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Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead
Hardcover $29.00
Jul 18, 2023 | ISBN 9780385545150

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  • Jul 18, 2023 | ISBN 9780593455586

    648 Minutes

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    Jul 18, 2023 | ISBN 9780593455579

    660 Minutes

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Praise

A Best Book of the Year: The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, NPR, Esquire, BookPage


“Dazzling … a glorious and intricate anatomy of the heist, the con and the slow game … [Whitehead] uses the crime novel as a lens to investigate the mechanics of a singular neighborhood at a particular tipping point in time. He has it right: the music, the energy, the painful calculus of loss. Structured into three time periods — 1971, 1973 and finally the year of America’s bicentennial celebration, 1976 — “Crook Manifesto” gleefully detonates its satire upon this world while getting to the heart of the place and its people.”
Walter Mosley, New York Times Book Review (cover)

“Whitehead’s New York of the ‘70s is a fully realized universe down to the most meticulous details (Parts of “Crook Manifesto” would pair nicely with Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker”) … Crook Manifesto” and “Harlem Shuffle” also form a joint reminder, as if we still needed one, that crime fiction can be great literature. These books are as resonant and finely observed as anything Whitehead has written. They have the pulpy verve of Harlem’s crime fiction godfather, Chester Himes, combined with the literary heft of Whitehead’s more garlanded novels.”
—Los Angeles Times

 “Remarkable…For all its slapstick fun, this project also contains the same gravitas as August Wilson’s seminal 10-play Century Cycle about Black life in Pittsburgh … When Carney is reflecting, attempting to better understand how Black Harlemites and Black Americans have survived before and will survive again, Whitehead is at his best. It makes this story feel important, not just entertaining, not just suspenseful, not just another surefire bestseller from a beloved author. These are crime novels, yes; funny and fast-paced. They are also the first two installments of a grand historical epic. Novel writing at its best. Bigger and better, together, than anything Whitehead has written before.” —The Washington Post
 
“Whitehead’s flair for texture is as sharp as ever…Ray, May, Elizabeth and Pepper in particular are by turns exasperating and aspirational. Life gets thrown at them, and they throw themselves back in return. These are people you crave to catch up with, and in Whitehead’s hands, the vast and intangible forces of society, injustice, morality, survival and love are distilled in them.”
—NPR

“Through brilliantly constructed twists and turns, set in a vibrantly detailed 1970s New York City, Whitehead once again demonstrates his prowess as an author whose work can stand out in any genre. His latest crime novel is simultaneously sharp, funny, and full of heart—and an elegant portrait of Harlem and its residents.”
Time

“In this stylish social novel for the twenty-first century, Whitehead soars to new heights.” —Esquire

“[A] masterwork of stylish noir and social satire … Whitehead’s larger project propels us forward, probing the whipsaw of race and the ouroboros of virtue and vice.”
—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
 
“A dazzling sequel to Harlem Shuffle … Two-time Pulitzer-winning author Whitehead shows no sign of resting on his laurels. Crook Manifesto continues the brilliantly realized sequence that began with Harlem Shuffle, intricately depicting cultural history and family drama with the compelling energy of a crime thriller and the sharp wit of social satire. Harlem itself is one of the lead characters, and there are echoes of other chroniclers of this burg such as James Baldwin and Chester Himes. In ambition and scope, in the way the intimate is so deftly weaved with the epic, one is also reminded of Balzac. Whitehead has embarked on a great comédie humaine of his own.” —The Guardian
 
“Fierce and glorious … Sentence by brilliant, funny sentence, a masterpiece” —People

“[Whitehead] combines the crime caper form with the Dickensian social novel and powers it all with a turbo charge of humor and a rich Harlem setting.” Tampa Bay Times

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