a.m. noir

Woke up early so I snuck into the basement and kept reading A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes. He has a really insane way of keeping you glued to the page with a pulp realism that is always just a bit off-kilter but only by a frog's hair. What keeps things moving ahead so swiftly is Goldy, a cross-dressed nun who reluctantly helps his twin brother out of a pinch. I am pleasantly surprised that a narrative from the fifties could be so dependent on a cross-dressing con man (as a nun he sells "tickets to heaven"). I haven't finished the book yet, and there's always a chance that Goldy will bite the dust or be hauled to jail, thus restoring normalcy by the end, but right now Himes seems to me way ahead of the curve on post-war conventions.

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