Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Page Count: 331 pages (Vintage Reprint – 1997)
Read Time: ~14 days following class syllabus
Genre: Non-Fiction (Memoir)
Cry-O-Meter: 5/10 (out of sadness and anger)
Break down: Readers follow the narrator (a black Puerto rican) from early adolescence to adulthood; from Piri spending his days out on the streets of Spanish Harlem (& “Italian turf”) and falling down a path of drugs, violence, and crime, eventually leading to his incarceration. We follow the narrator from Harlem and Long Island, to down South, to jail, and to Harlem. The book covers the above mentioned topics and is heavily immersed in discussion of self-identity and race.
Would I recommend? 100% yes.
Recommended Reading Age: The book does delve into sex and drug use meant for an older/more mature crowd, but I am for not censoring the reading experience for a younger audiences if they decide to pick the book up. I would say starting around 15-years-old should be fine if the reader is mature about the topics involved.
Everything happened yesterday. Trina was yesterday. Brew was yesterday, Johnny Gringo was yesterday. I was a kid yesterday and my whole world was yesterday. I ain’t got nothing but today and a whole lot of tomorrow.