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Yardie Hardcover – September 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 185 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr; 1st Atlantic Monthly Press ed edition (September 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871135507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871135506
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,179,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When "D.," the protagonist of first-novelist Headley's well-crafted crime story, smuggles a kilo of cocaine into London from Jamaica, he sidesteps its would-be recipients and sells it himself, investing the proceeds in his own drug-dealing business. What follows is more than the familiar narrative of a criminal's rise and fall, for Headley tempers his pulp with rigorous observation that brings London's Jamaican community to life on the page. Characters such as Charlie, D.'s practical business partner, Donna, D's lover and protector, and Blue, a rival from Jamaica, have an appealing specificity. The dancehall reggae scene that D. and his gang inhabit is also well drawn. As D.'s business grows and encounters resistance, and reports on events in Kingston, New York and Miami become frequent, one realizes that Headley seeks to offer a window on the Jamaican diaspora beyond London. Conversely, however, D. himself, always something of a cypher, seems by the conclusion to be almost a minor character in his own drama. A planned sequel may perhaps provide insight into the gangster at the center of the intriguing world Headley has created.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Ghetto-based crime novel that's caused a small sensation in London, where its desktop-computer publication and guerrilla-style distribution have met with impressive sales and reviews. Though Headley's debut--set within London's drug-dealing Jamaican community--is fast, tight, and pinpointedly authentic (Headley was born in Jamaica and lives in London), it probably won't make as big a splash here, where it falls within a tradition of underclass crime writing (Donald Goines, et al.) that England lacks and apparently marvels at. There's nothing new in the plot, which is at least as old as Scarface: D., an ambitious young Jamaican gangster, arrives in London with a kilo of cocaine inside his shirt. He turns half of it over to his contacts--members of the Jamaican ``Spicers'' gang--but runs off with the rest and sets himself up as crack kingpin. Soon D.'s living the high low-life: driving a Mercedes, wearing soft leather, partying at reggae concerts, sleeping around, smoking crack, talking jive in the lilting patois favored by all of Headley's characters--and waiting for the Spicers' revenge, which comes indirectly, via a bullet-wounding from Blue, a Spicer underling acting on his own. D. strikes back in the foulest way, raping Blue's girlfriend: a ruthless cutting-down of Blue follows. Meanwhile, legendary Jamaican gangster Tony Chin wants to muscle in on D.'s territory. When D. refuses, Chin turns him over to the cops.... End of story, though Headley apparently is writing a sequel. What's most bracing here is Headley's refusal to romanticize his characters even while empathizing with them all, from ``bad boy'' to housewife to Rastafarian. And his prose is as clean as his emotions, faltering only in a moralistic last page. An exciting debut, then, not without precedent but tough and sharp as nails. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Headley's debut is more interesting for its portrayal of London's Jamaican immigrant criminal subculture than it's straightforward tale of the rise and fall of one hood. Basically if you've seen "Scarface," you'll know the story. Headley's authentic vision of the milieu, with vivid descriptions of the role of music and food in the immigrant community, is what makes it worth reading. The thick Jamaican patois gets a little hard to follow at times, but it's no harder than "Trainspotting," once you get used to it. Other than the descriptive element, the writing and plotting is extremely elementary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I read this book under recomendation from a freind. The tale is particularly unoriginal, but moves at a fair old lick which makes up for it. The characters are also from the old-skool similar to the italian and cuban style of hardnut gangsta. Being a Londoner i am more empathatic to the story but the style of writing is pretty poor. The other two books also follow in his gangsta antics with the typical shootout at the end! If you want to read a real yardie book then "The Harder They Come" is the one for you. END
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most vivid books ive read. Perhaps it wass because i had been there (lived the yardie story) and done that. But this book really came alive for me, and I was unable to put it down. I literally read the entire book, in maybe 3 or 4 sitting during one particularly cold winter in London. Would-be movie producers need to take a serious look at this novel.
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By Christopher S. Doyle on January 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is dynamic story telling. D is a character I'm not soon to forget. Different writing style made it even more interesting.
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