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Joe Speaker is a barker at a strip joint who has a heroin habit. After a botched robbery and the violent murder of a prostitute, Joe is thrown in jail. This story of murder and retribution was written by a man who won a PEN contest for convicts, while serving a sentence for armed robbery.
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Seth Morgan (1949–1990) was an American novelist whose sole published title, Homeboy, received much critical acclaim. Morgan drew from his own experiences with San Francisco drug culture and prison in order to write what the New York Times called “an unnerving and utterly persuasive rendition of hell.”
As a young boy, Morgan attended many elite private schools, including St. Bernard’s School in New York and the American School in Switzerland. He also briefly attended the University of California, Berkeley, before dropping out and moving in with singer Janis Joplin. They became engaged shortly before she died. At the time of his own death in a motorcycle accident, Morgan was under contract for a second novel, set in New Orleans and titled Mambo Mephiste.
When Joe Speaker, barker for a San Francisco strip joint, pulls off a caper inadvertently involving a precious diamond necklace, he incurs the wrath of porno king Baby Jewels and the interest of Detective Tarzon. Joe is sent to prison, where he breaks a drug habit and survives by his wits. Meanwhile, on the outside, Baby Jewels is maneuvering; Joe's girl friend is shacked up and pregnant; and various people are plotting, acting, and reacting. There is a dazzling vitality to this first novel. The language is raw; the characters are fresh and outrageous; the style is wicked and impudent. And in the dramatization of good versus evil (and the difficulty of sometimes telling the difference), the author succeeds in providing substance. Though not for readers looking for a standard thriller, this offbeat novel is outstanding and certain to be talked about. (Note: The title refers to prison slang for buddy. )-- Robert E. Donahugh, formerly with Youngstown & Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Random House, New York., 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. First Edition. Late author's first and only book, an acclaimed novel of prison life. Review copy with slip laid in. Fine in fine dustjacket. Seller Inventory # 3514