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Patches of Grey by [Pickering Jr., Roy L.]
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Patches of Grey Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Length: 331 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

In a story that at times reminded me of Matty Rich s Straight Out of Brooklyn, Roy L. Pickering, Jr. deftly weaves a coming of age tale of Tony Johnson in Patches of Grey. --Review by Reads4Pleasure.com

When I finished reading the first chapter I knew this Author was more than just someone who wanted to write. Roy L. Pickering, Jr. is a Storyteller. Patches of Grey is a deeply complex tale with authentic characters whose personalities are strong and well developed. --Dianne Rosena Jones of Bellaonline.com

Author Roy Pickering does an outstanding job allowing readers into the minds of each character within the Johnson household. Not only effectively capturing their hopes and dreams, but their fears as well. Fears that sometimes push them into making foolish decisions, and even while doing so Mr. Pickering's writing style will cause readers to empathize with the characters' actions, no matter how wrong. But greater than that, PATCHES OF GREY will actually convince readers there are more ways to deal with life's struggles than just black or white, compromise can be found just within the patches of grey. --Delonya Conyers for R.A.W.SISTAZ.com

When I finished reading the first chapter I knew this Author was more than just someone who wanted to write. Roy L. Pickering, Jr. is a Storyteller. Patches of Grey is a deeply complex tale with authentic characters whose personalities are strong and well developed. --Dianne Rosena Jones of Bellaonline.com

Author Roy Pickering does an outstanding job allowing readers into the minds of each character within the Johnson household. Not only effectively capturing their hopes and dreams, but their fears as well. Fears that sometimes push them into making foolish decisions, and even while doing so Mr. Pickering's writing style will cause readers to empathize with the characters' actions, no matter how wrong. But greater than that, PATCHES OF GREY will actually convince readers there are more ways to deal with life's struggles than just black or white, compromise can be found just within the patches of grey. --Delonya Conyers for R.A.W.SISTAZ.com

About the Author

Roy Pickering was born on the idyllic island of St. Thomas and currently resides in a quaint New Jersey town with his wife and daughter. Among his published works is Feeding the Squirrels, a novella that SynergEbooks produces as an ebook. He maintains a website to showcase a number of his short stories online, posts editorial style pieces to his blog A Line A Day, and is active 140 characters at a time on Twitter. While promoting his debut novel PATCHES OF GREY which was named a 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, he is hard at work on a second novel - Matters of Convenience. Anthologies featuring Mr. Pickering's writing include Proverbs for the People (Kensington Books), Role Call (Third World Press), The Game: Short Stories About the Life (Triple Crown Publications), Prose to be Read Aloud: Volume One, Menage a 20: Tales with a Hook, and Forever Travels.

Product Details

  • File Size: 730 KB
  • Print Length: 331 pages
  • Publisher: M.U.D. House Books (February 23, 2010)
  • Publication Date: February 23, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0039PU9X6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #620,911 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Perfect Paperback
Lionel Johnson vowed to take care of his family at all costs. Working laborious jobs and giving up his aspirations has not only weakened his resolve but has transformed him into a bitter man. A bitter man whose cynical views, although due to the harsh hand life has dealt him, are turning him into a tyrant and demoralizing his entire household. Lionel is desperate to spare his offspring the pain he's endured so he's laying out life's bitter truths in black and white. But life isn't always so clear cut; it's the shades of grey that his family needs to learn about the most. Over the time period the novel encases they'll learn just that.

Lionel's wrath always seems to be bestowing mostly upon his eldest son Tony. Tony is finishing up his senior year of high school and views college as not only as an escape from his domineering father, but as a way to escape his impoverished neighborhood. Lionel views Tony's dream of higher education as a snub towards himself and feels that Tony looks down on him for being nothing more than a laborer. Not only does Lionel think Tony is ashamed of who he is as a father, he thinks Tony is ashamed of being black, especially when Tony starts dating a Caucasian girl.

Tony's character is the primary voice throughout most of the novel. Tony provides a very poignant voice as he deals with feelings of resentment towards his father and also reels from the stigma associated with dating outside of his race. The younger brother, C.J., has no desire to escape the projects in which the Johnson family resides. He foolishly wants to rule them, which he thinks he can by do by joining a gang. Tanya, the middle child, finds her chastity is at stake while she ponders just how far she's willing to go for her first love.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel focuses on the coming-of-age of 17 year old Tony Johnson. It reveals Tony’s journey and growth to a young man. Tony lives in a housing development, often called a shadow city within the city, a place controlled by drugs and gangs, vying for territorial rights. Tony is aware the prerequisite to leave is a solid education.
At 18, he’ll be freed from the bitterness, jealously and opposition manifested by his father, Lionel. Tony wants to flee from his dysfunctional family as soon as he graduates high school.
Lionel appears ambivalent concerning Tony. He understands Tony’s desire to succeed, yet, begrudges his impending departure and future success.
With his job on strike, an angry Lionel drinks and behaves irrational. He is envious and resentful of those with higher learning. He belittles Tony and occasionally abuses his wife.
With his own dreams deferred, ‘firewater’ provides Lionel the courage to pick fights in bars with strangers dressed in three-piece suits.
Both Lionel and his brother, Manny, received college scholarships. Because their inebriating father couldn’t keep a job, Lionel suggested he and Manny postpone their education, and help their parents.
But Manny was in a position to take the opportunity that life had to offer. He decided to leave home and attend college. Lionel never forgave Manny, and held onto resentment like an oyster muscle tightens its shells.
At the death of their father, Lionel’s mother and younger sister moved in with relatives.
Newly married, Lionel and his wife, Caren, migrated from Georgia to New York.
If any ambitious thoughts had entered Lionel’s mind, he had dampened their fire.
Lionel’s sons, C.J. and Tony, are independent thinkers, and do not influence each other. They love and respect each other.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“They all believed back then that love lasted forever. By now they surely knew…that forever was a treacherous myth, though probably a necessary one.”

This novel was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Patches of Grey by Roy Pickering is the emotional story of the Johnsons, a family from a Bronx tenement pre “rise of Obama.” If you love Sister Souljah, Sapphire and old-school Omar Tyree, this will be a great read for you. Tony, the eldest son and main character, yearns for more than his poor upbringing can provide for him and knows that he is smart enough to use his grades to get out. He is constantly ridiculed by his father, Lionel, a drunk and abusive man, and his younger brother, C.J., who is proud to have been just initiated into a local gang. Tony’s dreams of getting away, not to mention his once-coveted, now-won Caucasian girlfriend, put him at constant odds with his father and brother, while his mother and sister deal with their own emotional and physical turmoil dealt to them by the men in their lives. Over the course of a year, their lives are changed, tragedy strikes and Tony’s dreams of collegiate life and affluence thereafter may never be realized after all.

There were some truly lovely patches (no pun intended) of narrative prose in this one, but they were often overshadowed by the sheer amount of purple prose surrounding them. At times, it disoriented me, some of the sentences were so overwrought with it. There were too many metaphors and too much hyperbole, so the essence of these oft-lovely lines was often lost in the sheer quantity of them, as if the author wanted to slap on more and more lights, more and more decoration, when the tree itself would’ve sung beautifully.
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