Harlem Shuffle

Time to catch up on some great/good books I’ve been reading and yet not reviewing. TBH, this blog is not a priority to me, but I know reviewing the books I read, even for just myself, is good. So here I am, reviewing the new Colson Whitehead book, Harlem Shuffle, which is out this September and a very different beat for Whitehead, who has two Pulitzers for his last two books.

This one…not going to win the Pulitzer. Well-written, but it reads as very well written genre fiction, and while I enjoyed it, I did find it very ‘tell not show’-y and didn’t feel like it packed a punch. It’s a good read, sure, I enjoyed it, but if you had told me only afterwards that it was written by Colson Whitehead, I don’t know that I would have believed you. Not because the writing is bad–it truly is not, but this was just…something.

This book is set in Harlem, surprise, in the 1960s and follows a furniture salesman who gets tangled up in crime and fencing stolen products and the like through family ties, expectations once you’re in, and impending trouble when people start dying and snitching. There’s bribing cops, cracking safes, burying bodies, running schemes and scams and fencing stolen jewels, and while it’s an interesting read, it feels more like a 2 hour movie than a BOOK, ya know?

I gave this one 3.8 stars because I did enjoy it, but I was kind of underwhelmed for it as a book, but especially a book by Colson Whitehead. But you know what, not every book is going to be a Pulitzer winner, and that’s fine!

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead is on sale everywhere September 14, 2021


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