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“Herz has brought us a huge heart into whose chambers we can peer and see the many compartments that make it pulse and continue to keep the body of society alive. A great book for both the young and the old, The Last Block in Harlem will surprise you and make you remember just how much we all need each other to survive.” —Book Room Reviews
“This story does have an extremely perplexing psychological twist that you will need to pay close attention to. The Last Block in Harlem is a thought-provoking debut novel by Christopher Herz.” —Urban Reviews
"I've never been to Harlem, but I feel like I have after reading this book. The author has a rare talent for recreating the sights, sounds, and smells of the neighborhood, (not to mention realistically depicting the characters who populate it)." —Karen McQuestion, author of A Scattered Life and The Edgewood seriesA Visit to St. Nicholas Place
The unnamed narrator is a fairly new Harlem resident. He is also an advertisement copywriter and so fed up with the business of convincing people they want things, whether they want them or not, that he impulsively quits his job. Now he has the time to devote to his block, a slice of Harlem life with old-timers full of memories. His neighbors include both the young and the old, who play chess on the streets; the irascible Bodega Man; the vigilant crossing guard; the generous owner of the chicken and rice restaurant; and the neighborhood throngs brought out by the open fire hydrants and radios plugged into lampposts in the summer. The narrator is mesmerized as well by the ghosts of Harlem, lamenting the changes wrought by gentrification. As his ambitious wife, Namuna, strides ahead in her career, the narrator takes to sweeping the streets of their block. He cleans during the day and each night empties his mind of the stories he has heard by writing—via typewriter on the fire escape—making new space in his head to think and receive, until his good intentions take an unexpected turn. Beautifully evocative of city neighborhoods and the complications of urban gentrification. —Vanessa BushSee all Editorial Reviews
It was a captivating from the beginning though the storyline seemed a become disjointed as the story progressed. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Maurice A.
From the intricate details of life in Harlem to characters that are incredibly believable, Herz crafts a story of love, compassion, passion, and, ultimately, overcoming. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I found the book not to ring true. The author is so self absorbed. Everything is about him. I lived at one time 3 blocks from the scenes he writes of and just about the same... Read morePublished 6 months ago by brooklyn
This book did make me think about my own neighborhood and how much it has changed over the past few years - what do those changes mean for the people who have lived there for... Read morePublished 7 months ago by A. Christiano
The beginning was a little slow and some parts contained too many details or "background". However, once the conflict was established and the rising action began it flowed... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tyvonn W.
This was a trip to a microcosm of time and mind. A very well written and interesting read.Published 11 months ago by ma