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The Book Of Numbers
 
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Robert Deane Pharr
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The Book Of Numbers

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  11 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
In the hardboiled tradition of Chester Himes and Walter Mosely, Robert Deane Pharr's novel tells the tale of two black men, Dave and Blueboy, traveling waiters who establish themselves as numbers runners in a fictionalized Richmond of the 1930s. Published to great acclaim in 1969, The Book of Numbers centers on powerful themes of truth and illusion, myth and legend, and ...more
Published (first published 1969)
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M.T.
Aug 03, 2016 M.T. rated it really liked it
Probably 3.5, but I'll give a 4 since it's hometown writing. A great look at the Wards of Richmond, Virginia during after the depression to pre-WWII era. There are some drags in the middle, then it hits the gas to conclude almost too quickly.
Would make a great addition to any African-American Lit class, especially to compare/contrast with better-known writers documenting and exploring themes like 'madness' created by segregated/racist society.
Jim
Apr 25, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Rich foray into African American culture outside of the Harlem Renaissance. The fast life of black entrepreneurs undertake transforming a small Virgina town into an economic capital via the numbers racket. Fantastic characterization and dialog if not a little rambling and long. But such a technical miscalculation pales next to the freshness here. Looking forward to reading more of Pharr's work.
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Novelist. Rediscovered in the late 1960s after an interrupted career, Robert Deane Pharr constructs a critique of the American dream and the African American community's ability to attain it. As a social critic, literary realist, and pioneer in the exploration of the mechanics of writing, Robert Deane Pharr stands as an exemplar for authors who followed him.
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