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Christopher Herz È 0 review

The Last Block In PDFEPUB #227 choices he makes cannot change the past and the secrets that haunt him What exists beneath the surface can't be held down for long On the last block in Harlem accomplishment and love will clash but which force is strong enough to wi. I really wanted to like this book I picked it up as a Samsung Deal of the Month because I m currently living in a downtown neighborhood that s going through gentrification I liked that this book was dissecting the growing pains of neighborhood change from the inside out It started well and I liked where it was headed but then the whole thing went down a bizarro rabbit hole and crashed and burned I also really wanted to like it because it s the author s first book and I think he put a lot of himself into the main character He does have a talent for description and for dissecting things and breaking them down from a new point of view hence 2 stars and not 1 but I can t honestly recommend this read to anyone I only finished because I was enthralled by the train wreck ending and just had to watch to see if anything worthwhile survived Spoiler it didn t

characters The Last Block In Harlem

The Last Block In Harlem

However his The Last PDFEPUB or best intentions go awry when his clean up efforts bring media coverage that sets off a rash of evictions and ushers in an influx of new and affluent tenantsHis fight to clean up the block evolves into a uest to cleanse his soul but. I wanted to like this book I really enjoyed the premise but the execution was unusual This is Mr Herz s first book and it reads like it That is ok Every author has a first book and lots of kinks need practice to work themselves out The writing is a little clumsy at times but he has a talent for descriptions It s the organization of ideas and the consistency of time that is bothersome The ending is nuts In the weirdest worst way imaginable Heck I couldn t imagine it The wheels really fall off the bus at the end Then that bus runs off a cliff And catches fire And burns a village below You get the picture Spoiler Alert A couple of things about this story really bugged me The ghosts like the kid on the bridge Maybe the man on the subway with the EXACT SAME abortion story I felt like this second story line added nothing It seemed to muddy the water if anything Is this mystical realism Just the protagonist falling apart I m not sure I d feel any better about the book knowing the answers Also I was just kind of left with the feeling there was a slight anti abortion tone to the book Maybe not I m not certain Just because the theme of abortion regret was present doesn t make it intended as a cautionary tale It just sort of left that impression with me

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A young couple seeking a fresh start Block In MOBI #242 moves into a fourth floor walk up in Sugar Hill Harlemwhere kids run through hydrants and music blares from stereos plugged into lampposts When the husband notices trash marring the streets he finds his cause. Unless you re new to reading my blog you re probably aware of my love for all things New York City There is something so real about the city and it s full of such history And the variety in culture and people in New York is something that continues to draw me to it My family makes fun of me for a remark I made after returning from my first trip to NYC when I said that I felt like I belonged in NYC than I do here in Florida where I grew up But it s true On my most recent trip to the city I was able to spend some time with a good friend of mine in ueens She took us on a tour of the borough she absolutely loves and calls home Her passion for this part of New York was contagious I could have walked around the streets of ueens all day just taking in the world around me I feel this way about all the parts of the city I ve visited so far So it only seemed natural that I would feel the need to read The Last Block in Harlem by Christopher Herz his own love story for yet another part of New York City Coincidentally the same friend from ueens Sarah and I had a conversation that day about the gentrification of Harlem Say the world Harlem and look at the automatic thoughts that run through your mind It s probably thought of as a rough kind of place and dangerous So for some the thought of beautifying the city and transforming it into a new safe place to live might be desirable But then what happens to the culture the history Or the people who have spent their entire lives in Harlem and can no longer afford the lofty rent payments increased by the said gentrification of the cityThe Last Block in Harlem explores this topic the connection a group of people has to their neighborhood which is an extension of their lives This book is narrated in first person and is about a man who takes it upon himself to start cleaning up the streets of his block in Harlem He doesn t do it for payment or rewards of any kind It s merely for him and his home This contemporary novel has some existentialist themes running through it reminding me in parts of the main characters from The Unnamed and The Financial Lives of the Poets Our main character is tired of his meaningless life as a copywriter for an advertising agency and decides to leave his job to focus on finding meaning in his life and it just so starts with his cleaning up his block But these actions lead to media attention and ultimately real estate agencies start looking into Harlem and its real estate potential This man then has to turn things around and find a way to bring the block s inhabitants together to protect their homes from being taken overThough short at only 215 pages The Last Block in Harlem is thorough and complex and can t necessarily be considered a light read There isn t a large amount of action at any given time in fact much of the mentioned plot doesn t occur until halfway through the book In the way that many books are character studies this one is in a sense a neighborhood study with snapshots of the people that make up the neighborhood Alongside this storyline and complementing the character s period of enlightenment is that of the man s relationship with his wife Namuna That he is absolutely in love with his wife is never in uestion but how he shows his love for her while going through this part of his life is The storyline between the two of them did confuse me at times and the place where their relationship ultimately goes was strange to me Because there s so much to contemplate in this book it s possible I didn t catch on to the significance of this part so for me it s the only part I would have maybe preferred to be differentI was certainly taken away to the streets of Harlem while reading this book and could feel Herz s love for the city The descriptions painted for me a clear picture of the neighborhood and the dialogue between all the characters contributed to the atmosphere of the novel And I can t fail to mention how much I love the cover of this book I also can t finish this review without mentioning a little about the author I had the opportunity to meet him at the book blogger convention this past May He talked about how when he first wrote this book he walked the streets of New York City every day selling it individually to anyone who was willing to listen to him He was even featured in an article in Publishers Weekly and shortly after was offered a publishing deal from s new publishing house Encore On his blog Herz Words the author has placed pictures with a short caption of all those individuals who bought the copies of the book that he hand sold individually It s sort of fun so check it outThe Last Block in Harlem exuded for me a passion for that block in New York City It was a deep thoughtful read that I feel could really use a second read through to truly grasp everything the author intended Those who love this city or can relate to the passion for one s own neighborhood will likely enjoy this book Same for those who enjoy reading about a person s search for their true identity and meaning in their life Great debut


10 thoughts on “The Last Block In Harlem

  1. says:

    This book was going so well for about the first half then it started to gradually veer off course and then the plane crashed into a mountain in the last 20 pages or so The ending was bungled in a way that's so epic that I

  2. says:

    I would say this was soft literary Very vibrant writing Great use of setting I felt like I was in Harlem The story was enjoyable Usu

  3. says:

    Unless you're new to reading my blog you're probably aware of my love for all things New York City There is something so real about the city and it's full of such history And the variety in culture and people in New York is something that continues to draw me to it My family makes fun of me for a remark I made after return

  4. says:

    The first thing I noticed about this book was how distinctly male it was In no way is this a criticism I am a huge fan of Jack Kerouac and you can't get much male focused from the male perspective and about things that could only happen to males than him Perhaps as with Kerouac this was incidental by the writer who just writes about the things he thinks about many of which are manly baseball hot women who aren't his w

  5. says:

    I wanted to like this book I really enjoyed the premise but the execution was unusual This is Mr Herz's first book and it reads like it That is ok Every author has a first book and lots of kinks need practice to work themselves out The writing is a little clumsy at times but he has a talent for descriptions It'

  6. says:

    Ok so this book was loaned to me on my Kindle and I was so excited to receive it I began to read it immediately Of course I only had two weeks to finish it which is an eternity to me but I was anxious to get started reading The title drew me in also The story began and I was somewhat interested As I continued reading I began to feel disconnected and lost for where the author was trying to take me The development of ch

  7. says:

    I really wanted to like this book I picked it up as a Samsung Deal of the Month because I'm currently living in a downtown neighbor

  8. says:

    I've never been to Harlem but I feel like I have after reading this book The author has a rare talent for recreating the sights sounds and smells of the neighborhood not to mention realistically depicting the characters who populate it Not to give too much away but I didn't see the ending coming and wasn't sure how I fel

  9. says:

    I read this via a Crazy Book Tours and I have to say it did not impress me Not every book can be a winner and it's great to step ou

  10. says:

    weird but good book I enjoyed reading it

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