kode adsense disini
Hot Best Seller

Friday Black

Availability: Ready to download

In the stories of Adjei-Brenyah’s debut, an amusement park lets players enter augmented reality to hunt terrorists or shoot intruders played by minority actors, a school shooting results in both the victim and gunman stuck in a shared purgatory, and an author sells his soul to a many-tongued god. Adjei-Brenyah's writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage, and invigorate you. In the stories of Adjei-Brenyah’s debut, an amusement park lets players enter augmented reality to hunt terrorists or shoot intruders played by minority actors, a school shooting results in both the victim and gunman stuck in a shared purgatory, and an author sells his soul to a many-tongued god. Adjei-Brenyah's writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage, and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world.


Compare
kode adsense disini

In the stories of Adjei-Brenyah’s debut, an amusement park lets players enter augmented reality to hunt terrorists or shoot intruders played by minority actors, a school shooting results in both the victim and gunman stuck in a shared purgatory, and an author sells his soul to a many-tongued god. Adjei-Brenyah's writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage, and invigorate you. In the stories of Adjei-Brenyah’s debut, an amusement park lets players enter augmented reality to hunt terrorists or shoot intruders played by minority actors, a school shooting results in both the victim and gunman stuck in a shared purgatory, and an author sells his soul to a many-tongued god. Adjei-Brenyah's writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage, and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world.

30 review for Friday Black

  1. 5 out of 5

    Roxane

    The edge of the stories in Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s debut collection Friday Black is razor sharp, ready to cut deep. This book is dark and captivating and essential. This book is a call to arms and it is a condemnation. Adjei-Brenyah offers powerful prose as parable. The writing in this outstanding collection will make you hurt and demand your hope. Read this book. Marvel at the intelligence of each of these stories and what they reveal about racism, capitalism, complacency and their insidious The edge of the stories in Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s debut collection Friday Black is razor sharp, ready to cut deep. This book is dark and captivating and essential. This book is a call to arms and it is a condemnation. Adjei-Brenyah offers powerful prose as parable. The writing in this outstanding collection will make you hurt and demand your hope. Read this book. Marvel at the intelligence of each of these stories and what they reveal about racism, capitalism, complacency and their insidious reach.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Having recently read “The Heads of The Colored People”, a terrific debut collection of 12 short stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires — I reached for another debut collection of 12 more short stories. First - I have Goodreads member Meike to thank. It was her review that inspired me. Thank you Meike. So........... I had no idea what to expect. I still can’t entirely figure out the book cover’s drawing. I have some ideas - but I’m a little curious if there is a specific meaning behind it. I’ll dive r Having recently read “The Heads of The Colored People”, a terrific debut collection of 12 short stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires — I reached for another debut collection of 12 more short stories. First - I have Goodreads member Meike to thank. It was her review that inspired me. Thank you Meike. So........... I had no idea what to expect. I still can’t entirely figure out the book cover’s drawing. I have some ideas - but I’m a little curious if there is a specific meaning behind it. I’ll dive right in. That’s certainly what the author does with the first story called “The Finkelstein 5”. My mouth was hanging open reading it.....”WHAT THE HELL?” I almost didn’t trust myself - maybe I was reading things wrong? The author took brutality, extreme violence ( but thankfully not graphic), injustice, racism, and a broken criminal system to a whole new realm of......”what the f#@k?” BUT .... I don’t want spoil the story by dishing out details. I totally loved reading these stories knowing nothing about them. I went in completely blind and I was blindsided. .....in a good way! I didn’t get the point of the next SHORT -SHORT - really really SHORT story. “Things My Mother Said”. I got a message - without much a meal to go with it... but as I said it’s ‘short’... so it’s not long enough to irritate. 😊 Moving on.... It took me awhile to realize that not only are these stories set in the near future ( not so far out -by any means), but perhaps the author has created a genre of his own: “Political Dystopian Fiction”. Adjei-Brenyah examines the Black experience throughput and every story feels political. The title story “Friday Black” is priceless ....it’s entertaining in the way dark humor is...but what is actually so disturbing when you really tell the truth to yourself ( but read this story first to get what I’m talking about)...is it will be easy to see the absurdity of people - but what’s less easy to see WE EACH ARE PART OF THIS insanity. I can think of times I’ve sat around with people, maybe over a glass of wine talking arrogantly about what other people do that’s nuts - things I wouldn’t do - BUT IF I REALLY LOOK CLOSER -I am part of the same problem that I blame. These stories are excellent - terrific debut! It doesn’t take long to learn that we have been introduced to a fearless new author with fresh ideas. We can’t help but look at the political & social issues we grapple with in our current lives. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is a long name. I’d like to remember it - remember HIM.... I don’t want to stumble and feel awkward trying to remember it five months from now So.... maybe? He wouldn’t mind if I simply called him *NANA*.....( I can definitely remember that)..... which brings me warm fuzzy feelings ....loving the dog NANA in Peter Pan. I look forward to reading more books by *Nana*!!! Congrats to Nana on his powerful debut short stories!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Meike

    Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Is a "5 Under 35" Honoree 2018 of the National Book Foundation ..and this is how you write cutting-edge fiction about the world we live in! Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's debut is bold, powerful, innovative, and poetic. Every other blurb is randomly claiming that the author of the respective book has a unique voice - this author actually does, and this fall, his short stories are mandatory reading. "Friday Black" encompasses 12 stories, many of them dealing with racism, consu Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Is a "5 Under 35" Honoree 2018 of the National Book Foundation ..and this is how you write cutting-edge fiction about the world we live in! Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's debut is bold, powerful, innovative, and poetic. Every other blurb is randomly claiming that the author of the respective book has a unique voice - this author actually does, and this fall, his short stories are mandatory reading. "Friday Black" encompasses 12 stories, many of them dealing with racism, consumerism, violence, and the culture of egotism and hate - this book is a comment on today's America (which doesn't mean that some of the issues discussed aren't prevalent in other countries as well). What makes this collection so special is the way the author approaches those topics, introducing fantastical elements, projecting the consequences of the cultural climate on invented scenarios and highlighting tendencies by smartly employing hyperbole. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah wants his readers to look straight into the abyss: A white man kills black kids with a chainsaw and claims self-defense, Black Friday turns a shopping mall into the battleground of the zombie apocalypse, "Good" is now a drug for school children, and there's an amusement park that could have been invented by horror director Eli Roth. On Twitter, Roxane Gay stated that if you like Childish Gambino's "This is America" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYOjW...), you will also love this - and I see where this comparison is coming from. Also, both of these works of art punch you in the face and leave you in complete shock and awe. In case you need more comparisons: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's voice is as recognizable as that of Ottessa Moshfegh, and his disregard for narrative conventions reminds me of Carmen Maria Machado. Oh, and in case I haven't made this clear enough by now: You should READ THIS BOOK. The whole thing is great, but especially "The Finkelstein 5" and "Zimmer Land".

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marchpane

    Fierce and invigorating, the stories in Friday Black demand attention like a slap in the face. This collection inhabits the ‘borderlands’ between genres, to borrow a term from Michael Chabon, sort of literary, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, maybe all-of-the-above at the same time. In one story, it’s hard to tell (in a deliberate, clever way) whether the backdrop is a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic wasteland, or just an ordinary shopping mall. Another takes a Groundhog Day scenario to violent extremes Fierce and invigorating, the stories in Friday Black demand attention like a slap in the face. This collection inhabits the ‘borderlands’ between genres, to borrow a term from Michael Chabon, sort of literary, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, maybe all-of-the-above at the same time. In one story, it’s hard to tell (in a deliberate, clever way) whether the backdrop is a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic wasteland, or just an ordinary shopping mall. Another takes a Groundhog Day scenario to violent extremes, asking how would people really behave if there were zero consequences, every day ending with a reset? Contemporary issues like race, or rampant consumerism, are explored in surreal and/or futuristic settings. The blend of satire, cultural commentary and high-concept genre entertainment that Adjei-Brenyah employs here brings to mind TV anthology series Black Mirror or the film Get Out. It’s a style perfectly suited to the short story format: each one is a quick, sharp jab that leaves behind a powerful impression quite disproportionate to the time it takes to read. There are no dull moments here, and while a few of the stories were stand-outs, the whole collection is consistently great. 4.5 stars rounded up for sheer gutsiness.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    FRIDAY BLACK is hard to explain. The best I can do is say that it's like if BLACK MIRROR imagined a future based on the growing horrors of racism, violence, and capitalism rather than the growing horrors of technology. This collection of stories does what really excellent sci-fi does and explores the present through the future. And yet, I feel like I'm still underselling it. I haven't quite made it clear just how reading this book is kind of like probing at a raw wound with a knife. I had to put FRIDAY BLACK is hard to explain. The best I can do is say that it's like if BLACK MIRROR imagined a future based on the growing horrors of racism, violence, and capitalism rather than the growing horrors of technology. This collection of stories does what really excellent sci-fi does and explores the present through the future. And yet, I feel like I'm still underselling it. I haven't quite made it clear just how reading this book is kind of like probing at a raw wound with a knife. I had to put it down a few times just to give myself some space. Reading more than one story at a time is an impressive feat of mental strength. This author is one to watch.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    When a story makes you cry three pages in, you know you're reading something special. 'The Finkelstein 5', the first short story in Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's debut collection, is astounding. It follows a young man named Emmanuel as he prepares for a job interview, taking steps (modifying his voice, wearing smart clothes, smiling and being constantly polite) to ensure his Blackness is dialled down as far as possible. He's happy about the interview, but 'he also felt guilty about feeling happy ab When a story makes you cry three pages in, you know you're reading something special. 'The Finkelstein 5', the first short story in Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's debut collection, is astounding. It follows a young man named Emmanuel as he prepares for a job interview, taking steps (modifying his voice, wearing smart clothes, smiling and being constantly polite) to ensure his Blackness is dialled down as far as possible. He's happy about the interview, but 'he also felt guilty about feeling happy about anything. Most people he knew were still mourning the Finkelstein verdict'. A white man has been found not guilty of any wrongdoing in using a chainsaw to decapitate five black children outside the Finkelstein Library. He claims he was protecting his children. The controversial verdict sparks violent protests by groups known as 'Namers', and on his way to the interview, Emmanuel meets an old friend who is keen to act. This story is ferocious satire, but it's only a hair's breadth from the truth. In the wake of the death of Trayvon Martin and other similar cases, it really isn't that hard to imagine this actually happening. Emmanuel's awareness and regulation of his Blackness is a brilliant articulation of something that will be immediately recognisable to so many – a tactic painfully familiar to anyone who's ever been part of any sort of minority. Nothing else in the book got to me quite like 'The Finkelstein 5', but it's consistently both enjoyable and biting. 'Zimmer Land' is another standout – George Saunders by way of Black Mirror. The narrator works at a theme park where 'patrons' can role-play a scenario in which they are attacked by, and ultimately 'kill', a black assailant. A trio of stories – 'Friday Black', 'How to Sell a Jacket as Told by IceKing', and 'In Retail' – are set at the Prominent Mall and centre on the day-to-day lives of retail workers. Like 'The Finkelstein 5', 'Friday Black' takes reality and stretches it a little out of shape: the stampedes that accompany Black Friday routinely result in multiple deaths (129 last year); customers speak in a garbled language only Black Friday veterans can understand. The collection isn't perfect. 'Lark Street' and 'Light Spitter' both feel like ambitious experiments that don't quite come off. The first is about a man who is haunted by the foetuses his girlriend aborted; the second has a school shooter and his victim teaming up – as ghosts – to try and make things right. I really enjoyed 'Through the Flash', in which a community is trapped in a repeating version of the same day, but like a few of the others it could've done with either editing down or expanding to novel length. Sometimes the concepts are too big for the short-story format. Friday Black is a collection that pulses with ideas and indignation. It incorporates elements of science fiction and magical realism but still has much to say about our lives now. 'The Finkelstein 5' in particular is one of those stories I will never forget. I received an advance review copy of Friday Black from the publisher through NetGalley. TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Named as one of the most anticipated books of Autumn 2018, Friday Black is a refreshingly original anthology of stories that use fiction as a device to explore and discuss some very prominent real-world issues, and because of that, this is a collection that is thought-provoking and with much substance to it - something that always really appeals to me. Although the stories maintain objectivity, they are also brutally honest about the situation the world is currently in. Amongst the major real-wor Named as one of the most anticipated books of Autumn 2018, Friday Black is a refreshingly original anthology of stories that use fiction as a device to explore and discuss some very prominent real-world issues, and because of that, this is a collection that is thought-provoking and with much substance to it - something that always really appeals to me. Although the stories maintain objectivity, they are also brutally honest about the situation the world is currently in. Amongst the major real-world issues that are explored are discrimination (between races, cultures etc), prejudice, capitalism/capitalistic societies, consumerism and materialism. These are merely a few of the problems that make up the core of each of the twelve tales. This is a refreshing, exciting and compelling way to view contemporary subjects. This is a wonderful compilation of short stories that speak to the world we currently inhabit. Unless you've been burying your head in the sand for many a long year (actually, more like a couple of decades), each of these separate concerns should be already known to you. Friday Black shines a light on these matters bringing them to the forefront of our minds. This is one of the most enjoyable books I've had the pleasure to read this year, and it certainly lives up to the title of 'most anticipated of 2018'. Friday Black makes the reader think about the state of the world and our future here on earth, it does also have a message of hope which, in my opinion, is absolutely vital right now. Despite having finished reading this quite a while ago, I haven't stopped thinking about it ever since. It feels like a book that will leave an indelible imprint both in my mind and in my heart for the foreseeable. I am already pining for more from Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah., please don't wait too long, we readers need to read more of your wonderful work. This is not only deserving of a wide readership, but it is also worthy of the full five stars! Many thanks to riverrun for an ARC. I was not required to post a review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sunita

    This is a stylish, assured, often devastating collection of short stories. The first story sets the tone and is laugh-out-loud funny and gut-punching and horrifying, all at once. They are set in an alternate contemporary US, more or less, and they focus on race, class, suburbia, and early (not young) adulthood and how its experienced today. The portrayal of race and what it is like to live as a black person (especially a black man) can be brutal, but it's also matter-of-fact, and the difficultie This is a stylish, assured, often devastating collection of short stories. The first story sets the tone and is laugh-out-loud funny and gut-punching and horrifying, all at once. They are set in an alternate contemporary US, more or less, and they focus on race, class, suburbia, and early (not young) adulthood and how its experienced today. The portrayal of race and what it is like to live as a black person (especially a black man) can be brutal, but it's also matter-of-fact, and the difficulties of navigating society are offset in some of the stories by the warm of family life (although in other stories the family is anything but a refuge). My main criticism of the book is that once the reader has adjusted to the storytelling and literary styles, it becomes more of the same as you continue to read. There are a number of stories set in retail culture and malls, and they are insightful and cutting, but they basically repeat similar insights. A lesser criticism is that the stories' central characters are almost all men, and the one story narrated by a female character isn't convincing in terms of the characterization. Not so much because she didn't feel like a girl, but because she didn't feel like a unique individual. There are dystopian and alternate-reality elements, but for me the power came from the extent to which this felt as if it *could* happen in our world.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul Fulcher

    Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah was recently named in the US as one of the 2018 ‘5 Under 35’ Honorees by the National Book Foundation, an award for authors aged under 35, who have published their first and only book of fiction within the last five years, and 'whose debut titles provide a first look at their exceptional talent as fiction writers.’ He was nominated by Colson Whitehead, winner of the 2016 National Book Award for his The Underground Railroad. This book - Friday Black - a collection of shor Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah was recently named in the US as one of the 2018 ‘5 Under 35’ Honorees by the National Book Foundation, an award for authors aged under 35, who have published their first and only book of fiction within the last five years, and 'whose debut titles provide a first look at their exceptional talent as fiction writers.’ He was nominated by Colson Whitehead, winner of the 2016 National Book Award for his The Underground Railroad. This book - Friday Black - a collection of short-stories, is the book that won him that honour, and it is certainly a striking debut, with a powerful and distinctive voice, covering both themes highly relevant to the Black Lives Matter campaign, and also on the ills of the US consumerist society. And the stories stray into the speculative fiction area, often based on real life but taking it to another extreme. One example is the story that opens the collection, The Finkelstein 5, perhaps my favourite of all. It begins: Fela, the headless girl, walked toward Emmanuel. Her neck jagged with red savagery. She was silent, but he could feel her waiting for him to do something, anything. Then his phone rang, and he woke up. He took a deep breath and set the Blackness in his voice down to a 1.5 on a 10-point scale. ... That morning, like every morning, the first decision he made regarded his Blackness. His skin was a deep, constant brown. In public, when people could actually see him, it was impossible to get his Blackness down to anywhere near a 1.5. If he wore a tie, wing-tipped shoes, smiled constantly, used his indoor voice , and kept his hands strapped and calm at his sides, he could get his Blackness as low as 4.0. The Finkelstein 5 are five young black kids that have been killed gruesomely by a white father. He claims to have been defending his children, except the only thing that caused a threat appears to have been the colour of their skin, and yet he successfully pleads self-defence in court. The story appears exaggerated but this is 2018 where an off-duty policewoman can shoot an unarmed black man in his own apartment, because she entered the wrong flat and thought it was hers, and then parts of the press can attempt to retro-justify this because there was a tiny amount of cannabis found on the premises, cannabis found when police got a search warrant seemingly for the purpose of retro-finding incriminating evidence. In the story Emmanuel attempts to find work in a mall, but when he is unable to do so - the shop has reached its 'quota' and doesn't want to appear too 'urban' by employing too many minority staff - gets caught up in a revenge moment. A story with a similar theme, but inventive twist, is Zimmer Land told by an African-American worker in a Westworld like theme park, except the aim of the park is for white citizens to act out their fantasies of defending their families. Another highlight - this time focusing on the consumerist theme is Friday Black, one of a number of stories set in a clothing store. Here the shopping frenzy that is today Black Friday is taken to a whole new level, with dead bodies littering the scene: Maybe eighty people rush through the gate, clawing and stampeding. Pushing racks and bodies aside . Have you ever seen people run from a fire or gunshots? It’s like that, with less fear and more hunger. From my cabin, I see a child, a girl maybe six years old, disappear as the wave of consumer fervor swallows her up. She is sprawled facedown with dirty shoe prints on her pink coat. And yet the sales person narrating the story is focused more on hitting his targets than saving lives. The collection is perhaps less successful when it gets more into dystopian speculative fiction - e.g. the stories Through the Flash or The Era. I am showing my prejudice here against the short-story form, but the stories such as these ones that attempted to build new worlds or set-ups fell a little between two stools - too long for a short-story but not developed enough for a novella: they felt more like sketches for a novel than complete works. And perhaps the other criticism would be that the author is better at arresting openings and creating an interesting set-up, but not quite so good at distinctive endings, which matters more in short-stories than in the longer form. Nevertheless a worthwhile collection and a highly promising debut: 3.5 stars Thanks to the publisher for the ARC

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    This was a fun, satirical short story collection about some serious topics. One of the NBA 5 under 35 selections this year.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Trike

    Most of these stories are Science Fiction, two words which are repulsive to folks who read “propuh lit-trah-churrr”, but we don’t get anywhere by denying facts. When you have stories that feature strength-enhancing exoskeletons and self-driving cars (“Zimmer Land”), or reimagine Black Friday shoppers as consumer-crazed zombies who will kill to get a bargain (“Friday Black”) or imagine a world where political correctness doesn’t exist, causing everyone to be honest to the point of cruelty (“The E Most of these stories are Science Fiction, two words which are repulsive to folks who read “propuh lit-trah-churrr”, but we don’t get anywhere by denying facts. When you have stories that feature strength-enhancing exoskeletons and self-driving cars (“Zimmer Land”), or reimagine Black Friday shoppers as consumer-crazed zombies who will kill to get a bargain (“Friday Black”) or imagine a world where political correctness doesn’t exist, causing everyone to be honest to the point of cruelty (“The Era”) or a world where everyone experiences Groundhog Day after the nuclear apocalypse (“After the Flash”), well, that’s sci-fi and no mistake. The weaker stories here are straight fiction which don’t have plots and exist, as much literature does, more as a Rorschach test for the reader than anything else. I find those types of stories tedious, but fortunately they are few and far between here. Based on these stories, I suspect that Adjei-Brenyah has spent at least some time working retail in a mall, which is fodder for plenty of horror stories. The four I mentioned in the first paragraph are the standouts for me. They do what all great Science Fiction stories do: they look at our society through the allegorical lens of new technology. “Zimmer Land” is the least subtle but the most razor sharp of the bunch, positing a disneyland (to borrow John Varley’s lowercase nouning of the amusement park experience) where white people can act tough and freely “kill” black actors in a Florida “stand your ground” scenario. Adjei-Brenyah packs in a lot of commentary in a relatively short space, and this is one of those SF stories with a social bite that would be perfectly at home on the TV series Black Mirror. Overall this is a stellar debut.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna | hayinas7

    Finklestein 5, Zimmer Land, Light Spitter and Through the Flash are my absolute favorites. Great collection of short stories.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    2.5 rounded up As is often the case with short stories, I found these to be an incredibly mixed bag. I thought the first story was brilliant - it felt really Black Mirror-esque - but unfortunately the rest were mostly forgettable for me, ending predictably and often falling flat. Thank you Netgalley and Quercus Books for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Adjei-Brenyah’s dystopian, satirical short stories are so inventive, that one may miss the ‘bite’ as they relate to our American society. There is violence in ‘The Finkelstein 5’ whereby George Wilson Dunn decapitates five children with his chainsaw because he felt threatened. The resulting trial is a farce. The author chooses to tell this story through Emmanuel John who grades himself on a ‘blackness rating’ system. Dressing in a suit and tie rates a lower rating than if he wears a hoodie. The Adjei-Brenyah’s dystopian, satirical short stories are so inventive, that one may miss the ‘bite’ as they relate to our American society. There is violence in ‘The Finkelstein 5’ whereby George Wilson Dunn decapitates five children with his chainsaw because he felt threatened. The resulting trial is a farce. The author chooses to tell this story through Emmanuel John who grades himself on a ‘blackness rating’ system. Dressing in a suit and tie rates a lower rating than if he wears a hoodie. The outcome of the trial causes him to struggle to understand the rules of a society that means to rule you. Adjei-Brenyah utilizes science fiction in some of his strange and beautiful stories. In ‘The Era’, we have genetically modified people and those who are not, called the ‘clear-born’, and the use of an addictive drug called ‘Good’ that is injected by the authorities. Is it better to be true and authentic, or synthetic? In ‘The Light Spitter’ a school shooter and his victim team up as ghosts to make things right. And then there is ‘Through the Flash’ which is an intense Groundhog Day story whereby Ama—the Knife Queen—can take revenge day-after-day. Oh yes, and then there are the stories relating to the retail world—‘How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King’ and ‘In Retail’. The first one is a hilarious take on Black Friday craziness whereby patrons can become zombies. But ‘Zimmerland’ is the most appalling. Here, the black employees don protective wear so that they can be ‘killed’ day-after-day by bloodthirsty patrons. Enjoy these excellently written, highly original satiric stories addressing racism and capitalism. Their dystopian focus is balanced by protagonists that have a certain sense of integrity and compassion.

  15. 5 out of 5

    CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian

    I'm a little unsure how to rate this, especially as I didn't actually read the last two stories since I had to return it to the library. I was completely blown away by the first story, which I thought was totally incredible. But then none of the other stories really caught my interest. I liked how his concepts were a kind of satire that depicted a world just this side of plausible with themes of anti-black racism and capitalist excess. The stars are really for the first story which I think is on I'm a little unsure how to rate this, especially as I didn't actually read the last two stories since I had to return it to the library. I was completely blown away by the first story, which I thought was totally incredible. But then none of the other stories really caught my interest. I liked how his concepts were a kind of satire that depicted a world just this side of plausible with themes of anti-black racism and capitalist excess. The stars are really for the first story which I think is one of the best short stories I've ever read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Shepherd

    "...a jury of his peers had acquitted George Wilson Dunn of any wrongdoing whatsoever. He had been indicted for allegedly using a chain saw to hack off the heads of five black children outside the Finklestein Library in Valley Ridge, South Carolina. The court had ruled that because the children were basically loitering and not actually inside the library reading, as one might expect of productive members of society, it was reasonable that Dunn had felt threatened by these five black young people "...a jury of his peers had acquitted George Wilson Dunn of any wrongdoing whatsoever. He had been indicted for allegedly using a chain saw to hack off the heads of five black children outside the Finklestein Library in Valley Ridge, South Carolina. The court had ruled that because the children were basically loitering and not actually inside the library reading, as one might expect of productive members of society, it was reasonable that Dunn had felt threatened by these five black young people and, thus, he was well within his rights..." Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah has a handle on dystopian fiction, whether it's political, societal, professional or even existential. This is a collection of twelve short stories that scale somewhere between transcendent hopefulness and soul-sucking despair. Not all of them will wow you, but most of them will viscerally impact you, and two or three of them will blow your freaking mind.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andre

    A first-rate story collection with a little bit of magical realism, weirdness, strangeness, wit, hard truths, racial injustice and a dash of retail shopping, which gives the book its title. Friday Black is what we know as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that ushers in the Christmas shopping season. In the story, Friday Black, a clothing store in the mall is gearing up for the shopping frenzy that can be deadly and in the past Friday Blacks it has been literally fatal. “Last year, the F A first-rate story collection with a little bit of magical realism, weirdness, strangeness, wit, hard truths, racial injustice and a dash of retail shopping, which gives the book its title. Friday Black is what we know as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that ushers in the Christmas shopping season. In the story, Friday Black, a clothing store in the mall is gearing up for the shopping frenzy that can be deadly and in the past Friday Blacks it has been literally fatal. “Last year, the Friday Black took 129 people. ‘Black Friday is a special case; we are still a hub of customer care and interpersonal cohesiveness,‘ mall management said in a mall-wide memo.” For those who partake in this annual rush to retail, this story is sure to stay with you long after you put down this collection, and may haunt your future quests for Black Friday bargains. Nana Kwame returns to the retail theme with the same characters in the story, How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King and In Retail. Both stories deal with retail at the point of sale and In Retail highlights the stress related to retail work and how one must avoid being Lucy or Lucyed. “Lucy was that girl who jumped from the fourth floor last month on her lunch break.” The Finkelstein Five is the first story in the book and kind of announces to the reader that something special is in store. A strong story that easily fits in today’s America with the focus on injustice and the resulting helplessness that may lead to extreme forms of retribution as displayed here in this tale. In Zimmer Land we experience a racial amusement park where patrons can live out their ‘I feared for my life’ fantasies for a small fee. These stories, for lack of a better word are highlights for me, but the other entries are also spotlight worthy and the entire story collection indicates with clarity Nana Kwame is inventive, creative, and talented and a voice that readers will look to hear from again and again. Thanks to Mariner Books and Edelweiss for an advanced DRC. Book drops on Oct. 23, 2018.

  18. 4 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    “If I had words left in me, I would not be here.” When I started reading this book I could see what the hype was about. This debut collection of short stories is cutting, sharp, refreshing, bizarre and is here to tackle racial issues, capitalism and other topics I am here for authors taking pen to paper for. While I did enjoy a lot of the stories, others veered too far left for me and I was like puzzled. Overall, this book read like a series of Black Mirror and I would love to see these storie “If I had words left in me, I would not be here.” When I started reading this book I could see what the hype was about. This debut collection of short stories is cutting, sharp, refreshing, bizarre and is here to tackle racial issues, capitalism and other topics I am here for authors taking pen to paper for. While I did enjoy a lot of the stories, others veered too far left for me and I was like puzzled. Overall, this book read like a series of Black Mirror and I would love to see these stories brought to life. If you are looking a book to take you out of your element in a good, maybe bad way. Pick this one up.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul Lockman

    3.5 stars. A strong debut novel but a real mix of stories for me – some brilliant, very original and creative, others not so much. I feel confident in saying he is an author to watch and I will certainly be looking out for his next publication.

  20. 4 out of 5

    SissiReads

    Oh my goodness, where do I even begin to write this review? First of all, I have never read a book like this before (to say the least!!!), it truly is eye opening and every time I think about it I feel goosebumps all over. The magnitude of what it tries to present in the book is beyond words, so before I go into a bit more details of the book, I just want to congratulate the author for such outstanding debut novel and for what he has achieved so far. It truly is amazing. Friday Black consists of 1 Oh my goodness, where do I even begin to write this review? First of all, I have never read a book like this before (to say the least!!!), it truly is eye opening and every time I think about it I feel goosebumps all over. The magnitude of what it tries to present in the book is beyond words, so before I go into a bit more details of the book, I just want to congratulate the author for such outstanding debut novel and for what he has achieved so far. It truly is amazing. Friday Black consists of 12 short stories. What I am most impressed about is all 12 short stories are completely different from each other. Contemporary, futuristic, dystopian and so on. Each story uses the form of fiction to tell a different social / culture / racial phenomenon or problem. I am seriously in awe of the author’s ability to write so many different genres in one book! These stories are shocking, dark, twisted, weird, strange, eye-opening, heavy, brutal and so very painful. It cuts deep to your soul. Some of the stories have such deep meaningful message that I have to reread it again to truly appreciate everything the author is trying to convey. Some of the stories make you so uncomfortable, you want to close the book and just leave it but you know you have to go on reading because you know similar things are really happening nowadays and you can’t just turn a blind eye towards it! Some of the stories are so very painful to read. But it is these pains that the author wants us to experience and understand. The first story is shockingly painful, the last story is mind-blowingly brutal, everything in between is cutting edge and powerful. This is a very unique book that I will remember for a very long time to come.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rod-Kelly Hines

    With all of the high praise this collection has received, I was very excited to read it. Overall, I enjoyed it even though I wasn't expecting speculative fiction, a genre that often leaves me cold and unsatisfied. The standouts in the collection are The Finkelstein 5, Zimmer Land, How to Sell a Jacket as Told by IceKing, and Friday Black, which is an utterly brilliant story and deservedly gives the book it's title. The rest had no effect on me whatsoever beyond being cleverly written.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Another GR reviewer wrote this about Friday Black: The Finkelstein 5, Zimmer Land, How to Sell a Jacket as Told by IceKing, and Friday Black, which is an utterly brilliant story and deservedly gives the book its title. The rest had no effect on me whatsoever beyond being cleverly written. I could not agree more. This is a mixed-bag collection; what's good is outstanding but not every story stands out. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah has an abundance of talent and I have no doubt we'll be seeing more of Another GR reviewer wrote this about Friday Black: The Finkelstein 5, Zimmer Land, How to Sell a Jacket as Told by IceKing, and Friday Black, which is an utterly brilliant story and deservedly gives the book its title. The rest had no effect on me whatsoever beyond being cleverly written. I could not agree more. This is a mixed-bag collection; what's good is outstanding but not every story stands out. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah has an abundance of talent and I have no doubt we'll be seeing more of this writer.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    4.5 These are some powerful stories. I deduct .5 stars for the simple fact that people who most need to read these either won't or won't understand them....some of the stories are very subtle and left me saying WTF? I've been trying to read for the TOB and this didn't make the cut likely because of publication date so I cut to the chase and read the title story first....bad decision. It was good but not especially revelatory. A friend was raving about this collection and my library due date was l 4.5 These are some powerful stories. I deduct .5 stars for the simple fact that people who most need to read these either won't or won't understand them....some of the stories are very subtle and left me saying WTF? I've been trying to read for the TOB and this didn't make the cut likely because of publication date so I cut to the chase and read the title story first....bad decision. It was good but not especially revelatory. A friend was raving about this collection and my library due date was looming so I asked which stories she would recommend for my limited time. She gave me a few suggestions and I dipped back in starting with The Finklestein 5. OMG, this is totally the place to start and it's the first story in the book so the publisher knew what they were doing since most readers are not contrarian like me and start at the beginning...duh! Anyway, I was sucked into a whirling vortex and I didn't come up for air until I had finished every story. Adjei-Brenyah is one to watch....I feel like there's a slew of young writers out there vying for the voice of black America and he is right at the top. But in these troubled times we need them all.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn Crupi

    The best fiction shakes you up – this is the best fiction and I feel like a snow globe. I’m not sure any of us could ever be ready for something as electric and essential as FRIDAY BLACK and I’m so happy to have been rocked to my core. This collection of illuminating and mind-expanding stories has had me captivated. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I feel equally exhausted and exhilarated, spent and satiated. FRIDAY BLACK will set you on fire and all I can really say is The best fiction shakes you up – this is the best fiction and I feel like a snow globe. I’m not sure any of us could ever be ready for something as electric and essential as FRIDAY BLACK and I’m so happy to have been rocked to my core. This collection of illuminating and mind-expanding stories has had me captivated. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I feel equally exhausted and exhilarated, spent and satiated. FRIDAY BLACK will set you on fire and all I can really say is get ready to burn bright. Adjei-Brenyah has talent to spare and his potential is breathtaking – I’m already anticipating what comes next.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book was gut wrenching, brilliant, heartbreaking, and poignant. Normally short story collections are a mixed bag for me- there are always a couple that I don’t enjoy as much, and they slow the whole thing down. But each story was engrossing in its own way, and nearly every one broke my heart. The Finkelstein 5: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ If I could give this story more stars, I would. It evoked the most visceral reaction from me, and it’s the story I’ll be thinking about the most. Things My Mother Said: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The E This book was gut wrenching, brilliant, heartbreaking, and poignant. Normally short story collections are a mixed bag for me- there are always a couple that I don’t enjoy as much, and they slow the whole thing down. But each story was engrossing in its own way, and nearly every one broke my heart. The Finkelstein 5: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ If I could give this story more stars, I would. It evoked the most visceral reaction from me, and it’s the story I’ll be thinking about the most. Things My Mother Said: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Era: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Lark Street: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Hospital Where: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Zimmer Land: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Friday Black: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Lion & the Spider: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Light Spitter: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ How to Sell a Jacket as Told by IceKing: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ In Retail: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This was darker than I expected, and too relatable. Through the Flash: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Fuck. What a way to end. Anyway, this is a terrible review, but I’m struggling to find the right words to capture my feelings. This was such a brilliant collection and I can’t wait for more from Adjei-Brenyah.

  26. 4 out of 5

    sologdin

    Effective short fiction. The opening speculates on what happens in the US after a jury (view spoiler)[acquits the confessed killer of five African-American children, on the basis of justified self-defense, in circumstances wherein he decapitated all of them at a public library with a chain saw (hide spoiler)] . It's basically brilliant. Most of the stories have a speculative component--dystopic, post-apocalyptic, ghosts, pagan cultism, or perhaps the slight sci-fi made famous by Black Mirror--such Effective short fiction. The opening speculates on what happens in the US after a jury (view spoiler)[acquits the confessed killer of five African-American children, on the basis of justified self-defense, in circumstances wherein he decapitated all of them at a public library with a chain saw (hide spoiler)] . It's basically brilliant. Most of the stories have a speculative component--dystopic, post-apocalyptic, ghosts, pagan cultism, or perhaps the slight sci-fi made famous by Black Mirror--such as the amusement park based on the pre-emptive 'self-defense' practiced by the confessed yet acquitted killer in the Trayvon Martin case, or Black Friday shopping stories (author knows about working retail) wherein the customers act and are treated like zombies (in the tradition of Romero films, wherein zombies act like shoppers, complete with doorbusting). Cover art features an image of the lion & Anansi--and one text makes use of this mythology--it is therefore the most conceptually difficult of the stories, and likely is worthy of much analysis--as well as applying the Anansi mythology back to the entirety. Overall, the critique of race and class in this collection is manifest and serious, a patient outrage. Recommended for readers for whom the insolence is welcomed, persons so old that they don't really have a gender anymore, and those named on a list with a complicated attractiveness matrix.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rosie

    This was a great debut and some truly original short stories that are so gooooood they set the bar on how amazing short stories can be. A little surreal, a splash of sci-fi and dystopia, anger mixed with sharp observations I was griped, and I want to read it again because each story was so detailed I want to make sure I got everything! I was especially gripped by Through The Flash that could have been it’s own book, actually most of them would make a great individual lengthier book!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    4.5 best collection of short stories to come out since last years her body and other parties. Maybe got bored with one of the stories or two but other than that flawless

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lissa

    I think I'm just not made to enjoy collections of short stories. I think its their unevenness that makes me dislike them; nearly every collection I've read has some good stories in it, but you really have to dig for those, because they're surrounded by stories that are far less appealing to me. I didn't have to dig to find the gem in this collection; it was right at the beginning. "The Finkelstein Five" was, quite frankly, amazing. (view spoiler)[The killing of the children was quite over the top I think I'm just not made to enjoy collections of short stories. I think its their unevenness that makes me dislike them; nearly every collection I've read has some good stories in it, but you really have to dig for those, because they're surrounded by stories that are far less appealing to me. I didn't have to dig to find the gem in this collection; it was right at the beginning. "The Finkelstein Five" was, quite frankly, amazing. (view spoiler)[The killing of the children was quite over the top - the white defendant used a chainsaw against CHILDREN and was, miraculously, acquitted. I don't put much faith in our justice system, but I hope that our society isn't THAT far gone? I really don't know, though. I mean...look at the news. Maybe the author isn't so far off. (hide spoiler)] It had a sense of urgency and felt contemporary. This, I thought to myself, is the start of an amazing collection of short stories. Maybe I was wrong - maybe I WAS made to enjoy short stories, and I just hadn't found the correct collection until now. I was let down, however, with the rest of the stories. The first story in the collection far surpassed the remainder, and I was left wondering how this book had received so much hype and praise. Give me more stories like "The Finkelstein Five" and I'll most gladly read them. Unfortunately, there wasn't another one on its level here.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Uriel Perez

    Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's 'Friday Black' is such a book that requires one a moment to catch their breath upon completion. These twelve stories are ferocious and reveal the underbelly of a nation still at odds with its own past, destined to be consumed by its present. And yet, there's a persistent glimmer of hope that runs through these visions of chaos and suffering, of ghosts seeking redemption, of the over-worked sales representative, of those caught in an system actively working against them Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's 'Friday Black' is such a book that requires one a moment to catch their breath upon completion. These twelve stories are ferocious and reveal the underbelly of a nation still at odds with its own past, destined to be consumed by its present. And yet, there's a persistent glimmer of hope that runs through these visions of chaos and suffering, of ghosts seeking redemption, of the over-worked sales representative, of those caught in an system actively working against them. Though this collection feels tailor-made for 2018, much of what Adjei-Brenyah writes has that quality of timelessness few writers can achieve.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.