Mumbo Jumbo is Ishmael Reed's brilliantly satiric deconstruction of Western civilization, a racy and uproarious commentary on our society. In it, Reed, one of our preeminent African-American authors, mixes portraits of historical figures and fictional characters with sound bites on subjects ranging from ragti ...more
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There are certainly messages of social relevance within the ...more
After a first flair-up in 1890's New Orleans, HooDoo/Voodoo forces are once again alive and on the rise as Jes Grew, the 'psychic virus' spreads and infects its carriers with the irresistable urge to jam, dance, ...more
It starts off very confusingly, much like Flight to Canada. There are so many references to history and literature, especially ones that I didn't know super well that it makes it seem like Reed is telling an inside joke. As you get further on in the story you start to realize you're now on the inside and it's no longer confusing. By the time you finish the book you feel good about where you are versus where you ...more
Set in New York City in the Roaring 20s, "Mumbo Jumbo" explores the effects of Ragtime and Jazz music on the people of the world. The infectious music is referred to as the "Jes Grew plague" - as the popularity of these phenomena just grew and grew! What ensues is a battle between New York's Haitian VooDoo culture, as they work to spread Jes Grew and feed their loas, and the Knights Templ ...more
Ordinarily I am not a regular reader of fiction, however this literary classic is most definitely worthy of note. Reed spins a fascinating tale of the enchanting world of Hoodoo and Voodoo. Mumbo Jumbo is the real deal, it takes mystical subject matter and weaves it into a surrealistic novel revolving around Afro-diasporan religion.
Essentially, it follows PaPa LaBas, a sort of priest who's looking for the text of a plague sweeping the country: Jes Grew, which makes people dance and create, a kind of spirit of the Harlem Renaissance, if you will. He's opposed by the Knights Templar, the Wallflower Order, who's slogan is "Lord, if I can't dance, no one will," and various New York heavies who may be gangsters, or immortal and possibl ...more
On a basic level, several different plot threads weave in and out of each other that might at first seem unrelated. At the center of it all is Jes Grew, a craze (often described as more of an epidemic) sweeping the United States that causes people to dance in the streets ...more
An ancient history teases itself from the taffy of prose, speaking from the tongues of appeased loas—nothing is what it seems. History, an artifice! A clever manipulation by the Order of the Wallflower in a last ditch attempt to circumvent the Jes Grew ...more
Mumbo Jumbo un romanzo... "sperimentale"? E' un'elegia della cultura africana in tutte le sue incarnazioni e latitudini, dalla mitologia egizia al voodoo al blues e al dixieland. E' una fiera rivendicazione del ruolo africano - camita e semita - nella storia della cultura occidentale, dall'antichi ...more
Reed has been described as one of the most controversial writers. While his work has often sought to represent neglected African and African-American perspective ...more