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Three Sides to Every Story: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Clarence Nero
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $6.00 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Growing up in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Johnny and Tonya meet in high school and fall for each other. Yet their romance falls apart when Johnny seriously injures Tonya’s ex-boyfriend in an altercation. Johnny is imprisoned, and Tonya starts dating a rapper who fulfills her dreams of dancing in videos.
Depressed and deflated in jail, Johnny comes back to life thanks to the help of Pandora, the prison’s den “mother,” and James, who helps Johnny study for his GED. What starts as a platonic friendship between the sexually repressed Johnny and the openly gay James soon develops into a tender love that’s put on hold when James is released on parole. A year later, Johnny is freed as well, haunted by his feelings.
Meanwhile, Tonya, no longer with the rapper, has a new dream of reuniting with Johnny. And James, who wows crowds as a legendary drag queen performer, is furious that Johnny hasn’t reached out to him.
Their lives soon become a twisting roller coaster—secrets are revealed, and assumptions are shattered in ways never imagined. Inviting comparison to E. Lynn Harris, Clarence Nero has created a compelling story about the social and sexual challenges black people face.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nero's second outing (after Cheekie), set against the backdrop of New Orleans's pre-Katrina Ninth Ward, deploys three deftly drawn narrators to tell a wrenching story of desire and survival. Tonya, a stripper at Club Circus in the French Quarter, dates a shifty, up-and-coming rapper while her true love, Johnny, a former football star and preacher's son, serves time in an upstate prison for roughing up Tonya's ex. In prison, Johnny meets James, a sassy, educated drag queen from the same side of the tracks, doing time for petty theft. Worlds collide when Johnny admits to his feelings for James and becomes torn between his long-repressed homosexuality and the woman and life he had before. Once on the outside, James and Johnny become tangled in intrigue involving former and potential lovers, parents, friends and the ever-present specters of jealousy, homophobia, spite and simple misunderstanding. Nero has an excellent sense of pacing and nails each character's voice with a distinctiveness that's both illuminating and, by turns, hilarious. He moves easily from drag queen balls to church pews, and though the plot strands are tied up too neatly at the end, the book's mold-breaking characters and myriad subplots will hook readers. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Nero kicks it off the hinges with this bold new urban drama.”
—Omar Tyree

“The idea of the story is wonderful—man and woman have problems told from each other’s point of view. Then a third character comes into the story to ‘clear up the mess.’ This is not my generation, but I must admit that it held my attention to the end.”
—Ernest Gaines

“One of our most promising young authors.”
—Dr. Maya Angelou

Product Details

  • File Size: 447 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0767921364
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (February 19, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002ZFGJA8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,327 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Triangel October 11, 2006
Three people tell this twisted story of love and deceit, taking the reader through this 3D journey of sex, love, lust, lies and no video tape. But who is telling the absolute truth and will anyone come out the winner?

Tonya's version of what happens depicts a young woman doing what she gotta do to get what and where she wants in life. Dancing and stripping at Club Circus to finally realizing her dream and clapping her booty in videos for Rico, the new up and coming rapper in the NO (New Orleans). In spite of the fact that Johnny was doing time for almost beating Tonya's ex-boyfriend to death, her need for the paper and desire to leave her childhood project home caused her to drop Johnny and pursue her career goals. That is, until Rico found someone else to take her place once he became known rapper.

Johnny's heart and eyes reveal a totally different story as he sits in jail trying to stay strong and keep the men off his [...], literally. He was a star football player at his high school when he was sent up to do time at Sierra Lionne, fighting it all the way until one day he gave in to the fact that he would be there, so he sought to educate himself in order to do something with his life when he was finally released. This changing point occurred after he was able to get past the hurt and betrayal that Tonya's leaving him caused. His love, his heart had abandoned him and he had no one.

In steps Amari St. James, Mr. Flamboyant (Flaming) himself. Having been sent to do a stint in Sierra Lionne along with his "Mother" Pandora Craft, who was the mother to a lot of "children" in the NO. She made sure nobody messed with James and was the link who introduced Johnny and James. That is when the very thing Johnny defended hard since he was sent up - his manhood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What does a man really love? February 6, 2007
Everyone defines love in a different way. Our expectations of love are colored by our past. Why is our definition of love so narrow? THREE SIDES TO EVERY STORY looks at a love triangle through the eyes of all involved.

Johnny is the central character. He was head over heels in love with Tonya during high school and he planned to spend the rest of his life with her. Until an ex-boyfriend attacked Tonya, Johnny nearly killed him with his bare hands. This ended Johnny's football career and college prospects landing him in prison. Johnny would soon learn that love is patient.

Tonya wanted to be a superstar with all the money in the world. She is an outgoing, talented beauty with a killer body that could out dance everyone on the block. Johnny would be in prison for years and she could not continue to pine for him all that time. Tonya knows that time is money and she doesn't have much of either. Tonya plans to use her body to pay the bills - first stripping then video vixen. Tonya would learn that love is forgiving.

James is an exceptional man, one who loves to flaunt his feminine side while sporting a tough exterior. He was part of a family of men that dressed in drag and worked the local club once a week. James worked his magic every chance he could while being safe in the love and sex department. Then James gets caught slipping well stealing from his job and was sent to prison. James would learn that love is kind.

THREE SIDES TO EVERY STORY is a love story that stretches the imagination. Nero has written a sexy story rich with lessons of love and life. The reader will learn about the good and bad of being in love and living a life worth writing home about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What happens to a twisted love triangle knot? December 23, 2006
What happens to a twisted love triangle knot? The answer can be found in Clarence Nero's uniquely refreshing modern-day drama. THREE SIDES TO EVERY STORY is told from three very distinct points of view with overtones of romance and humor. It has beautifully flowing dialogue that engulfs the reader's attention from the very first sentence.

Johnny and Tonya are high school sweethearts. Their lives in New Orleans, Louisiana reek with tragedy and family committments. Unfortunately, Tonya's past relationship puts Johnny in danger when he has an altercation with her former boyfriend that lands him in the penitentiary. Tonya vows to remain by Johnny's side, that is, until she has an opportunity for riches and the baller lifestyle with one of her customers from the strip club where she performs. Johnny is left in jail heartbroken and defeated until he meets openly gay James. This encounter opens up repressed feelings in Johnny that he has to decide whether or not to act upon.

I was pleasantly surprised when I began this read. THREE SIDES TO EVERY STORY is not your everyday street fiction soap opera that has the down-low brotha twist. It is free-flowing and uniquely pieced together. Nero brings together the lives of three very different characters and shows qualities and flaws from various points of view.

THREE SIDES TO EVERY STORY held my attention throughout. It tantalized without being trashy; it also amused and touched me emotionally. The story depicts pre-Katrina New Orleans in authentic fashion without the voodoo overtones or Mardi Gras theme. The characters are complex and multi-faceted. I didn't know who to cheer for or who to dislike because there are no villains or heros.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Three Sides to Every Story..
This book was ok..kinda predictable and a little unbelievable. There were characters that I felt the author could have built on more that would have made the book a little more... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Erica Nesmith
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing story
i loved this book from the first page. i telk people about it all the time. it was a great story. kudos!!!
Published 10 months ago by harrisks
5.0 out of 5 stars I want more!!!!
I really enjoyed this book, had to ignore a few images but over all great book. However, ending could have been a little better.
Published 15 months ago by Kiana Washington
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy Read
I thought tha book was very was definitely worth the time it took to read it. Once I was finished & I sat back and reflected I realized that there are a lot of... Read more
Published 16 months ago by ThaGhostWryter525
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!!
I am so excited by this book that I don't know where to begin. This book was off the chain!!! It's been quite some time since I read a book that wasn't drug related. Read more
Published on November 23, 2010 by Dara Batte
3.0 out of 5 stars HIS SIDE, HER SIDE, HIS SIDE!!!
Published on November 15, 2010 by D. Larkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Move over Tyler Perry
If you are a Tyler Perry fan you will absolutely fall in love with this novel. It reminds me so much of a Tyler Perry Play because it covers so many different topics not just the... Read more
Published on July 9, 2010 by Patron
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Reading
This book is great reading. As you get close to the ending, all kinds of events start to take place. I would recomment this book to all my friends. Read more
Published on April 17, 2009 by Mrswes
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 Sides... is a Awesome Literary Work
Clarence Nero is truly one of the great literary masters. Three Sides to Every Story chronicles the life of three young adults whose lives are meshed together through the past,... Read more
Published on November 23, 2008 by Daryl Anthony Speaks
5.0 out of 5 stars I think it was funny lol
The book was excellent. I mean all three xters were down right funny and str8 to the point in the way they told their stories. Read more
Published on June 10, 2008 by Milo Dandee
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