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Understand This by Jervey Tervalon
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Understand This (edition 1995)

by Jervey Tervalon

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241443,774 (3.25)None
Member:railarson
Title:Understand This
Authors:Jervey Tervalon
Info:Anchor (1995), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Understand This by Jervey Tervalon

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I was struggling to finish this book. Only because I read "Dead Above Ground" and it's sequel "Lita" first, I wanted to go back and read his debut novel. Tervlon has definately grown as a writer. It might have been strengthened by sticking with fewer narrators. A strong start for Tervalon, who has since moved into period fiction about New Orleans. The story is tragic and hopeful and insightful and sad all at once. The book, like life, has its melodramatic moments, but also moments of humor and lots of sympathetic insight into a host of interesting people trying, with varying degrees of success, to make the best of their lives. The most interesting character in the book was Crackhead Rika, and is shown to have quickly shed her privileged background to become be a hardened femme fatale figure. Unfortunately, her backstory feels rather incomplete, and as she's a pivotal figure in the narrative, it's a pity Tervalon didn't devote a little more time to her story. ( )
  altima313 | Jun 2, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 068804560X, Hardcover)

An unsentimental novel depicts true-to-life characters in a south central Los Angeles community who struggle for integrity and self-respect in an environment of gangs, guns, drugs, and death. A first novel. 50,000 first printing. Tour.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:39 -0400)

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