THE GRAND PARADE by Julian Mayfield


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A hardhitting, more substantial novel widens its inquiry into the facts of city life from the number rackets of The Hit. the Harlem slums of The Long Night, into all the sorespots, social, racial and political which constitute the shame of our cities. It is a bigger book, but not necessarily a better book. All kinds of people are used in this portrait of Gainesboro, a reflection of the times, ""fat, sleek and satisfied"", but now facing the ugliest issue of the day- integration. There's Douglas Taylor, its Mayor, an amateur, and liberal at first, now with great political ambitions; Tully Cain, a newspaperman, and a threat to his future; Lonnie Banks, a Negro, expelled from the Party, and Randolph, his brother, ""Mister Big Spool""- the Councilman, who has avoided Lonnie's contamination, but has his own troubles; Lew Harris, head of a local hate group; Hank Dean, a misfit in search of a cause; the chairman of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters; a whore; etc., etc. All these appear in The Grand Parade prior to the inevitable violence from which Taylor can emerge- a ""hero or a heel""... A blockbuster of a book has much of the energy of an expose, which it is, and the type-casting and set-up situations of the more ""popular"" type of book, which it may well be. Still, it does suffer from its urban sprawl; there is not necessarily a safety in numbers- interest is dissipated.

Publisher: Vanguard