Zelmont Raines was once a Super Bowl-winning wide receiver. But recurring injuries, a self-destructive lifestyle and too many run-ins with the law have submarined his career. Back in L.A. after bombing out of the European League, his one last chance is the expansion team in town, the Barons. Unfortunately for Zelmont, the roar of the crowds and the adulation of the fans-not to mention the money and the honeys that go with it-are no longer his for the taking. Bumped, the bitter athlete falls in with Wilma Wells, the smart (and fine) lawyer for the Barons. She's got ideas Zelmont likes...and not just in the bedroom. Soon he and his friend, the switch-hitting ex-pro defensive tackle Napoleon Graham, throw in with Wells to rip off the mobbed-up owner of the Barons. It's only then that Zelmont discovers that no matter how fast he can jook, no matter how tough he can fake, trouble is closing in on him way too fast. Mix elements of Jim Thompson with the street-smart verve of Donald Goines, add a couple of dashes of the compact delivery of Richard Stark, and you get The Jook: a crime novel where football and venal ambitions collide in the end zone.
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Gary Phillips, the respected author of three Ivan Monk mystery novels, has also been an L.A.-based activist and community organizer for over two decades. His work on community empowerment issues ranging from affordable housing to the narco-industrial complex is evident in the crisp reality of his fiction. His political and pop culture pieces have run in the L.A. Times, L.A. Watts Times, Baltimore Sun, Black Scholar Journal and Rap Pages magazines. He has been seen on TV news shows as well, including Week in Review, CBS News and BET Tonight. He has also made radio appearances on KCRW, 92.3, KDAY, and KOST.From Booklist:
Zelmont Raines scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl and was an All-Pro receiver with a string of endorsement deals. Unfortunately, he also likes to smoke crack, quench his thirst with top-shelf brandy, and entertain the fine ladies who hang out with the stars. Three stints in drug rehab, a paternity suit (guilty), a hip injury, and some misguided investments in gangsta rap have Raines thinking the good times are over. Then he meets his match--sexually and amorally--in Wilma Wells, the lawyer for the Los Angeles Barons. She's scheming to rip off the mob-connected owner of the Barons and enlists the aid of the cash-hungry and always-horny Raines. She leads him into a netherworld where the between-the-lines violence of professional football pales in the face of automatic weapons and double crosses. Phillips, author of the acclaimed Ivan Monk series, takes elements of Jim Thompson (the ending), black-exploitation flicks (the profanity-fueled dialogue), and Penthouse magazine (the sex is anatomically correct) to create an over-the-top violent caper in which there is no honor, no respect, no love, and plenty of money. Anyone who liked George Pelecanos' King Suckerman is going to love this even-grittier take on many of the same themes. Wes Lukowsky
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Book Description Los Angeles, CA: Really Great Books, 1999. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition, first printing, paperback original, unread in MINT (Very-Fine) condition (no marks/flaws, etc); SIGNED by Gary Phillips directly on the title page (simply signed, not inscribed to anyone). Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 5226
Book Description Really Great Books, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st ptg edition. 240 pages. 7.50x5.00x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __1893329046
Book Description Really Great Books, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111893329046