1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 157: Cry Revenge, by Donald Goines

Again, rather than write a review, I will write a synopsis as Wikipedia is missing an article on this book, but needless to say, as is the case with all of Goines’s novel, it is gritty, and graphic and tragic, and most of all: AWESOME!

 Cry Revenge is a novel by Donald Goines which tells the story of a young Black man named Curtis Carson.  He has plans to graduate from running small-time craps games in his back yard, to partnering up with his friend Dan to become a drug dealer.  His potential supplier is a Mexican man known as Fat George.  Curtis and Dan hustle some money from a Mexican named Pedro via a craps game and approach Fat George about setting up shop.  Fat George though does not like Dan and refuses to do business with him so Curtis goes into the drug dealing business alone, which he prefers as Dan is user and would likely only manage to sell enough to keep up with his own habit.  As the novel progresses Curtis meets a Mexican woman named Shirley with whom he moves in with.  All seems to be going well until Dan comes running into a bar one day and tells Fat George and Curtis that two men are coming into the bar to hold them up, when in actuality the two men work for the police.  As they run in the bartender pulls out a shotgun and both men are killed, though in the process, so too is the bar tender, who happens to be Pedro’s older brother.  Pedro blames Dan for his brother’s death and so goes looking for him.  When Pedro runs into Curtis’s younger brother, a high school basketball star being scouted for college, he asks him where Dan is, and when the young basketball player fails to come up with an answer, he is tortured and shot in the back, leaving him paralyzed.  Curtis catches wind of this and kills Pedro’s sister in retaliation.  Pedro and his surviving brother plan to take out Curtis, but not before taking care of Fat George, who they view as being a friend to the Blacks.  A shootout at Fat George’s apartment leaves a number of corpses and when Curtis hears that the people after him are dead, he decides the only loose end to tie up is Dan, whom he blames for his brother’s situation.  He tracks Dan down to an abandoned building, but while sliding in under some boards, Dan stab Curtis in the back, leaving Curtis paralyzed like his younger brother.  The novel’s conclusion sees Curtis shoot and kill Dan only to find himself falling in and out of consciousness, due to blood loss, while a hoard of rats begin to eat both his and Dan’s bodies.

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Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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