Andrea's Reviews > The Underbelly

The Underbelly by Gary Phillips
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's review
Aug 07, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: books_i-ve_worked_on, mystery-noir

This was a delight to edit, the language is pure South Central ghetto gold:

"Who you supposed to be, old school?" Savoirfaire taunted, flexing his shoulders and shifting his weight onto his back foot. "Captain America don't live here no more."
"I'm telling you it's through," Magrady repeated calmly, eyes moving from the man's hands to his face, locking onto the faux designer shades the discount desperado wore.
"You and Floyd are done."
"You his older brother, cousin, somethin' like that?"
"You're missing the point, Flavor Flav," Magrady said. "My message is what you should be focusing on. Floyd Chambers is no longer on your loan list. No more vig off his SSI checks."
The two men stood on Wall, smack in the womb of L.A.'s Skid Row. Unlike the street's more famous incarnation in Manhattan, the west coast version didn't boast of edifices as testament to giddy capitalism. Trickle-down had long ago trickled out down here.
"Oh, uh-huh." The bottom-feeder nodded his head. "You lookin’ to take over some of my territory, that it? Don't seem to me like you got enough weight between your legs to be doin' that, nephew. Don't appear to me you got enough left to run this block."

The story might be a bit comic book, but I like that, and it's got plenty of the old noir stand-bys of violence and sex to keep it real. Real hilarious. The interview at the end with Denise Hamilton is great as well, reminds me of a number of conversations over liquor that I've always wanted to share with the wider world...

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