. From the rappers to the journalists to the full assortment of industry insiders, Black Will Shoot was on point. It was like, finally! Someone had the guts to pull the curtain back and lookie what we have here behind the bling.

My only gripe is that I think Dontay should have been the main character instead of Marq. He is the jewel of this book. In any event, Black Will Shoot goes on the bookshelf next to Coldest Winter Ever, the only other fiction of this genre that's impressed me thus far.
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By M. Crosby on March 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Okay I bought this book cause the cover interested me. So it sat for a few months really. Until I decided to pick it up this weekend. I took the weekend and read through it and I have to say it was a good book. The only problem I had was that some of the information wasn't clear and there were some mistakes.

*******Quick Spoiler Alert***********

When Dontay went to visiit his mother she mentions something about him being in love with Holliday.

It was never clear that Gutter was dead, no one never saw him again.

Although the connection between Cox and Holliday was made, it was never clear they had anything more than the moment mentioned.
*******************

Now with these things aside it was a good book, rather longer than it needs to be IMO, and like some one else said Dontay could have easily been the main character, but i don't think some of the hard hitting themes could have been expressed in the way they were.
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Format: Paperback
The language and references to popular culture make this work believable. The main character Marq is a wannabee and his brother Dontay steals the show, he is really a complex dude. Everyone knows a Dontay and that is why he is so likable. I welcomed Dontay's wisdom and was disappointed with the way in which Washington handled the ending. Despite a few short-comings, this is a great read.
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Format: Paperback
This book is great. I had it for two weeks until finally I decided to "get down to business." I was up until 7 AM reading! It's too good to put down. Not up on my hip-hop and rap history compared to most, but the drama is incredible (and I love drama)! Plus the characters just seem so familiar, reminding me of myself, friends, family, or today's popular artists.
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