Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse

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9780446522663: Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse
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Offers a portrait of life on the street as seen through the eyes of a streetwise rapper and leader of an eighty-member Brooklyn crack gang

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Review:

Rookie author Douglas Century delivers a gritty account of street life in urban America. Street Kingdom started out in 1992 as an odd-couple friendship between Century, a Jewish-Canadian Princeton alum, and Big K, a black New Yorker trying to overcome his criminal past and become a rap star. Their five-year relationship--full of culture clashes at turns funny, depressing, and harrowing--allows Century to examine prison life, the sociology of gangs, and the meaning of success in the 1990s. Big K is an irresistible character study: a 270-pound, larger-than-life, one-man melting pot with roots in Jamaica and Panama. His raps blend Caribbean slang, Spanish influences, and the sensibilities (and insensibilities) of urban America. The book's heavy use of profanity may be authentic, but it's also numbing, and Century's decision to use aliases diminishes his otherwise fine journalism. Yet there is much to recommend: the narrative is strong, and Century (who has written for Forward and the New York Times) occasionally recalls the powerful work of Alex Kotlowitz and Ron Suskind. Readers interested in the human side of urban pathology will want to discover this promising new talent. --John J. Miller

About the Author:

Douglas Century was born and raised in Canada and graduated from Princeton University. A contributing editor at The Forward newspaper, he has written several original screenplays, and his nonfiction has appeared in numerous publications including Newsday, New York magazine, and the Village Voice. He lives in New York City with his wife and is at work on his second book.

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9780446675635: Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse

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ISBN 10:  0446675636 ISBN 13:  9780446675635
Publisher: Warner Books, 2000
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