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One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding
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One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding (Kitten trilogy #1)

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  19 reviews
"Since 1962 when this novel 1st appeared in the USA, it's been a Rorschach test. An early review of it appeared prominently in the NY Times Book Review, shortly after which the paper refused to run advertisements for the book. Time Magazine gave it a rave while Newsweek was silent, then made up for that silence by using the word genius when they reviewed my 2nd novel. Some ...more
Mass Market Paperback
Published 1981 by Grove Press, "a Black Cat Book" (first published 1961)
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Not too long after the invention of trains those steam-powered juggernauts invariably crashed, whereby people found themselves hard-pressed to turn away from the resulting smoking twisted metal and carnage. Sometime thereafter, the phrase "as hard to look away from as a train wreck" appeared and, as nobody could deny the universal truth therein, some enterprising lad hit upon the bright idea of giving the public what it wanted, albeit in a more controlled and less bloody form. Thus, about a hund ...more
One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding is structured as alternating monologues by two characters: J.C. Holland (a white male college student) and Kitten (a black female prostitute). With the voice of J.C. Holland, Gover expresses “the ignorance and arrogance that is at the heart of racism”. And with the voice of Kitten, Robert Gover not only captures nuances of the then current “black slang” (like one of my favorite words: ofay), but conveys a paradigm shift that brings both characters to life.

Nov 28, 2007 Ama rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Misogynist Racists?
Actually, this book is such a bizarre period piece that I stopped finding it offensive after a few pages and merely found it inexplicable. I suppose it does a fairly effective job of illustrating the cultural differences between a pretentious white frat boy and a teenaged black prostitute, but there's also no discernible plot or character development that stems from their interaction. They bumble through a weekend and then no one's really the better or worse for it... frankly, I'm surprised that ...more
John Hood
Another hard cover first edition found at my neighborhood Books & Books. Delicious.

Also nabbed a copy of Here Goes Kitten, the 2nd in Gover's JC Trilogy, & the third pulp classic I picked up in a nice first ed. over the last week or so.

Gotta luv Mitchell Kaplan!

an encounter alternately related by a white fraternity boy and a black prostitute. they don't seem to agree on anything that happened ...
Patrick Wensink
one of the most underrated books of the 60s.
will probably hate this.
found it today on a swap rack in a local cafe.
has raves on the back from Henry Miller and Gore Vidal but that is most likely from the sensationalist subject matter: white college boy spends weekend with underaged black prostitute, told in alternating first-person chapters.
I imagine her chapters will be less (much less) than believable.
Jan Strnad
Read through the reviews and you'll find that they run the gamut. Some people love it, some absolutely hate it.

Me, I love it and would give it four stars except that I read the Kindle edition and the formatting was terrible. It looks like an unedited OCR job without so much as a bit of extra space separating the two points of view.

Other than that, it's funny and ribald and carries an essential truth that hasn't changed much in the fifty years it was written.
Lori Widmer Bean
Couldn't get through this. It was mildly entertaining, but the depiction of the female lead--an African American hooker-- was unreal. I don't believe for a second that a woman in ANY era would refer to herself as a "pickaninny". It was obvious to me the author was a white man. The book jacket has rave reviews from famous folks, but it causes me to question whether they actually read it or worse, if they're really that clueless about other ethnicities.
Erik Graff
Jul 29, 2010 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sixties fans
Recommended to Erik by: Einar Graff
Shelves: literature
This was one of a bunch of books in Dad's stocking drawer in the parental bedroom while I was a child. Since they were hidden, I was interested and probably read them all, seeking forbidden knowledge and titillation.
This novel, however, was pretty disappointing. There is some sex in it, yes, but the emphasis is on class, race and gender relations from a liberal perspective.
Dated in one way but again relevant in an age of increasing gentrification. The black character is certainly a stereotype as stated in other comments but the clueless, ruthless rich white frat boy is similarly extreme. That contrast of stereotypes isn't a negative, it is why it remains relevant.
Chris Gager
Another one just remembered. I wonder how many more are hidden back there ion the cracks of my memory. This one was memorable for its time for inter-racial sex and humor: "Pussy ain't made of steel..."(or something like that). The lighter side compared to Updike. Date read is a guess.
This book was probably too old and I was probably too young to understand all the racial/cultural implications of this prostitute (I didn't know what a "trick" was--the jargon threw me).
In 11th grade I wrote it was "slow, character study" repetitive and hard to understand"
A friend recommended this book to me. It was an O.K. read. Basically two characters taking turns explaining their side of a story from two totally different perspectives. At times amusing, but generally filler.
James G
Great book showing the point of view of different people and cultures. Makes you think and also laugh!
Patrick Doris
one of the truest saddest books I ever read and one that holds up over the decades
Good perspectives. Main character was an intolerable douche, as I kind of expected.
Brett Van emst
I'm not sure why I kept reading this book. Life is too short.
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Other Books in the Series

Kitten trilogy (3 books)
  • Here Goes Kitten
  • J C Saves
Poorboy at the Party Voodoo Contra Here Goes Kitten The Maniac Responsible On The Run With Dick And Jane

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