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Young Junius Kindle Edition
|Length: 380 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Set in 1987 in three public housing high rise buildings called the towers, the motivations, relationships and loyalties of the drug dealers that run the towers are detailed. When you read Young Junius, stories in the news about the deaths of young men fueled by drug use are no less sad, but you are in a world where violence is inevitable.
It would have been easy for the author to people his book with stereotypes, but he resisted temptation and created characters both believable and interesting. Junius himself has more facets than a drug dealer's diamond pinky ring. His ready embrace of violence is tempered by a reflective conscience and recognition of the severe limits of the world he inhabits. He's growing up to be a badass, but is more resigned to his fate than celebrating it.
The supporting cast of distinctive characters includes Junius's still-growing-up sidekick Elf and the lost soul Clarence, a crack addict who uses the drug to fuel a blood-drenched career as a dealer/enforcer in the projects. Harwood takes pains to give nearly every character a solid backstory, which makes even the most evil of the drug kingpins characters worth an investment of the reader's time.
Young Junius is a solid novel that rises above its genre.
This story explains where Junius came from. Not such a bad guy, but events conspire to force him into the person he will become.