I Am Not Sidney Poitier
An irresistible comic novel from the master storyteller Percival Everett, and an irreverent take on race, class, and identity in America
I was, in life, to be a gambler, a risk-taker, a swashbuckler, a knight. I accepted, then and there, my place in the world. I was a fighter of windmills. I was a chaser of whales. I was Not Sidney Poitier.
Not Sidney Poitier is an a
[UPDATE: 1/16/19--see note at the end of this review
Once after dinner, as we sat in front of the television watching an Adventures of Superman rerun, I asked, "Was my father handsome?"...more
She replied, "Some might say yes."
"Was he smart?" I asked.
She stared at the television. "Why is it that after all the bullets have bounced off Superman's chest, he then ducks when the villain throws the empty gun at him?"
I looked at the television and wondered, knowing als
A humorous and weird novel. This satirical book has quirky characters and hilarious dialogue. If you're familiar with Sidney Poitier's films, you'll notice that Not Sidney's life parodies them, especially Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Defiant Ones, ...more
Percival Everett, born in 1956, undoubtedly remembers Sidney Poitier’s movies being beamed into white America’s living rooms in ...more
One of the most intriguing aspects of this book - that is completely beside the point (and this is, therefore, a completely appropriate non-sequitir) is that the character of Ted Turner, who we assume to be Not Ted Turner, is remarkably like me. If you like m ...more
When his mother passes away, he discovers that he's inherited a lot of money, she being a major shareholder in Ted Turner's company. Ted, an executor to his mother's will, brings him home to Atla ...more
You know, I don't know what to say. This is an ambitious novel, and some interesting tricks are being used here, but I'm not sure how well they're working. Everett's novel relies on the reader being capable of catching the references to actual Sidney Poitier novels, as Not Sidney winds up in situations straight out of In The Heat of the Night, The Defiant Ones, etc. otherwise there's a lot of running to google. But even if you get ...more
I've not yet read any of Everett's other works but will certainly be doing so in the coming weeks.
Either way, I'm pretty sure he's my favorite living writer now. Not only hilarious but deeply poignant. His wordsmithery is a thing of beauty.
The h ...more
Bildungsroman, odyssey, social commentary, confessional, fan fiction, picaresque pictorial, call to action . . . this novel does so much, so elegantly, so deftly—sleight of words, is how I'd describe it. So m ...more
So what happens when you take several of Portier's movies, give them a bit of a twist, and drop them into a novel about a young man discovering his identity repeatedly by becoming the characters in those movies and finally the star himself? You get this book. Does it work? Well, yes I think so anyway. That's my take on what the author was doing. BTW is Not Sydney possibly a version of Mary Willi ...more
Rape & sexual harrassment
Police corruption & brutality
Racism/anti black racism
Some ableism in the beginning
Main protagonist is black, as are a lot of the main characters
Not Sidney Poitier (yes, the Not is part of his name) ha ...more
What's your name?
Ok, so not Sidney--what is it?
It's the author's creative play on the black male's plight, and one of his ways of offering commentary on issues of race and class.
Ted Turner is the boy's guardian :) and this provides some hilarious exchanges and mis-communication humor, ...more
There might not be a more fertile mind in American fiction today than Everett’s. In 22 years, he has written 19 books, including a farcical Western, a savage satire of the publishing industry, a children’s story spoofing counting books, retellings of the Greek myths ...more