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Paperback The Queen of Harlem Book

ISBN: 0767908392

ISBN13: 9780767908399

The Queen of Harlem

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

An African American Breakfast at Tiffany's -a hip, refreshingly candid tale of identity and self--discovery from the critically acclaimed author of The View from Here and Walking Through Mirrors. Mason Randolph, a black preppie of impeccable Southern pedigree, is bound for Stanford Law School after graduating from college. Before embarking on the path to his golden future, however, he takes a detour through Harlem, where he intends to live "authentically"...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


I don't know what I expected when I picked up this book. I have never read anything by this author and the cover looked interesting. So here goes.....Mason needed to discover himself and the only logical way to do that was to spend time in Harlem. But to do that he became Malik. Malik befriends Carmen, who kind of reminds you of a fading beauty queen that refuses to give up her crown, and the mystery begins. Jackson's write extremely well. The story will keep you turning the pages until you get to the end. And what an ending ... I was stunned. I had to read it again. Jackson's use of similes was great. My favorite line came from Carmen "There was a time when all we wanted was forty acres and a mule; now we're drinking forty's and acting like asses". How very true!!!Needless to say, I'll be reading more of Mr. Jackson.Peace and Blessings!!

A Fun Ride

The Queen of Harlem reminds me of my favorite amusement park ride the roller coaster (the old fashioned wooden ones). There are highs, lows, surprises, and just when you get the hang of it the ride is over.Though a story of Mason Randolph, my favorite character is Carmen England -- The Queen. I envision her as a woman every man would want and a woman that every woman would want to be. She has an acute eye of the human condition and has no hesitation in sharing her observations. My favorite line is from a scene where Mason/Malik has a forty ounce bottle of beer in the refrigerator and upon Carmen's discovery of it holds it up as if it were a dirty sock and asks "what's this." When told it is a "forty" she responds, "there was a time when all we wanted was forty acres and a mule; now we're drinking forty's and acting like asses."The Queen of Harlem is not for everyone -- no book is -- but I think in its pages you'll glimpse a little of yourself or certainly someone you may know. The picture you'll see is worth the price of admission.Enjoy!!!

I Relinquish My Crown

I won't go into great detail because to do so would reveal too much of the book. However, who among us has not pretended to be someone we are not to impress others or pretended to be less than we are to fit in. The publishers compare this to Breakfast at Tiffany's. I've read that book and must say Holly Golightly has nothing on Carmen England. Up until now I considered myself to be the Queen of Harlem, but honey, I relinquish my crown.

Believe None of What You See

You know the cliche sayings: "Don't judge a book by its cover ", "There is more than meets the eye", and "What is done in the dark will surely be brought to the light". Well all of these sayings and more apply to the two main characters in the Queen of Harlem. Mason needs to reinvent himself. Prove that he is down with the brothers and the hood. Sans preppy clothes, groomed hair and private schooling persona; dons baggy pants, dreadlocks and a homeboy swagger and we have Malik, just another boy n' the hood instead of the rich kid on his way to Stanford Law School. Anxious to escape his privileged southern upbringing, Malik embraces all that Harlem has to offer including the Queen of Harlem, Carmen. This mysterious lady gives an aura of a fading movie queen. Furs, evening gowns, name dropping, playboy boyfriends, she does it all and with class. She chooses Malik over other prospective renters because he appears needy. Malik is in like flint, makes new friends and he is enjoying the masquerade until the proverbial mess hits the fan. His days of exploring New York and loafing in cafes writing in his journal comes to an abrupt end when the lies start running together. The characterizations and writing is superb with rich phrasing details, metaphors, and similes that won't quit, yet they are real and not contrived. There are even some old time sayings like 'stepping in high cotton'. Jackson places you in contemporary Harlem with glimpses of Marcus Garvey Park, the restaurants, and the people who inhabit there. On an APOOO scale this was a 4.5, rounded off to a 5 for review. A definite 2002 must read, this offering is sure to cause a buzz.Dera WilliamsAPOOO Book Club

All hail the queen

Mason Randolph has always been known as "the black guy." He grew up in an environment in Louisiana where he could easily be identified by this nomer. Determined to experience the black experience in all of its glory, he heads to Harlem where he reinvents himself as Malik, an around the way boy. He boards with socialite Carmen England, a woman who seemingly knows all the right people. Continuing his facade with the friends he makes and with Carmen, he is forced to make a decision about who he is when he meets Kyra, the daughter of a well-to-do family.Brian Keith Jackson unravels Mason's story through admirable prose. The Queen of Harlem is embedded with lessons about finding oneself and about the masks people sometimes hide behind. This is a worthy addition to any fiction lover's reading list. Reviewed by CandaceK
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