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Genius B-Boy Cynics Getting Weeded In the Garden of Delights Paperback – October 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0966646955 ISBN-10: 0966646959 Edition: 0th

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Equally at home with jazz and hip hop, Mansbach riffs like Coltrane, flows like Notorious BIG. A true artisitic gem. -- Michael Eric Dyson, back cover

If Eminem got off the drugs and grew a social conscience he might write this good. Might. -- William Upski Wimsatt, back cover

About the Author

Adam Mansbach, 25, received his M.F.A. from Columbia University. He is the founding editor of the award-winning hip hop journal Elementary, and currently serves as an Artistic Consultant to Columbia's Center for Jazz Studies. A performer who collaborates with both jazz and hip hop musicians, he lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: New Mouth from the Dirty South/Garrett County (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966646959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966646955
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,804,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adam Mansbach's new novel, Rage is Back (Viking) has been named an Amazon.com Best Book of the Month for January 2013, and a Barnes & Noble Best Book. The Washington Post says "Mansbach has clearly had a play date with Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz, and his fresh, witty novel is one that hip readers will relish," and adds that "There's no resisting [narrator] Dondi, 'a nerd with swagger,' as he riffs on everything from Madison Avenue to yuppies' racial anxiety ," and the San Francisco Chronicle writes that "Rage Is Back does for graffiti what Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay did for comic books. Dondi mashes up disparate linguistic registers with an effortlessness that brings to mind Junot Díaz's perennial narrator, Junior. The ideal interpreter for this journey, he is equally comfortable holding forth on the history of graffiti style, explaining the "tripartite drug economy" of Fort Greene or (like many a smart high school student), bringing it all back to Homer, Plato and The Great Gatsby. ...but beneath all the weed and spray paint, it's a warmhearted story about a son searching for his father and for himself, a trip through the past and present of an American art form that fits surprisingly well within the confines of the novel."

Mansbach's previous book, Go the F*ck to Sleep is a #1 New York Times bestseller, and one of the most talked-about books of the decade. A viral sensation that shot to #1 on Amazon.com months before the book was even available, it has been published in forty languages, and is forthcoming as a feature film from Fox 2000. Mansbach also wrote"Wake the F*ck Up," a pro-Obama video starring Samuel L. Jackson that has been described by many as the greatest political ad of all time. Released online on September 27, 2012, it received 5 million views in its first week.

Mansbach's 2008 novel, The End of the Jews, won the California Book Award and was long-listed for the IMPAC-Dublin Prize. His previous novel, Angry Black White Boy, or The Miscegenation of Macon Detornay, was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2005; it is taught at more than eighty universities and has been adapted into a prize-winning stage play. He is also the author of the novel Shackling Water, the poetry collection genius b-boy cynics getting weeded in the garden of delights, the graphic novel Nature of the Beast (co-written with Douglas Mcgowan).

An inaugural recipient of the Ford Foundation's Future Aesthetics Artist Grant, Mansbach was also a 2012 Sundance Institute Screenwriting Lab fellow and the recipient of the Indian Paintbrush/Sundance Institute Feature Filmwriting Grant. The 2009-2011 New Voices Professor of Fiction at Rutgers University, he founded, edited and published the pioneering 1990s hip hop journal Elementary and spent several years traveling as a drum technician with the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. His fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Believer, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.

Mansbach's His debut thriller, The Dead Run will be published in September 2013, by HarperCollins. A frequent lecturer on college campuses across the country, Mansbach lives in Berkeley, California, where he co-hosts the KPFA/Pacifica radio show "Father Figures."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jason Santiago on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Adam Mansbach's debut poetry collection, genius b-boy cynics getting weeded in the garden of delights, gives us a glimpse at what overused terms like "hip hop poetry" should, but seldom do, refer to.
Hip hop is only occasionally the subject matter of Mansbach's poetry -- alongside topics like race, family, consumerism, academia, love, jazz, popular culture and religion -- but a hip hop sensibility infuses his work. He collages words and ideas like the best DJs, samples voices, rhythms and ideas with a skill and wit worthy of the RZA or DJ Premier, twists and invigorates and layers language with up-to-the-minute wit.
And yet, Mansbach is more in the tradition of T.S. Eliot than he is in keeping with the contemporary poetry scene. His best pieces, like Eliot's, are long, winding narratives which shift from topic to topic, their structures revealing themselves cagily. Poems like "It's Your World Tour," "Black Marbles," and "Sticknmove" are searingly insightful, strikingly personal, and often hilarious attempts to grapple with the complexities of life. As with Eliot, the uninitiated may have to grab a reference book to properly understand all of Mansbach's allusions, but in this case the privileged insiders are more likely to be genius b-boy cynics than scholars.
Mansbach's scope of reference is so wide, though -- as Michael Eric Dyson, author of Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur, has written, he is "equally comfortable with high cultural classicism and vernacular vibrations" -- that his work is challenging to almost any reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dmc on November 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
There's some terrific stuff in here. Playfulness, inventiveness, nonstop supercharged language. Mansbach is as talented with words as any writer. The book will give your intelligence a workout. And it's FUNNY-- without ever undermining its serious intentions. Very impressive. Shackling Water was no accident.
And I should add: for poetry with such an aggressive intelligence, there's a lot of heart in it, some moments of sublime tenderness-- "Black Marbles," "Sin Titulo." Really quite amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ben mellman on December 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
this is a great book. mansbach used to to publish a journal called elementary, and so i thought i'd check out genius b-boy cynics. i started reading it on the train and couldn't put it down until i finished the enire thing.
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By nicole on July 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
Bought this for one poem in particular but it didn't end up being in this volume so still searching... Not having any expectations, I was very pleasantly surprised. Beautiful & meaningful words in hip-hop style (my favorite). Makes me want to hear Adam read them.
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