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Get Down: Stories

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Asali Solomon's characters are vivid misfits--a heathen at Jesus camp, a scheming prep-school student, a middle-aged mom pining for her salsa-dancing salad days, a scheming twentysomething virgin, a college stud in love with his weight-lifting partner, a lonely girl in love with a yellow dress. The kids in "Get Down "are trapped between their own good breeding and their bu ...more
Hardcover, 194 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Farrar Straus Giroux
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Kurt Kemmerer
It's every reader's duty, even if out of necessity, to sit down with the work of authors never explored before. In this case, I traveled through Solomon's earliest work, where the ridiculously good writing overcomes the sometimes repetitive geography of a writer finding her way.

In short, the reader will immediately shout for joy at Solomon's writing, and the worlds she opens up with it. The worlds may be related, but they are varied, and filled with incredible elevation changes usually found in
...more
Katie M.
I really enjoyed this one... the prose is awkward in some places but fabulous in others, and the stories are full of adolescent agony, snarky observations, clear-eyed actions, matter-of-fact nostalgia, and equal parts humor and loneliness. (Also, who doesn't love a quick and easy read? All the smug, self-satisfied sense of accomplishment that comes from reading a whole book in a fraction of the time!)
Tamara Evans
When I first saw the book jacket for "Get Down," I was instantly taken back to my childhood in the '80 and days of watching Yo MTV raps and break-dancing. What Asali Solomon manages to do in "Get Down" is not only capture the 1980's perfectly,she also creates stories that drawn in the reader and makes you care about the characters and the situations they are going through.


"Get Down" consists of seven stories and although each story is special in its own right, there are some factors that are si
...more
Bobbi
I read this book of short stories after hearing Danielle Evans rave about it on NPR. Being the older book, it must have served as partial inspiration for Evans's wonderful BEFORE YOU SUFFOCATE YOUR OWN FOOL SELF. Although GET DOWN is full of talent, the last two stories drag. Still, there is the lovely "Save Me," about a young girl struggling (kind of, sort of, well, maybe not so much) with religion.
Matthew Budman
I wanted to read Asali Solomon's first book before diving into her debut novel, Disgruntled, and am glad I did. Get Down is an incredibly readable collection of stories, pointed and poignant, exploring adolescence and race in West Philadelphia, very particular yet universal enough to draw in any reader. Solomon’s language is gorgeous but completely natural -- these stories don’t feel written so much as lived, and each left me feeling privileged to be allowed a glimpse into the protagonist’s thou ...more
Eric
I read this short story collection before her novel because I wanted to see if she exhibited growth (and mostly because the collection was cheaper). I'm so glad that I did as this was terrific.
Hannah
I thought the book was okay. The story had a good overall plot but it was very slow pase. I like the purpose of the book and the fact that it was a true story.
elissa
Jul 01, 2007 elissa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who survived middle school
Stories about growing up, being the black girl at an all-white school, living in Philly & your rich suburban friends aren't allowed to come to your birthday party because the city is dangerous...school friends & neighborhood friends...parents who aren't like other kids' parents, kind of like how you're not like other kids...good stories, so of my era--references to El Debarge played at the school dance, and also "stairway to heaven" and all the couples try to slow dance even though they ...more
snb
I had high hopes for this one, but started it this weekend and am having lots of trouble getting through even the first story. The pacing feels off to me, and the writing isn't really interesting. The subject matter also feels very familiar. It doesn't feel inspired at all. Oh, well. I'll keep at it--at least another story or two. There are seven in this collection. Maybe inspiration will strike, and I'll find myself lulled by it eventually.
Michael
There is a fair amount of repetition of theme and moments in these stories, which is a little problematic in a book that's less than 200 pages. But, what isn't problematic is Solomon's writing. She does a wonderful job of quickly drawing the reader into her characters and their lives. Solomon is a smart, stylish, empathetic writer, and I'm really looking forward to the novel that she has coming out later in 2015.
Angie
After awhile, the stories all had a certain sameness to them. There were subtle surprises, a parenthetical remark or an ending sentence that made me stop. Wow. And think. But I felt no passion for or interest in any of the characters.
Breana
Mar 23, 2009 Breana added it
This book is a bunch of short stories in one. Some stories are better than others
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Asali Solomon was born and raised in West Philadelphia. Her first book, a collection of stories entitled Get Down, is set mostly in Philadelphia. Solomon's work has been featured in Vibe, Essence, and the anthology Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Lips and Other Parts. She has a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA form the Iowa's Writer Workshop ...more
More about Asali Solomon...
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