Book Review: Seduced
Book Reviewed by Sheree Renee Thomas
As a rule, I don’t kiss and tell, but sometimes, sometimes you get a hold to something that is just too good to keep to yourself. Well, I have to admit it. Black cultural guru and acclaimed author of The Death of Rhythm and Blues Nelson George had me sprung after the first few pages of Seduced, his latest novel to hit the shelves.
An incredibly sexy, funny story about a bruthah trying to make it in the music industry, Seduced is what Trey Ellis wished he could do with his tired (but well reviewed) satire, Platitudes. Without being
preachy or self-conscious with I’m-going-to-be-profound-in-yo-face! prose, Nelson makes aspiring songwriter and wanna-be ladies’ man Derek Harper as real and as lovable as the boy next door.
Taking us back to Queens during the r&b grooves of the sixties and seventies, where he began his love affair with music, young Derek Harper blows away readers with all the angst and ambition that only an adolescent manchild can muster. The eighties finds him hustlin’ and scufflin’ at CCNY, while trying to get laid between classes and his infrequent writing sessions at night. That funny thing call life eventually finds Derek tagging along a shifty manager-type on a road trip down South to the annual Jack the Rapper expose in Atlanta during the early, (almost embarrassingly early—no disrespect) stages of the hip-hop/rap scene.
From there, Derek’s bright star ascends to glorific heights—in time he too becomes a one-hit wonder—before a series of reality checks brings him down to earth and back to love. Authentic, observant, and a refreshing relief from "the girlfriend" sagas that crowd the bookshelves, it’s a compelling, gotta-have-it, must-read that will keep you laughing aloud. Not to mention Nelson George’s sometimes all too accurate takes on the music scene where "hiphop is making killer waves and wannabe stars and predatory execs cruise relentlessly for hits." Pick it up, read it, pass it on to a friend. You will be seduced.
Copyright ’ 1998 Sheree R Thomas. All Rights Reserved