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Troy's Rants

New Reviews by one of’s Favorite Reviewers – Thumper

Thumper went on hiatus for a couple of years, to complete another graduate degree. He is working his way back slowly. Here are his latest book reviews.

There is something here for everyone. Enjoy.

One day, I was in the mood for a Noire novel, but I had read all of them. I looked around my office and saw Red Light Special by Risqué. I picked it up. Red Light Special is the first book I’ve read by Risqué and it definitely will not be the last. I liked the novel a lot. I have a major issue with the book concerning the sex scenes, but other than that the book is good. I was hooked and did not put it down until I was finished.

Beulah Hill by William Heffernan

I am sounding the alert that I just read a novel that has a strong black male character in it. Let’s imagine that I’m waving a big neon sign with “Black Male Hero found HERE!” There is no shortage in black male character in our literature today, but there are not many black male characters in today’s fiction that embodies that pioneering, wise, strong, will-beat-you-down-I-don’t-care-who-you-are black male character–the realistic black hero. When I come across one, I feel like trumpeting; there’s a strong black man in this book, there’s a strong black man in this book! In Beulah Hill by William Heffernan, did not only give me a strong black male character name Jehiel Flood, Heffernan placed him in a fabulously, complex murder mystery. Beulah Hill, which takes place in 1933 Vermont, is a solid mystery and examination of racial history and self identity. I loved it! The novel is an ass wiper of the nth degree.

Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey by Colin Grant

I appreciate the time and details Grant put into this wonderful biography, but I have to admit that the portion of the biography that had me glued to my seat was the constant bickering and snipping between Garvey and his nemesis W. E. B. DuBois. *big smile* You all know I love drama. The battle that Garvey and DuBois engaged in is the stuff movies should be made of. I loved it! Not only did the two see their differences from an ideological point of view, which in my opinion Garvey and DuBois were closer than apart, but it got ugly. DuBois taking Garvey to task over Garvey’s perceived uncouthness and his black skin and Garvey attacking DuBois on his preference for light skin, and his Talented Tenth approach to race, the barbs the two traded is amusing and sad. I cannot help but to think that if the two had set both of their egos aside and worked together, the civil rights movement would have taken place and succeeded 40 years before.

The Middle Sister by Bonnie J. Glover

I’m still finding my footing. Being away from reading books for three years, obtaining another degree, has dulled my reading senses. Now that the fire in my belly for books is growing larger and hotter, I decided to play a little catch up, read the books that I did not read while in pursuit of higher education again. Boy, did I strike gold when I picked up The Middle Sister by Bonnie J. Glover. I became familiar with Glover when I read her current novel, Going Down South. Going Down South is a simply MARVELOUS novel! Pick it up and read it, if you haven’t already.


Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.