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Cieco con la pistola (Harlem Cycle #8)

by
3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  435 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
New York is sweltering in the summer heat, and Harlem is dose to the boiling point. To Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, at times it seems as if the whole world has gone mad. Trying, as always, to keep some kind of peace-their legendary nickel-plated Colts very much in evidence-Coffin Ed and Grave Digger find themselves pursuing two completely different cases throu ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published 2010 by BUR (first published 1969)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,318)
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Dan Schwent
When a pantsless man with his throat cut dies at the feet of Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones, it's up to the toughest detectives in Harlem to find out who killed him. But can they solve the murder and figure out who's causing the riots that threaten to destroy Harlem?

Hot Day, Hot Night, aka Blind Man with a Pistol, is more than a pulp detective story. Like Himes's other books featuring Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones, it's a commentary about racism and racial equality. You can definitely tell
...more
Roy
This novel by Chester Himes is basically an example of existentialism old school Harlem style. It may not be for everybody, certainly not for readers who want a clear cut answer at the end of their whodunnits, but I'm pretty sure Kafka and Camus would have approved of Blind Man with a Pistol. Who killed the pants-less man, why did that woman kill that guy, is any one person or organization behind the marches that quickly escalate into riots and looting? Questions such as these are asked, most ar ...more
Mike
At some point, my optimism and I have to part ways; it’s either sadistic or I’m a dumbass who can’t even learn as well as a pigeon or both. I’ve looked forward to this book for several months and even after it became clear it was a disappointment I kept reading on the off-chance it would get better (peck the right disc, dumbass!). But nope. The characters are flat. The book is vulgar without wit, like a teenager who mutters “cock” at the dinner table and then looks around to see if he can have t ...more
Chris
Jan 24, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
This is the only Himes I've read and I'm guessing it probably isn't the best place to start -- see Ben Winch's great review of another Himes book for a summary of Himes' work -- but I've been meaning to put up this quote from the book because it is so damn good:

While Coffin Ed was transmitting the essential facts over the radio-phone, colored people in various stages of undress began emerging from the black dark tenements alongside. Black women in terrycloth robes with their faces greased and t
...more
Kayla
Honestly didn't follow most of the book. There was a lot of skipping around and too many different point of views. The crimes weren't solved...which I'm sure has some significance but at this point I'm not sure what. I guess the author just hated the way things were at the time and was trying to show Harlem for what it was. Interesting book though and I'll probably like it more when I re-read it not expecting the crimes to be solved and focusing more on why it's written the way it is.
Darryl
Jan 31, 2011 Darryl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Harlem, a summer in the late 1960s: temperatures are sweltering, and its residents are becoming more agitated and tense, fueled by a series of protests and violent murders that threaten to tear the neighborhood's fragile structure apart. Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, two of NYC's finest detectives, are called upon to solve these crimes and help restore order. The two encounter a variety of odd and unsavory characters, including a preacher who claims to be 100 years old and the father ...more
Sarah
Dec 10, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, how sad that this series is over, but the ending of this book is completely satisfying and addresses the issue of racism that Himes has been confronting thoughout these books. There are good & bad people in any ethnicity and Himes makes sure the reader knows it; some of the characters know this too, but not all, which is where the drama begins.

There is a race riot going on in Harlem. There are a variety of different groups mentioned as being involved & not two of these groups can get
...more
Jessica
Himes has somewhat faded from view for modern mystery readers, but his Harlem Cycle is due a renaissance - his noir take on the African American experience presages Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins but has its own unique sensibility. His lead detectives are grudgingly aware of their set-down place in their world, and their cynical humor is both acerbic and heart-breaking.
Scott
May 27, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is where, with his 8th book, Chester Himes ended his Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson series (there is the unfinished Plan B after this). The chaos that is in all the books takes over, and we get a blistering, almost absurdist novel where violence is rampant and none of the major crimes, including murders, gets solved. The final images are those of total communication breakdown and, quite literally, a blind man with a pistol firing his gun in the enclosed space of a crowded NYC subwa ...more
Deanne
Muddled crime novel, which seems more focused on the violence than actually solving the murders. Some of the murders seem to be included for the sake of more violence, with no real motive being explained. This includes the Blind Man with the pistol.
Juan Carlos
Sep 29, 2014 Juan Carlos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En esta novela los detectives Ed y Digger vigilan las calles de Harlem desde su birrioso sedán negro'Plymouth' intentando descubrir qué ha motivado las revueltas de la comunidad negra. Durante las mismas se han producido una serie de asesinatos a cual más violento y que en el fondo se encuentran interconectados entre sí. El motivo aparente de las algaradas es la fuerza del movimiento Black Power en ese momento, la tendencia contraria a éste en los métodos de la Hermandad, el ascenso de los Musul ...more
Eric Stone
May 26, 2011 Eric Stone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wacky, fun, hard-boiled Himes.
Jen
3.5 stars
Two Harlem cops are following two cases in Harlem at a time of racial tension and outbreak of riots and demonstration. The characters are odd and mostly corrupt or powerless police (with the exception of the two protagonists, two African American detectives whose beat is Harlem), prostitutes, criminals, some strange cultist types, etc. Characters are not really well developed and this is more driven by the cases and the stories about the riots.

Amazon described this as grotesquely comic
...more
wally
Sep 29, 2013 wally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: himes
1st from himes for me...

blind man with a pistol, chester himes, 1969...this version paperback, a 1989 printing...first vintage books edition, december 1989
191 story-pages long.

a preface
"a friend of mine, phil lomax, told me this story about a blind man with a pistol...and thought further that all unorganized violence is like a blind man with a pistol."
--chester himes

and this reader thought that all violence w/a pistol is organized, may it do ya fine, the deuce coupe de diablo. cue the fat lady.

t
...more
tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
I shd really create a bkshelf called "crime fiction" & get rid of "mysteries" since most of what I call "mysteries" here are more appropriately called the former. That's the case here. Himes is yet-another author I've known about for a long time w/o ever having gotten around to reading until now. This bk is copyrighted 1969 & reading it falls conveniently on the heels of my listening to a record of an Eldridge Cleaver speech at Syracuse Univ in 1968. Why convenient? B/c Cleaver was a bla ...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Chi sia il cieco con la pistola rimane un mistero fino alla fine e onestamente anche dopo.
Per un aficionado del genere hard-boiled, sotto genere 'noir fiction', non sarebbe necessariamente un problema, ma se cercate un giallo classico, questo romanzo della serie di Himes ambientata ad Harlem non c'azzecca granchè.
I protagonisti sono due detective neri in una Harlem nera, dove tutte le vacche sono nere, Ed 'la bara' e John 'scavafosse'. E i nomi sono invece appropriatissimi: hanno un fare quasi
...more
Víctor Blanco
Jan 03, 2015 Víctor Blanco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir
Tiene una estructura atípica. Me maravillaba y me desconcertaba a medida que iba pasando páginas y me daba cuenta de que todo lo sucedido seguía un ritmo errático. Entonces me di cuenta de que la novela era efectivamente tan imprevisible como un ciego con una pistola.
Grace
Oct 09, 2015 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This is probably not the best Chester Himes work to start with (which is what I did). I won't say I enjoyed it, because I don't think I did--my main feeling while reading this was confusion. However, the class I read this for had some very meaningful discussions and I think it definitely helped me grow as a reader. It was definitely never boring.
Ellee
Lots of action. Definitely in a hard-boiled style. Racial tension, several murders, various other crimes make for a tense read. The story moves back and forth in time a bit, but in general progresses chronologically. I especially like it because the disjointedness between the chapters imitates the chaos of events and the confusion of the police (both the African American detectives - the main characters - and the personality-less white cops & detectives & officials they work with). Very ...more
Diego Paim
Ok this was a big mess. If you expect to read a classical mystery novel with investigation and crimes solution and everything, this is not the case. This book is about racism, violence, and inequality. It's a long commentary on the reality of Harlem in the 60's, the whole spectrum of violence and the way people see each other (be ready to read a lot of slurs) back in that time. I was disappointed, cause I was expecting this social critique background but with the investigation, the mystery, the ...more
Robert
Apr 27, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Himes's Harlem detective series, this is the masterpiece, though it will help to have read at least some of the earlier volumes in the series, like Cotton Comes to Harlem, to get some context. This one takes place in the Harlem riots, and the structure of novel remarkably captures that chaos, while the substance makes deep political points in a light way. I re-read it recently, and it seems remarkably prophetic in a way that is larger than its immediate topic -- I find myself wondering how fa ...more
Loretta
A mealy one that begs you chew thoroughly before swallowing...
Anna
Mar 23, 2014 Anna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
uh....I have no idea what I just read and I feel like I dropped acid.
Jon
Oct 09, 2015 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but this one felt a bit more disjointed.
Teresa
Jul 13, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: friend-rec
This was a raw, hard noir crime novel set in the 60s in Harlem from the perspective of residents. I must read more Chester Himes!
Toni
Aug 15, 2012 Toni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book ended up being an interesting read after a very slow start. I can't say that I liked it or that I really know exactly what even happened. It was a very odd book as it was difficult to follow the narrative (lots of jumping around) and to keep track of the characters. I guess I would say it is more of a snapshot of a point in time...a glimpse of chaos as described by the author in the preface to the book.

This will likely be a book that I will appreciate more as I let it settle and as I
...more
Harry Burnside
When is a detective novel. When it is social commentary disguised as a detective novel.
Spiegel
Jan 15, 2015 Spiegel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Copiado do meu registro do Bookcrossing.

Li já tem um tempinho. Está numa das listas dos 1001 livros para ler antes de morrer ("Blind Man with a Pistol"), imagino que devido ao retrato da tensão racial em Nova York nos anos 60. Confesso que não me entusiasmou tanto assim. É mais uma série de acontecimentos do que um enredo propriamente dito e o estilo do autor não me agradou o suficiente para carregar o livro na falta de uma história.
Don Dahlmann
Netter Krimi aus den 50er Jahren, das Setting ist im afro-amerikanischen Bereich angesiedelt, transportiert aber auch die üblicher "tougher privatdetektiv" storyline.
Ffiamma
May 26, 2013 Ffiamma rated it liked it
Shelves: americana
più che un romanzo, mancando completamente una trama di senso compiuto, un insieme di bozzetti e storie sulla harlem di allora. alcuni divertentissimi nella loro volgarità, altri meno riusciti- ma tutti, credo, estremamente realistici. mi ha molto ricordato i blaxploitation movies degli anni '70. sconsigliato se si cerca una storia noir, consigliato se si è curiosi del periodo e si vuole un po' di colore e sociologia.
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Chester Bomar Himes began writing in the early 1930s while serving a prison sentence for armed robbery. From there, he produced short stories for periodicals such as Esquire and Abbott's Monthly. When released, he focussed on semi-autobiographical protest novels.

In 1953, Himes emigrated to France, where he was approached by Marcel Duhamel of Gallimard to write a detective series for Série Noire,
...more
More about Chester Himes...

Other Books in the Series

Harlem Cycle (9 books)
  • A Rage in Harlem
  • The Real Cool Killers (Harlem Cycle, #2)
  • The Crazy Kill (Harlem Cycle, #3)
  • The Big Gold Dream (Harlem Cycle, #4)
  • All Shot Up (Harlem Cycle, #5)
  • The Heat's On (Harlem Cycle, #6)
  • Cotton Comes to Harlem (Harlem Cycle, #7)
  • Plan B (Harlem Cycle, #9)

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