What is intended to be a very serious novel about youth and gangs and violence and coming-of-age really ends up as...

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ISLAND IN HARLEM

What is intended to be a very serious novel about youth and gangs and violence and coming-of-age really ends up as unintentional burlesque climaxing at the point where the young protagonist yells ""I got to rape you."" And the intended victim replies ""Don't! Here! I'm all yours."" and proceeds to fling clothes in all directions Our hero is a seventeen-year-old black Puerto Rican, just off the islands, who spends a hectic first few months in Spanish Harlem. Antonio falls in love with his cousin, Margarita, gets a job as a dishwasher under a boss who's a fag and attracted to Tony, gets beaten up by a gang because he made a pass at the leader's (one Feli) girlfriend Lilliam. He also sidetrips to Greenwich Village where he makes it with a couple of white wives while their husbands cheer him on, learns to smoke pot, and vows vengeance when he learns that Feli has threatened Margarita. What better revenge than raping Lilliam? Hence the quoted climax which drives our frustrated friend back to the street, manhood unproven, and he decides to kill Feli. On to the big confrontation. Aiyiyiyi-e-e-e-e!

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: John Day

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1966