Actor Joe Morton takes on all the roles of this audiocassette's multicultural cast of characters. His grasp of New Jersey accents, dialects, and inflections is flawless, imbuing all of Richard Price's carefully drawn characters with a gritty sense of authenticity. Morton's crisp, controlled narration propels the story forward with taut, edgy suspense. As he reads, he glides effortlessly from his role as narrator to those of the main characters. Single mother Brenda Martin speaks with a breathy, stammering, and truly fear-permeated voice, while the introspective African American detective, Lorenzo Council, has a clipped, businesslike manner of speaking. Morton takes equal care in bringing to life Price's minor characters, whether portraying a no-nonsense, white New Jersey housewife whose voice has been made coarse by too many cigarettes, or an African American Muslim preacher whose commanding bass voice isn't quite powerful enough to spur his community to action. Morton's greatest achievement, however, is his characterization of Council's jaded, middle-aged white partner, Bump. When Morton slips into the role of Bump, his growling, Jersified Brooklynese is so startling, it almost seems that a life-long resident of Hoboken has stepped into the recording studio and appropriated Morton's microphone. The recording is slightly marred by occasional intrusions of synthesized music that are, for the most part, superfluous and distracting, but Morton's acting abilities and vocal agility are more than sufficient to keep any listener riveted. (Running time: four hours, four cassettes) --Elizabeth Laskey
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Set in the same blasted New Jersey ghetto as his much-admired Clockers (1992), Price's first novel since that bestseller is less a sequel than a monumental complement played in minor key, a re-visitation by an author who's older, sadder, wiser. The story flows from an event drawn from headlines: Brenda Martin, a white woman, staggers bleeding into a hospital to claim that her car has been hijacked by a black man?with her four-year-old son in the backseat. The jacking allegedly occurred in the park that divides the largely black city of Dempsey from the white-dominated city of Gannon. In response, Gannon cops seal off and invade D-Town, inflaming racial tensions and attracting an army of media. As in Clockers, Price again scans urban life through two protagonists, one black, one white?here, black Dempsey cop Lorenzo Council and white local reporter Jesse Haus. As both draw close to grief-crazed Brenda, one question propels the narrative: Is she telling the truth? The answer and its violent aftermath are equally inevitable, as Price snares the surface and the substance of America caught in a slow-motion riot of racial rage. His language is street-fresh, his dialogue as if eavesdropped; his characters are soulful, flawed, dead real. Price's experience as a screenwriter (The Color of Money, etc.) shows in the predictable dramatic arc of his tale, but the novel is no less powerful for its popular bent. Within its structural confines, the story line veers in unexpected directions, with each detour bringing readers closer to Price's ultimate vision?that our nation's hope lies not in social movements but in the flame of humaneness that flickers in each of us, cop and criminal, black and white. 125,000 first printing; $175,000 ad/promo; BOMC and QPB alternates; first serial to the New Yorker; film rights to Scott Rudin/Paramount for $2 million; simultaneous BDD audio; author tour.
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Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.