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The Portable Promised Land
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The Portable Promised Land

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  172 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Welcome to Soul City, the fictional American metropolis where magic is as natural as sunshine. With this inspired collection--in which irreverent humor and sharp-eyed social satire combine to produce unforgettable stories--Toure emerges as one of the most talented and inventive young writers at work today.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 4th 2003 by Back Bay Books (first published July 2002)
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Paul Cockeram
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Toure is a cultural critic first and a storyteller second, but he’s still a damned fine storyteller. He makes black lives matter in the most organic way possible, by showing how they are lived and what is important to the individuals who are living them, from moment to moment. His fictional Soul City makes the perfect backdrop for characters who feel both larger than life and grounded in the real world. I am confident that The Right Revren Daddy Love walks Toure’s pages and the streets of Harris ...more
Fritz Graham
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious! This collection of short stories was a nice change to the sad and extensive fantasy novels i've been reading lately. You should pick this one up if you would like a literary change of pace.
Oct 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Twitter has sort of changed my view of Toure but this book fantastic. Fresh, delightful. I bought it three don't know me but usually when I lose a book that I've already read, I cut my losses because I'm cheap.
Paul Cirone
This was an absolute pleasure. Irreverent. Full of formidable originality and creativity. Endlessly fascinating and provocative. This guy is sortof a genius and these are some of the best short stories I've ever read. Highly recommend this one.
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
critically funny; classic black gen X shit
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology
Hood and intellegent; the stories will CRACK YOU UP!
Josephine Radbill
amazing! touré is a truth-teller and a wonderful storyteller.
Sansriti Tripathi
Such an incredible and beautifully written collection of short stories - Touré's magical storytelling had me laughing, crying, and hanging on every single word. So excited I picked up this book, and can't wait to read some more of his works!
Aug 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
so...does my *** rating make me less of a boho chic geek??

i read tppl after hearing how dope, fresh, witty, weird, and engaging it was for the 25th time in seven years. i dug it, but it didn't resonate with me in the way most of my friends(who share similar tastes in tomes) had mentioned. yes, books can transcend time, but i believe that this work is located in a specific moment, experience, and clique--one that if i had read it c. 2003-05, i'd be evangelizing its greatness along with the crew.
Elyse  Boucher
A collection of short stories that ranged from very good to too unstory-like for my taste. Lists of what one wishes was true is too similar to what every emo 90's teen plopped into their LJ's back in the day; I will never see it as an experimental way to tell a story. There is also a very broad theme with jarring changes of style here; I generally prefer a book-length collection of short stories to not whip my head from side to side with contrasting styles of writing.

Note that I am only discussi
Cija Jefferson
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to Toure through his fiction, prior to being aware of his music journalism and cultural critic background. Truth be told these short stories although fictional-- with a dash of magical realism--serve as cultural critics on the black experience in all its brightly colored and patterned diversity.

These stories are super funny. Chapter titles whet the appetite for what's to come, here's one to dig into: “A Hot Time at the Church of Kentucky Fried Souls and the Spectacular Final Su
Jul 25, 2011 added it
2004...Read for school. Now I'm not really a fan of magic realism. In fact, every other book I've tried to read in the genre I've never finished. This collection was actually not so bad. The stories take place in Soul City, a urban black utopia of sorts. Some of the stories left me a bit bored, but others were good. I got the chance to meet Toure and he read some of the stories that will be in his next book which centers around more residents of Soul City. I'll be sure to pick it up because it s ...more
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This is a fabulous collection of stories, inventive, witty, wild. The title track tells of a man who bargains with the devil to achieve his ends: he never wants to see white folks again. Blindness, salvation, and flight. Toure attempts new flights of fancy as he writes of magic sneakers. He distills the world of african american imagery and possiblity into a truly hip and passionate vision of a wild and mystical world. Laugh out loud funny, filled to the brim with absurdities and truths too absu ...more
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the larger-than-life stories at the beginning of the book...the first three tales, perhaps? Then skipped about and read a few others but some seemed familiar---as though I had read somethign similar beforedidn't have enough interest to read them all. Well written satirical times bombastic, but some storylines may appeal to you more than others...
Feb 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book mesmerizing, poignant, cheeky, irreverent, important, imaginative, fantastical and above all thoroughly entertaining. If you're a fan of sociology, race relations, blackness, or just a creative writing enthusiast this book is for you.
Sidik Fofana
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
SIX WORD REVIEW: Magical realism meets the Black neighborhood.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! I can't put into words how much I enjoyed this book. Totally original. Imaginative and downright funny at times. One of the best books I've read in awhile.
Mar 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone black
This book is hilarious. A great, great great subway book that is indeed quite funny.
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!!! It's like reading an urban, adult fairytale. The short stories are so original. This is just such a fun read. We read this for our book club and everyone enjoyed it.
RD Montgomery
I liked some of the themes in the book but some of the stories felt incomplete.
Natalie Gross
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
One of my favorite books. I enjoy his humor and his writing style. Anything with magical realism has my vote.
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
top 5 fiction books, will bring you home
Sandra Proto
Apr 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
a literary In Living Color, Saturday Night Live, Mad Tv, South Park and The Twilight Zone”
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book of short stories.
Terri Adele
Jun 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
I so dislike this book.
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
magical realism. inventive, imaginative, irreverent to the point of making me feel uncomfortable at times.
Some standout stories. I especially enjoyed the "top 50 words in Black America"
May 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is one of my favorite books. toure makes magical realism hilarious and touching.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2013
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Touré Neblett is an American novelist, essayist, music journalist, cultural critic, and television personality.

More about Touré...