A sizzling heist novel set in civil rights-era Harlem . . . It's a superlative story, but the most impressive achievement is Whitehead's loving depiction of a Harlem 60 years gone, which lands as detailed and vivid as Joyce's Dublin. Don't be surprised if this one wins Whitehead another major award
Whitehead's latest book, Harlem Shuffle, finds its centre of gravity in Harlem, New York,transporting readers to the precipice of the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s, a moment when Harlem uprisings were remaking the literal and political landscape.From here he crafts a brilliant crime novel that doubles as a meditation on the nature of black geography...It is Carney's effort to reconcile the straight and the crooked, the desire to strive for a homeon the river, and the pull of the criminal underbelly, that propels the book forward
Whitehead adds another genre to an ever-diversifying portfolio with his first crime novel, and it's a corker... Whitehead delivers a portrait of Harlem in the early '60s, culminating with the Harlem Riot of 1964, that is brushed with lovingly etched detail and features a wonderful panoply of characters who spring to full-bodied life, blending joy, humor, and tragedy. A triumph on every level
Colson Whitehead's dazzling new thriller...In Harlem Shuffle, Whitehead flexes his literary muscles further, extending the boundaries and expectations of crime writing. The book is also a social drama interrogating the nature of prejudice and how an environment limits ambition.
Wildly entertaining...Whitehead also delivers a devastating, historically grounded indictment of the separate and unequal lives of Blacks and whites in mid-20th century New York.
Gloriously entertaining...a zingy social drama, that combines flights of high comedy with reflections on the nature of black self-help and black empowerment in America. A more purely enjoyable novel is unlikely to emerge this year
The plot he devised for Harlem Shuffle offered a new, high-geared narrative engine to play with, but it also gave him a way to explore ideas about the slippery nature of morality, power (and who holds it), and the social hierarchies of criminal subcultures