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Standing at the Scratch Line: King Tremain Series, Book 1 (Tremain Family Saga #1)

4.52 of 5 stars 4.52  ·  rating details  ·  401 ratings  ·  77 reviews

Raised in the steamy bayous of New Orleans in the early 1900s, LeRoi "King" Tremain, caught up in his family's ongoing feud with the rival DuMont family, learns to fight. But when the teenage King mistakenly kills two white deputies during a botched raid on the DuMonts, the Tremains' fear of reprisal forces King to flee Louisiana.

MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published March 26th 2010 by Recorded Books, LLC (first published December 1st 1998)
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Eric
Wow. What a great book! Not at all what I expected. Completely unique, which is kind of a shame. I mean, why hasn't a story like this been told before? A pre-Civil Rights story about an African American male who is not a door mat shouldn't be such a novel concept, but it is. Yes, the fact that he is almost a super-human hero was a bit hard for me to swallow at first. But then I remembered that I have read lots of books with similar off-the-charts, Superman-like male protagonists (spys, assassins ...more
Uranie
All males should read this book. Strong, positive and loyal AA male figure.
Keith
I stumbled upon Guy Johnson and his work while searching for “Pym” by Mat Johnson at my local library. I gave it a shot and was surprised with “Standing at the Scratch Line”. King Tremain is a complex and well layered character that honestly made me want to understand his train of thought and look into his future.

Johnson used a lot of different characters like Serena, Big Ed, and Darwin “The Professor” Morris to give us a view of various characters that were involved in King’s life. Honestly, I
...more
Kimberly Carmen
This book had me thinking about what KING TREMAIN would do in certain situations. He is a simple yet complex man in his relationships with those around him. Family took form as blood relatives, people he trusted and of course his military associates. He was no nonsense and upfront. His knack for taking what he wanted chimed throughout the entire book. However, he was not a selfish man.

Early in the book LeRoi "King" Tremain is sent away from his family for his actions while protecting his family
...more
Cassondra
King Tremain is a complex character with many layers and dimensions. I admired his strength, appreciated his love of family and honor, his courage was sexy and his dark side was scary but necessary.

The story is exciting, thought provoking and cathartic. Social, psychological, financial and emotional issues are all addressed in this creative story of love, loss, growth and maturity. I can see each of character in this book. From the international scene of World War I to streets of Harlem and from
...more
Terrica
This is my absolute favorite book!!! I read this book over 10 years ago & it is still my favorite!! King Tremain was a man's man despite being black during an era when being black meant being less than. He didn't take no mess from anyone! No other book has completely enthrallled me and has me wishing for more stories about the main character!!! I would live to see this book made into a movie!

I was so moved by the main character that I kept giving my husband updates while being pregnant with
...more
Will
This is my favorite book hands down; I have never been so excited about a character in a book before where I visualized that the character was myself. The main character in this book is a strong, wise, fearless, family oriented, loving brother that will not back down from any situation in order to protect the ones he care for and love. Guy Johnson, the author, also drops tid bits of history in this book (i love authors who do that), with the history he weaves in this story it encourages you to g ...more
Kathy
This has to be one of the best books I read. What I hate is he only published 2 books and stopped
Dana
One of my all time favorite books, this is fabulous . It would make a great movie!
Larry
This book is jam packed with -- with what? -- adventure? suspense? plot-twists? If it was a movie, it would have a form of "Deliverance" in it, a healthy dose of "Band of Brothers", a smorgasbord of "The Godfather", "Mississippi Burning", and what I would say fits the form, if not the proper setting of a terrific Western, like "Pale Rider". And yet, it ends with a mix of Old Testament Bible and Greek Tragedy. In short, it's not lacking in content. And it does not come across as contrived as it g ...more
Virginia
I enjoy this book at the beginning, but unfortunately the author could not keep my first impression throughout the whole book. The principal problem was that his main character, King, was never truly known by the reader. The author could not make King come alive to me. He was almost like a mythical avenger toward everyone who is evil or has done evil to his people. I never got to know the character, King, I just read about him. Maybe I was supposed to hate King, maybe I was supposed to love King ...more
Corey Matthews
I could not put this book down! I never considered myself a lover of adventure novels but this masterpiece was multidimensional and unlike any other African American piece. It was action packed but not of the messy sort completely principled with clear moral direction. Certainly a great and rich experience. I'm ordering the sequel right now!
Melinda
WOW!! This was one of the most exciting books I've ever read----truly a page turner. The story spans the years from WWI through WWII giving a unique perspective of the African American experience in that time frame. The author has depicted King Tremain, the main character, as a strong, proud, Black man during a time when it was especially difficult to survive the constant indignities of racism. The reader follows Kings as he leaves his teens in Louisiana, participates in a segregated army unit i ...more
Beverly Barthiel
Wow! This book takes you on an exciting adventure from WWI through WWII. King Tremain the central character is a "man's man". He goes through life on his own terms. He is at heart family oriented even though he is extremely tough. I love this book.
Deanie
Aug 25, 2009 Deanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone 18+
Recommended to Deanie by: Olivette Thompson
This is the first installment of a family saga written by Guy Johnson, son of Maya Angelou. Obviously he inherited her gift for communicating. The novel spans from 1916-1946 through larger-than-life protagonist LeRoi Boudreaux Tremain-aka King. From the trenches of WWI to 1940s San Francisco, by way of Harlem and New Orleans, King takes part in a family feud at 14, fights with the all-black 369th Regiment in the fields of Alsace-Lorraine, does battle with the mob, the KKK and law enforcement age ...more
Trinia
I really enjoyed this book. It was very detailed and chronicled King's life well. There was no point that I wondered what would happen without reading about it later. When the book ended, I wasn't thinking, " I wonder what happened to ....."
But yes, it was looooooong!! but with the detail provided the length of the book was warranted.
Ian Talley
I love this fictional piece. It showcases black empowerment and wealth during a time when the odds were definitely against us to even be considered humans.
Bill Littell
This book is terrible. I don't fault the author as much as I do the Goodreads community whose extremely high ratings duped me into reading this awful book.
Byron
This Klantastic account of a psychotically angry African-American killing all who stand against him (including plenty of Klansman) would make a fucking awesome blaxsploitation film. The language is pretty simplistic, though, by no means a great book, but a fun ride. The author is the son of Maya Angelou, btw. I listened to it as an audio book, and the reader did a great job with black vernacular, but had some difficulty sounding like the racist crackers of the South. He should have impersonated ...more
Melissa Leggon allen
This book was wonderfully descriptive and had you cheering for King immediately. An awesome read, I could see this as a movie.
Sam Reaves
There's nothing like a big historical epic to keep me up at night. This one takes us into the under-explored territory of the African American experience in the early twentieth century. A tough Louisiana backwoods kid has to flee the bayous after killing a sheriff's deputy; he serves in the segregated U.S. Army in World War I and then comes back to Jazz Age Harlem and points west in a country where he is a second-class citizen, fighting for respect the whole way. The dialogue is a bit stilted at ...more
Paris Milan
Great read! I loved every page and King Tremain was amazing! Either you hate him or you love him..and I loved him!
Debra Odom
I was sorry to see this book end. This book was outstanding!
Karen
I feel conflicted about this book. I wanted to love it since I love Maya Angelou. But I did not really like his writing style. Some things were very predictable and cliche. However, I read the whole thing. Lol! Typically I would have just stopped reading a book that I wasn't enjoying more. Despite the writing style, I wanted to know what happened next. I enjoyed that the story revealed parts of the story of this country from a voice not usually heard. Glad I finished. Wouldn't read it again. I l ...more
Kaamilya 6
One of the best book I have ever read!
Talithia
I fell in love with these characters.
Dino
This was an excellent saga!
Serenity L
Great book. but I didn't like how it ended
Crystal Marie
One of the best books I've ever read. I recommended it to a friend, who hates reading, which was a bold move bc of it's length, and he loved it. It's got drama, suspense, romance, lots of action, gore, everything you could ever ask for. a true great piece of historical fiction.
If you can ignore some of the lengthy descriptions (unless you like that), and don't mind that you may have to look up some words, you will love this book.
I've read it multiple times and it still captivates me every time.
Kesha
This book was recommended to our book club members by an author that said it was his favorite book. I was a little intimidated when I saw how many pages it had, but I kept reading. In the end I thought that this was a really good book as well. I'm interested in finding out what happens to King and Serena's family, so I'm definitely going to purchase the sequel immediately. Just as someone recommended it to us, I would definitely recommend it for others to read. Guy Johnson did a wonderful job!!!
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