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From Publishers Weekly Originally published in 1957, when it was awarded the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, Simmonss first novel is a dark tale centering around a young black man named Jake Adams. Jake lives a prosperous life pushing dope for a man named the Monk, who also has a strong hold on politics in the unnamed city. A ladies man, Jake has an on-again, off-again relationship with a college student named Armenta, whose father resolutely disapproves of him. Meanwhile, Jakes best friend, Scar, once a star high-school athlete, is now falling into heroin addiction. Jake is on quite good terms with one of the few white families who live in the neighborhood, shopkeepers named Garvelis. As sexual tension mounts between Jake and the Garvelis teenage daughter, Georgia, the novel moves towards its tragic climax. With the exception of the datedness of the books slang, what is most striking is how contemporary Simmonss view of black urban life feels. While not on a par with a work such as Native Son, to which it invites comparison, Simmonss neglected novel well deserves another look. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.