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This blaxploitation homage should, if there's any justice in the world, prove to be a breakout book for George Pelecanos.  He's produced a funky thriller that is so cinematic that it even seems to have a soundtrack.

In the days leading up to the Bicentennial celebration in Washington, DC, record store owner Marcus Clay and his small-time dealer friend and playground hoops partner, Dmitri Karras, run afoul of ex-con Wilton Cooper and his bizarre gang, including B.R. Claggett, a "white-boy-wanna-be-black-boy cracker."  While Clay and Karras try to figure out how to put things right and Cooper and his thugs go on a crime spree, the entire town is trying to get to a Theater to see the new movie "King Suckerman", starring Ron St. John--The Man with the Master Plan who be Taken it to the Man.  All the while, Curtis Mayfield, the Hues Corporation, Jimi Hendrix, etc. thunder away in the background and TV's are tuned to Kojak, Harry-O, & Streets of San Francisco.

The recent 70's revival has produced an awful lot of dreck, but this one book just might make up for all of it.


Grade: (A)


See also:

Book-related and General Links:
    -George Pelecanos (from UnoMas)
    -PROFILE: A man who makes high art out of low-lifes    (Caspar Llewellyn Smith, UK Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of The Big Blowdown by George Pelecanos (Uno Mas)
    -Hard Boiled Maryland
    -Readings From the Fringe (Mike Shea, Weekly Wire)
    -PROFILE : Heavy Hitter :  George Pelecanos puts more punch into capital crime. (Sean Daly , Book)
    -REVIEW: of Shame The Devil by George P. Pelecanos (UK Telegraph)
    -REVIEW : of The Big Blowdown by George P. Pelecanos (Jason Starr, Richmond Review)