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Sentences: The Life Of M.F. Grimm Paperback – October 21, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401210473
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401210472
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #960,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Black, white and gray are the appropriate palette for this somber autobiographical narrative. Carey covers his experiences from his years as a child performer on Sesame Street through hip-hop stardom as MF Grimm. His simultaneous life as a dope dealer leads to a darker turn, as a drug-feud ambush leaves him paralyzed from the waist down. The story follows his subsequent time in prison and his current career as an entertainment producer. Along the way, he gives glimpses of the mother who fiercely defended him and the neighborhood that nurtured him, but he gives more stress to his exploits as a thug, his meetings with hip-hop stars he considered rivals and/or peers, and the hunger for money and recognition that led him to take dangerous risks. Wimberly's art reinforces Carey's raw script—solid dark masses engulfing graceful, jittery linework in the style of Eduardo Russo's 100 Bullets, but the full impact of Carey's experiences doesn't come through. So many things are happening that it's hard to remember who's doing what to whom, and why it matters. That's unfortunate, because Carey wants to make his life meaningful as he urges young readers to choose something besides guns ands crime. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Born and raised in Manhattan, Percy Carey has been a part of the hip-hop community since the early 1990s. He was known for being a fierce battle MC, and was pondering several record deals when an attempt was made on his life in 1993. He was left paralyzed from the neck down but eventually regained the use of his arms. From his wheelchair, Carey rebounded into his music, releasing classic underground singles on Bobbito Garcia's Fondle Em Records as well as his legendary recorded work with MF Doom and The Monster Island Czars. After serving time and beating a life sentence for conspiracy to distribute narcotics, Carey created Day By Day Entertainment to promote and develop musicians across the rock and hip hop spectrum. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

I wanted a real story, and I got one.
J. Michael
Such is the case with Sentences, which is as bold and in-your-face as its subject, the rough-edged Percy Carey, a.k.a. MF Grimm.
GraphicNovelReporter.com
There is a lot to this book and the story left me wanting more -- Maybe a movie and even a novelized version.
Dennis Yoon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael on September 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
From everything I'd read, this is an autobiographical work by a hip-hop artist who came upon some misfortune, and that's putting it lightly. I started this with "from what I'd read..." because I researched the story before I pre-ordered it. I wanted a *real* story -- written by someone who'd been there, whether it was true or not. I'm about as white as they come, but I have a certain respect for this culture. I recognize hip-hop as an art form, although one I personally can't listen to in large quantities. It's poetry, and even though the message is often beyond my understanding or approval, it takes a certain amount of talent to produce this kind of work.

I wanted a real story, and I got one. I have to believe that Percy Carey had some assistance on the writing side, but it's an engaging and moving ride. (I mention "assistance" such as writing a comic script in the form we've seen in GN supplements, not such as translation to English from Ebonics.) The events and people are familiar to me -- at least, a few of them are, and the rest feel that way because I bonded that much with the main character (Carey) almost from the beginning. It's that well done.

The art is rich and fluid. Occasional altered perspectives remind me of early Mad cartooning, and the use of gray tones and high contrasts give just the right amount of lighting effects and maintain the mood. It feels inconsistent at times -- sometimes it's not easy to recognize someone from one page to the next, but this is one of those cases where the writing covered for that. Ordinarily, I admire the art while the words get in the way. This is not one of those cases.

So this isn't your standard offering from Marvel or DC, and it's even a little different than I expected from Vertigo. It's certainly not for everyone -- it's foul-mouthed and violent (but not gory) -- but it's one of the best reads I've had in recent memory.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin D. Lapointe on December 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a must read for fans of Hip Hop. That being said, I don't know if can recommend it for Graphic Novel readers in general (reason for 3 stars). Percy Carey grew up in the middle of Hip Hop, and he tells his unbiased story here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emmanuel on June 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I give this Book 5 stars for one Reason. Its Based on Real Events surrounding Percy Carey AKA MF Grimm, in this story we see the Real Evil that lives in our inner cities that plague our youth, I recommend this book to anyone who is a Vertigo Fan, a Fan of REAL Hip-Hop, or a fan of MF Grimm. Cop The Album, then Pick this Up.
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Format: Paperback
i remember the first time i watched forest gump, thinking how there couldn't be ANYBODY whose life was that interesting... i mean, how could one person be there for so many different events... well, there actually is at least one: Percy Carey, known better to indie rap enthusiasts as MF GRIMM, grew up in Manhattan in the early days of hipHop. in the course of his carreer, he has been an emcee, producer, drug lord and rap journalist... he's rubbed elbows with everyone from battle emcee Supernatural, to Chuck D, to MF DOOM, to Dr Dre, to Suge Knight.

thankfully, he also rubbed up against comic artist Ronald Wimberly (Lucifer, Swamp Thing, Papa Midnight) at least long enough to create Sentences: the life of MF GRIMM published by Vertigo/DC in September of '07. Sentences paints an exciting but sober picture of the highs and lows of the hip hop universe, including the intersection with gangs, drugs, and organized crime.

"Life is nothing but a chess game, man, and you realize you're just pieces on the board," Carey said in an interview with CBR . "I look at it this way: Instead of totally focusing on the situation itself, the outcome of the situation was a test within myself. It was a test between me and the creator, to show me my purpose on the planet, and I needed to sit down and learn patience and go on the path to learn and acquire a certain amount of knowledge that I was too ignorant to try to get while I was still walking. So I realized I was paralyzed anyway, but now I'm paralyzed physically. You know, before it was mental. I have to say it was really just the fact of me, my temptations, and obviously not getting in tune with the world correctly. I learned a lot from it.
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Format: Paperback
In the '90s, the publishing community saw an explosion of the memoir genre, especially among young first-time authors who detailed their battles with just about every demon possible. Today, the memoir has found a new popular home: the graphic novel. Now, you can not only read about the sordid details of anyone's life, but you can also see every gory detail. It's the ultimate narcissism for those without a movie budget to bring their lives to the big screen. (And yes, it's ironic for a format that has the word "novel" in its title that nonfiction is such a large part of its output.)

Sorting through the plethora of biographical graphic novels out there can be daunting, which is all the more reason to draw attention to those that do the form proud. The beauty of graphic novels is that they allow a you-are-there immediacy to their stories through panel art, and they can combine it with dramatic, poetic and urgent prose. There on the page, the combination can be jarring and stunning. Such is the case with SENTENCES, which is as bold and in-your-face as its subject, the rough-edged Percy Carey, aka M.F. Grimm.

Carey has led a grim life, indeed, and he has the scars to prove it. He grew up on New York City's Upper West Side during the gritty 1970s, long before the city's squalor and seedy underbelly had been cleaned up. As the son of a single mother and a deadbeat father, he grows up in a tough world and learns quickly how to fight. He doesn't stop there, though, crossing the line over into the territory of crime, finding hapless victims in the city's many neighborhoods.

From these crime-ridden streets a new cultural movement is emerging, and Carey knows he wants to be part of it.
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