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Urban Romance Paperback – March 1, 1995

7 customer reviews

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4 Stars and Up Feature: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
"Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. A standout." --Library Journal Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A well-known critic of popular culture ( Buppies, B-Boys, Baps & Bohos ) George's first attempt at fiction is unfortunately clumsy. Dwayne Robinson, an aspiring music critic and intellectual bad boy from Brownsville (via St. John's University), falls in love with Danielle Embry, a dreamy Yale graduate from Connecticut who edits books for Doubleday but has her eye on the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Set in the early '80s, it gives the author an opportunity to show his wide knowledge of the b-boy subculture that Dwayne is busy writing about and that his friend Reggie is busy promoting. Dwayne struggles with his deepening feelings for Danielle while she, now in her first hectic year at Columbia, holds him at arm's length. Squabbles and tension are more frequent until Danielle realizes she is pregnant and the two must face decisions about commitment and ambition. George's characters are flat and the prose can be downright painful ("Danielle looked delicious, and Dwayne was grinning like he wanted a taste."), retarding a potentially decent plot.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Dwayne Robinson, the protagonist of Ur ban Romance, might just be Nelson George in the early Eighties: He's a freelance writer and music critic for the Village Voice , Essence, and Billboard , waiting for inspiration for his first book. (George's own first book wasn't on music, but it does deal with black culture, as do his later books, such as Buppies, B-Boys, Baps & Bohos, LJ 1/93). Dwayne lives in two worlds--the world of poor black New York, b-boys, just-rising rap music, and the world of buppies, black middle-class urban professionals. Disdaining buppies, Dwayne nevertheless is pushed toward them by his new love, Columbia journalism graduate student Danielle, whose suburban New Jersey upbringing contrasts strongly with Dwayne's Brooklyn background. Much more than just an "urban romance," this book uses the relationship between Dwayne and Danielle to explore black music, politics, and urban life. Despite some stilted dialog, too stiff characters, and unlikely coincidences, this novel is highly recommended for popular collections.
- Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: One World/Ballantine (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034547273X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345472731
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,043,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nelson George is an author/filmmaker who specializes in documenting and celebrating African-American culture. As an author he's written several classic black music histories, including Where Did Our Love Go?: The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound, The Death of Rhythm & Blues and Hip Hop America. He also edited The James Brown Reader, an anthology of articles about the late Godfather of Soul. His current novel, The Plot Against Hip Hop, has a musical theme. He contributed major articles on the films The Help and Pariah to The New York Times Arts & Leisure section in 2011. As a filmmaker George has directed the HBO film Life Support, and has two documentaries debuting in 2012: Brooklyn Boheme on Showtime and The Announcement: Magic Johnson on ESPN. George's web site is www.nelsondgeorge.net.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 1996
Format: Paperback
Nelson George has been referred to as the male Terry McMillan of contemporary
African American fiction. That is an understatement. Urban Romance is the
tale of two young Afrcan American professionals dealing with sex, love and
realtionships in New York City. It is a refeshing change from souppy
romance novels because the characters are so real you believe George is
either writing about you or your best friend. A MUST read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Todd Hampton on May 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In his first novel nelson george tells a tale of young love, lost and found amongst youb urban Black professionals in New york City. George does a fine job at reaching beneath the surface of his character and making them feel real. He also didn't allow the plot to become entirely predictable. He also gets points for writing about the beginings of hip hop culture. A very enjoyable first novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book I have read by Nelson George. I must say it was quite interesting. I now look forward to reading his other books, hoping to get the same joy I did out of this one. You go Nelson!
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By Blackworm on July 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If a book can grab me within the first 50 pages, then I'm hooked. With URBAN ROMANCE, it took a little longer to get the story going, but because I paid for the book, I decided to keep going. It definitely got better, but it would have been better to not spend so much time on slow introductions of the major players. Sometimes, that can wear the story down quicker than a three course meal. Still, a good book
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