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Never Drank the Kool-Aid: Essays Paperback – Deckle Edge, February 21, 2006


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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (February 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312425783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312425784
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a varied collection of lucid, colorful pieces, journalist Touré, author of the novel Soul City and the story collection The Portable Promised Land, takes readers from the inner sanctum of Prince's Paisley Park to Jennifer Capriati's practice court, Lauryn Hill's Christmas party and beyond. Deftly organized by theme, the book comprises mainly magazine articles dating from 2005 to the mid-'90s, and its title refers to the author's insistence that he never bought into the philosophies of the people he profiled but rather aimed "to understand who they were beyond the image they want us to think they were." He succeeds with meteoric personalities, like Eminem and Al Sharpton, and with people like junior-tennis phenom and eventual professional bust Al Parker Jr. Touré has a knack for putting his subjects at ease, and he blends their intriguing candor with apt observations on the nature of their careers. He describes his own place in events without overshadowing the story itself. He's just interested in bringing us along for the ride, even if that means sitting shotgun while DMX pulls a full-speed 180 in a Cadillac Escalade on Sunset Boulevard. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Touré's an exceptional journalist. . . . He is--if you can imagine it--Oscar Wilde as a street thug. This is the marvelous tone he's been able to achieve."--Tom Wolfe, author of I Am Charlotte Simmons and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

"Touré is one of our nation's most astute and witty observers of the American scene. Not only is he one of the most gifted writers of his generation, but his sharp insight, poetic phrasing, and biting humor--and his brilliant command of so many aspects of pop culture--make his dazzling performance on page a sheer joy to read. Never Drank the Kool-Aid is a Touré-de-force!"--Michael Eric Dyson, author of Holler if You Hear Me and I May Not Get There with You

"Touré came to Rolling Stone as an intern in 1992. He was a lousy intern--we fired him--but a great writer and we soon hired him back. From 50 Cent to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., we sent Touré out on stories and he got it, whatever it was, every time. His work is like his subjects: stylish, vivid, and burning with energy."--Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone magazine

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By V. Wise on June 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
It's rare to come across a writer able to both entertain and educate at the same time. I've read all three of Toure's book's, and have yet to be disappointed. Much like Kurt Vonnegut's brilliant short story collection "Bagombo Snuff Box," Never Drank the Kool-Aid, will both enlighten and have you laughing out loud. It's refreshing to come across a writer with the ability to effortlessly engage and challenge the readers pre-existing thoughts on society. Though much of "Never Drank..." consists mostly of Toure's encounters with Hip-Hop celebrities, he also manages to include various figures one wouldn't normally expect. As a whole, "Never Drank..." is the kind of book that will make you want to turn the television off, leave the phone at home, and find a park bench to allow yourself-if for a moment, the pleasure of losing yourself in the lost art of the written word. Never Drank, as well as the Portable Promised Land by Toure, are two books that will always have a home on my book shelf.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Minor on July 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Never Drank the Kool-Aid is full of virtuoso performances, but the reason you must buy it and read it is "What's Inside You, Brother?," a personal essay in which Toure invents a first person narrator to describe a third- (and, for nearly half the essay, a second-) person Toure as he tries on a new persona, making himself over as a boxer not unlike Sonny Liston, well-acquainted with "the body English of the back alley, the backroom, the back corner of the prison's back cell." And even as he remakes his body into something lean and strong and fast, he is grappling with notions harder to pin down: blackness and whiteness, poverty and privilege, who I am and who they say I am. No one, not David Remnick, not Joyce Carol Oates, not Gay Talese, has ever written better about boxing, and boxing's not even Toure's main concern.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kris on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
You will find in this book very cleverly written articles. Toure shares his candid opinion on topics as well as sharing experiences he's had with many pop-culture icons. Very interesting read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read Toure's "The Portable Promised Land" and followed with this collection of essays and articles. It includes interviews and editorials yet is far from the stale journalism that much of the public has come to expect. Toure is a fine, thoughtful writer so whether he is writing about Tupac or Dale Earnhardt, Jr., he demonstrates an eloquence that makes each word as enjoyable as the content.
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By Ghemp77 on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. The essays are well written and can be quite comical. I cannot wait to read more of Toure's books.
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