Cotton Comes to Harlem

Cotton Comes to Harlem Black flim flam man Deke O Hara is no sooner out of Atlanta s state penitentiary than he s back on the streets working the scam of a lifetime As sponsor of the Back to Africa movement he s counting on

Black flim flam man Deke O Hara is no sooner out of Atlanta s state penitentiary than he s back on the streets working the scam of a lifetime As sponsor of the Back to Africa movement he s counting on the big Harlem rally to produce a big collection for his own private charity But the take 87,000 is hijacked by white gunmen and hidden in a bale of cotton that suddenly eBlack flim flam man Deke O Hara is no sooner out of Atlanta s state penitentiary than he s back on the streets working the scam of a lifetime As sponsor of the Back to Africa movement he s counting on the big Harlem rally to produce a big collection for his own private charity But the take 87,000 is hijacked by white gunmen and hidden in a bale of cotton that suddenly everybody wants to get his hands on With Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones on everyone s trail and piecing together the complexity of the scheme, Cotton Comes to Harlem is one of Himes s hardest hitting and most entertaining thrillers.

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Cotton Comes to Harlem

About Author

  1. Chester Bomar Himes began writing in the early 1930s while serving a prison sentence for armed robbery From there, he produced short stories for periodicals such as Esquire and Abbott s Monthly When released, he focussed on semi autobiographical protest novels In 1953, Himes emigrated to France, where he was approached by Marcel Duhamel of Gallimard to write a detective series for S rie Noire, which had published works from the likes of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson Himes would be the first black author included in the series The resulting Harlem Cycle gained him celebrity when he won France s Grand Prix de Litt rature Polici re for La Reine des Pommes now known in English as A Rage in Harlem in 1958 Three of these novels have been adapted into movies Cotton Comes to Harlem, directed by Ossie Davis in 1970 Come Back, Charleston Blue based on The Heat s On in 1972 and A Rage in Harlem, starring Gregory Hines and Danny Glover in 1991 In 1968, Himes moved to Spain where he made his home until his death.


Cotton Comes to Harlem Comment

  1. Chester Himes is the bomb, he s the shit, he s a genius You re into crime and you ain t read him, you re missing out You re into the African American experience and you ain t read him, you re really missing out You think some lowly thriller writer s beneath you Chester Himes can write The style is half the fun baroque hip gritty black humour ramped up to eleven in the service of thrills and satire Check this With a flourish like a stripteaser removing her G string, she took off one shoe and toss [...]

  2. From BBC radio 4 Extra Harlem, 1965 Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are the most notorious Detectives in the Harlem precinct Their methods are unorthodox, and some people think they re trigger happy, but ask any law abiding citizen of Harlem and they ll sing their praises So when the Reverend Deke O Malleys Back to Africa movement collects 87,000 from poor black families only to have it stolen from under their noses Jones and Johnson get put on the case.Read by Hugh Quarshie.Chester Him [...]

  3. I was really in the mood for of Chester Himes s Harlem Cycle books and this was the easiest one I could get my hand on at the moment I d read the first two books, A Rage in Harlem and The Real Cool Killers, and loved them I had gathered that they don t need to be read completely in order, so I decided to jump into this one In this installment, ace Harlem detectives Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson rush to track down a slimy con man, who s been swindling hard working Harlem families out [...]

  4. Another manic cartoony excercise in eyeball popping, jaw dropping Tex Avery psychosis This time our favorite badass behemoths Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones step in between two huckster ops in old Harlem, Back to Africa black and Back to The South white , the BS group led by a fake Southern plantation colonel type Avoid the lousy movie adaptation at all costs and pick up some solid pulp, my brother.

  5. Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed are two of the most original detectives in crime fiction And a perfect opportunity for them to demonstrate their talents is provided by this caper, an extraordinary blast of mayhem, dark humour, social insight, perversion, irony and simmering sensuality, as conman Deke O Malley persuades families to hand over their savings in order to buy passage on board ships going back to Africa But the ships are fictions The money scammed from the families is stolen by the thu [...]

  6. Magic is a hugely abused word and can be as elusive as a loutish runt, trying to lose himself in a Mardi Gras crowd.Very rarely, it manifests itself in some obscure form or the other Himes wrote some ground breakin ,spine tinglin ,nerve janglin classics but here, he reaches the zenith.GOD He is black by the way decided to put pen to paper one day and this macabre,bawdy,freak Masterpiece was the result.If ever I dream of writing a novel, I only pray to GOD That nigga again that it turns out to be [...]

  7. This is the first book by Chester Himes that I have read This book is one of the 8 Harlem Detective mysteries that he published between 1957 and 1969 The detectives, Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones fit in with the Harlem milieu, and use this to solve the crimes Reading the books now gives me a taste of what life was like in Harlem in the 50 s and 60 s.

  8. Brothers this maps is older than me and if you go back to this Africa you got to go by way of the graveI enjoyed this read just as well as I ve enjoyed the movie.

  9. really don t know why this guy isn t famous First, you ve got the pedigree so far as I can tell the only black crime writer during the golden age of noir, friend of James Baldin, etc which alone would get him a peek And on that whole end of things, he holds up nicely, offering an unflinching, indeed brutal, view on racial politics in New York during the tumultuous years of the 1960 s Himes s is a world in which everyone is pretty terrible, white or black though the blacks have a better excuse , [...]

  10. 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 Here is how he describes the music at a the Cotton Cl [...]

  11. I read A Rage in Harlem a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, and this 7th book in the series featuring hard boiled black police detectives Grave Digger and Coffin Ed is a good read too Written a few years later in 1964, its Harlem setting has acquired a Back to Africa movement, a competing Back to the Southland movement led by a sinister white Southern colonel, and some Black Muslims who hold a tense rally Kind of a cross of Raymond Chandler and blaxploitation films The women characters all bel [...]

  12. Mr Himes is a classic detective fiction writer who I will takes notes from, from here on out Himes writes fast, furious, independent unique characters with oh so vivid details jumping off the page His detective names are the bomb, Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones, and they scoff and scour and dance their way through the gritty streets of Harlem with enough savvy sarcasm, wit, irony and humor to make both Sam Spade and Phillipe Marlowe take notice.The mean and lean streets of 1960 s Harlem, along [...]

  13. A short take Chester Himes wrote fantastic crime fiction and it is wrong that he is omitted from the frequent praise that mentions Chandler et al.More thoughts Himes concocts a crazy story and then sets Digger and Ed loose to solve the case The characters are lusty, violent and crafty Himes is an excellent writer and his stories are bizarre and toothsome I want everyone who likes crime fiction to read his work and experience its greatness.

  14. Read this for school and I have to say it was interesting Not too shabby and good mystery read with focus on the African Americans Great to see other point of views of history.

  15. Publicada en lecturaylocura clasicos noCon la ingente cantidad de novelas polic acas que se est n sacando en la actualidad, tendemos a olvidar de d nde venimos es decir, qui nes son los padres del g nero este post busca que no se pierda la perspectiva en este aspecto, entre otras cosas porque un buen gusto literario se construye desde el pasado, desde las verdaderas fuentes originales.Y digo esto porque no puedo evitar enervarme al comprobar el mont n de median as que se hacen con el coraz n de [...]

  16. This classic hard boiled detective novel set in Harlem was one of several books shown in the recent Luke Cage series While I ve read a few of the other works from the show s reading list, I had never heard of Chester Himes before, an author now known for his crime dramas starring the recurring character of Grave Digger Jones.I m normally not a big fan of crime stories, but Himes does an amazing job evoking the time and setting of his narrative, which is roughly sometime in the 1960s The ebb and [...]

  17. I thought this was an excellent read very entertaining I do thin it was directed consciously or unconsciously to a whiter audience and I think it diminishes it There was overemphasis on color If a person were white he didn t necessarily mention or describe it so as to show the white was the outsider Instead, he described and mentioned almost every person of color as if they were the oddity in Harlem We already knew Harlem was black like newspaper articles and descriptions of criminals on televi [...]

  18. Amazingly, Chester Himes wrote crime novels that successfully blend cartoonish violence with extremely poignant moments, and Cotton Comes to Harlem doesn t deviate from his usual style Being part of his nine novel Harlem Cycle series, this installment again focuses on Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, some of the earliest known fictional cops who don t play by the rules and get results and they re even paired with a grumbling chief.As always, Himes novels shed a little light on the black [...]

  19. Very hard boiled Downright misanthropic Like, you re reading it and thinking, wow, this is really misogynistic until you realize that it s not just the women that are portrayed as really venal and contemptible but maybe they are, in the end a little contemptible Look, it s an interesting caper, it s got some good moments, and it s certainly an interesting sketch of the sketchy side of Harlem of a certain time And no doubt Himes gets some good shots in on the varieties of white supremacy and rac [...]

  20. Very enjoyableI 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 do [...]

  21. My first foray into the writing of Chester Himes was a bit of a let down This was a fair detective novel that veered between near comical and sheer anger There is a lot not only between the lines, but in stark, boldfaced type within this short read Himes addresses racism, stereotypes, culture, and economics in his tale, with Harlem as the epicenter To that end, he doesn t steer clear of stereotyping himself, whether racial or sexual There is no shortage of predictable, hard boiled, lurid writing [...]

  22. I picked this up because we saw part of the movie on Bounce one evening It was definitely a fast read, and a look into a world that many know nothing about beyond the movies The only reason this took me some time was because I had a few things erupt the day after I started it This can be done in one sitting by most.

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