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Cotton Comes to Harlem epub ebook

by Chester B. Himes

Cotton Comes to Harlem epub ebook

Author: Chester B. Himes
Category: Thrillers & Suspense
Publisher: Chatham Bookseller (June 1975)
ISBN: 091186055X
ISBN13: 978-0911860559
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 952
Other formats: azw docx mobi rtf


Cotton Comes to Harlem is a hardboiled crime fiction novel written by Chester Himes in 1965. It is the sixth and best known of the Grave Digger Jones & Coffin Ed Johnson Mysteries.

Cotton Comes to Harlem is a hardboiled crime fiction novel written by Chester Himes in 1965. It was later adapted into a film of the same name in 1970 starring Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. Jacques, and Redd Foxx. The novel plays with thoughts of Blaxploitation and is a monumental novel that started the African-American cop-and-detective phase of the 1960s-'70s.

Chester Himes is an accomplished and talented writer who developed his authentic style and abilities by a means every bit as ingenious as Hunter Thompson's retyping of Hemingway's "All Quiet On The Western Front;" or Kerouac's sticking together a 120 foot tracing paper scroll upon which to type his ess style novel, "On The Road. In Chester Himes' case, while serving time for armed robbery, he started writing for publication as a way to earn respect from the guards and avoid violence.

Cotton Comes to Harlem is an neo-noir action comedy film co-written and directed in 1970 by Ossie Davis and starring Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. The film is based on Chester Himes' novel of the same name

Cotton Comes to Harlem is an neo-noir action comedy film co-written and directed in 1970 by Ossie Davis and starring Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. The film is based on Chester Himes' novel of the same name. The opening theme, "Ain't Now But It's Gonna Be" was written by Ossie Davis and performed by Melba Moore. It was followed two years later by the sequel Come Back, Charleston Blue.

Himes, Chester . 1909–1984 Cotton comes to Harlem.

Chester Himes was born in Missouri in 1909. He began writing while serving a prison sentence for a jewel theft and published just short of twenty novels before his death in 1984.

Cotton Comes to Harlem book. Chester Himes once again mines the street life of mid century Harlem for the setting in which to unspool a great thriller

Cotton Comes to Harlem book. Chester Himes once again mines the street life of mid century Harlem for the setting in which to unspool a great thriller. Like all writers who endure beyond their time, Himes' observations are about human traits, frailty and strength, greed and generosity, here emerging from the crucible of poverty and violence. His writing is gripping, eloquent and funny. Himes captures a moment and renders it immortal as he conveys the moment and puts us there.

Those who are not religious stay in bed. The whores, pimps, gamblers, criminals and racketeers catch up on their sleep or their love church. The stores are closed. The streets are deserted save for the families on their way to church. A drunk better not be caught molesting them; he’ll get all the black beat off him. All of the Sunday newspapers had carried the story of the arrest of Reverend D. O’Malley, leader of the Back-to-Africa movement, on suspicion of fraud and homicide.

O’Malley got the idea from Marcus Garvey. Garvey was a historical figure whose own movement, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) included a Liberia project, launched in 1920.

Reviews (7)
Ballalune
This top notch piece of hardboiled fiction is set in Harlem in the 1960s and features Himes' favorite protagonists, "Coffin Ed" Johnson and "Gravedigger" Jones. Coffin Ed and Gravedigger are tough, driven, black cops trying to work a case in which a con man named "Reverend" Deke O'Malley,who had been conning desperate Harlem residents by selling them spots in a phony baloney "back to Africa" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back-to-Africa_movement ) settlement.

O'Malley collected 84 large at a big rally he held for his swindle, but before he could take the money and blow town several other heavily armed men crashed his party and ran off with the cash. In the course of their daring escape/high speed shootout a bale of cotton, of all things, falls out of their truck. Gravedigger and Coffin Ed spend the rest of the book hunting the men, the cotton they dropped (which has somehow disappeared in Harlem), and Deke O'Malley himself.

I read this book because Walter Moseley wrote a scene in Little Green in which some of *his* characters discuss Himes' significance as a crime writer. The book certainly did not disappoint.

CCTH is, first and foremost, a lovely piece of hardboiled fiction. Although the characters, white and black, are aware of the kind of world they're living in, it definitely is not social commentary disguised as crime fiction. Himes also doesn't shy away from social issues. I mean, the plot of the book, after all, is that some hardworking black people who are so fed up with their hopeless lives that they think moving to Africa and raising goats is preferable to one more day in NYC, give their money to a black con man who is then himself robbed by a number of heavily armed white dudes.

Himes (who got his start as a writer while doing time for jewel theft) was also obviously a sharp social observer. Issues the book does touch on (deftly, precisely) include: Institutional racism (black cops with a white boss who likes them but has white bosses of his own), light skinned vs dark skinned black characters and their varying levels of status and privilege/North vs South issues/the very notion of King Cotton itself/Southern antebellum nostalgia.

Himes has a fine, sharp, lapidary writing style and the book gets very weird before you even realize just how odd things are getting. Similarly, the way the book *does* comment on society is subtle and seamless. In my case, it didn't really hit me until I had put the book down to go use the bathroom and then as I was absorbing what I had just read I thought "Ah. Christ. That *is* messed up."

Malak
I was a policeman in the South close to this time period. The book has a truthful resonance. Naturally being a white policeman during this time you were expected to be a racist. I wasn't. I enjoyed the double As as they call themselves now. All the while hating their self destructive social norms that kept them in bondage to ignorance, criminality and their own blind prejudices. Most were fun. Some were mean. What I liked most was their zest for life. Himes captures this very well and in doing so explained an exciting period of my life. Read this book. You will like it!

Insanity
I wondered if the book could be as wonderful as the movie. Often, it's the other way 'round, but in this case, the movie featured an unforgettable and hilariously heart-warming, if not gut-busting cameo appearance by Redd Foxx as "Uncle Bud". There was also that fabulous Galt McDermot sound track (buy it!), and the whole existential bit of being one of the first -- and best -- flicks of its genre.

So, after hearing the soundtrack online recently; purchasing it; and then ordering the video from the public library, I wondered, "will the book, by Chester Himes (a Clevelander, by the way) be equally nifty? Will it be worth reading in its own right?"

It certainly is!

Chester Himes is an accomplished and talented writer who developed his authentic style and abilities by a means every bit as ingenious as Hunter Thompson's retyping of Hemingway's "All Quiet On The Western Front;" or Kerouac's sticking together a 120 foot tracing paper scroll upon which to type his stream-of-consciousness style novel, "On The Road."

In Chester Himes' case, while serving time for armed robbery, he started writing for publication as a way to earn respect from the guards and avoid violence. It not only worked, but it helped Himes develop into an authentic, fascinating, and very readable author who's style is of a type you'll rarely find among people with advanced degrees or gigs as critics on the staffs of notable literary publications.

"Cotton Comes to Harlem" offers a spirited, spunky, and gamey look at life in Harlem in the 60s, tying together a plot filled with realistically-depicted Harlemites from all walks of life, including the two protagonist black detectives, Coffin Ed and Grave Digger. Read a Himes bio or two online if you must; and whether or not you've seen and enjoyed the 1970 movie, you'll probably relish this book.

Black_Hawk_Down.
Great book! I love what one of Walter Mosley's characters says about this book (and Chester Himes in general) in his latest novel, Little Green.

"I think that Himes is equal to [Ralph] Ellison," Jackson opined.
"You compare Cotton to Invisible Man?"
"....I like Ralph's book, but I think Chester get down to where the sh** stinks. Ellison made a window that the white man could look inta, but it's Chester made a door so we had a way out the burnin' house."

The above kind of stuff is why I keep reading both Chester Himes and Walter Mosley. I appreciate great writers who force us to rethink the canon of "great literature" so we can include more of the popular writers. Yes, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is a great novel. It's also the book that is cited the MOST in the high school Advanced Placement English Literature test. Chester Himes may not ever appear on that type of test, but more people should be reading his work. The same comparison could be made between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Chandler. Everyone reads The Great Gatsby in school, but a case could be made for The Long Goodbye as a better "great American novel."

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