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Dodgers by Bill Beverly
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Dodgers (2016)

by Bill Beverly

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39012740,788 (3.94)92
Recently added byrena75, private library, asxz
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A hybrid crime novel that starts off street and develops into something different. Not sure if the tone was consistent throughout and East is a frustrating protagonist, but there was definitely something there. Despite the blurbs, Beverly is no Richard Price, no David Simon... and perhaps I've had enough of books about young black men written by middle-aged white blokes. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
East is a fifteen-year-old gang member who's never left L.A. His job is to watch over the yard of a drug house and alert those running the house of anything suspicious (nosy civilians, cops, etc). When his house gets raided by the police and East is held responsible, he's given a new job, sent to Wisconsin to murder a judge. So begins a life-altering road trip, East riding in a van with three other teen gang members including his thirteen-year-old brother Ty, the designated shooter.

The book is propelled by tension at every turn: the danger of being caught, the conflicts among four young men whose personalities don't mesh and who are accustomed to violence as a problem-solver. The prose is stark, the descriptions just detailed enough and always noted in ways East would notice things. The narrative distance is skillfully wrought, focused on East without ever delving into true introspection.

Sometimes when perspective is kept a bit distant, I find myself detached from the reading experience, but East quickly became important to me. He is quiet, watchful, dedicated to his uncle (the gang boss) and therefore to the tasks given him. He holds his reactions inside, but he isn't stone: the awful things he takes part in or witnesses do affect him. His sense of morality has been skewed by his life thus far, but he's trying to figure out the world around him, for the first time doing so independently, and I read hoping he would succeed.

Dodgers is a proficient debut and a hard hitter, the kind of book with grit under its fingernails and sweat on its palms. The journey from L.A. to Wisconsin and beyond is a memorable one, but most memorable is the journey of East from submissive kid to self-sufficient man. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A dark and poetic story of a group of young men enmeshed in the gang scene of South Central Los Angeles. When they are asked to road trip across the country to kill a prominent judge, the boys, especially East, are awakened to the world outside of what they've known. Plans and circumstances change, leaving East to take matters into his own hands, eventually contemplating creating a new life for himself.

The novel is well-written. The character development and plot twists superb. My only challenge was how authentic the voice of a young LA gang member could be written by a middle aged white man from Michigan. ( )
  ReadHanded | Jun 5, 2018 |
This is an interesting read, somewhat in the vein of Richard Price but shorter and more centered on a single character. Well-written, but not as compelling as I'd hoped and I'm not sure how memorable it will be in the long run. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Beverly delivers a compelling character and an interesting plot, but the novel's denoument feels unnatural. ( )
  AaronFromKansas | Feb 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
Alhoewel gepresenteerd als thriller is Weg veel meer een soort van coming-of-age roman. East is een vijftienjarige jongen die als bewaker van een drugspand actief. De politie rolt het drugspand op. East is er getuige van dat een jong meisje slachtoffer wordt van de gewelddadigheden die tijdens het oprollen van het drugspand. Van de leider van de criminele bende krijgt hij hierna de opdracht om een belangrijke getuige die in het Midwesten woonachtig is te liquideren...lees verder >
 
Four LA gang members travel east on a take out mission...what follows is a journey not only filled with miscalculations, misunderstandings, and a car ride through the US, but the story takes you on East's struggle with who he is, who he doesn't want to become, and the life he seemingly is bound to live. It's a fast paced tale that concludes in a surprising, unexpected manner, and it's an action driven plot that has the reader glimpse into the life of what it means to be an urban, black youth in America.
added by crmesko | editThe LibraryThing Early Reviewers (Apr 25, 2016)
 
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This book is for Olive, who gave me a new life.
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The Boxes was all the boys knew; it was the only place.
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Sent by his uncle along with his hotheaded brother and other teens to kill a major witness, East, a young gang member from Los Angeles, finds his perspectives changed by his encounters outside of the city.

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