Hi, guys. I know I have been a little mute as of late, but school started back up for me a couple weeks ago and I’ve been adjusting to my new schedule. I am trying to get back into the groove of things, so hopefully I can produce some more steady content from here on out 🙂
The following two reviews come from a set of books that were mailed to me by the author, Thomas Leslie McRae. Both copies were free to me in exchange for my honest review.
Because the second book does not have a separate synopsis and is a run-off of part one, I am going to include the information here, separate from the reviews (it is rather long so there is no point in sharing it with you twice).
Pimp in the Pulpit is a short story filled with unique characters. Each has a different outlook on life and how they treat family and friends. What is acceptable to some is nothing more than the devils work to the others. The large family has met on several occasions for gatherings, parties and reunions, some went OK but most didn’t. Nobody was sure what went wrong to cause such chaos when the family gathered. There was speculation that when Minister Tierra Joy become involved in any family event planning it quickly turned into a hot ghetto mess.
Well it’s time for another gathering. Lillian McBride, affectionately know as Lucifer is turning 95. Lillian has four children, a son, Tony McBride. She also has three daughters Viola McBride, Minister Tierra Joy and Cleopatra Jones. Will this special occasion bring the family closer or drive them further apart? How will they finance the gathering? How much money that is raised will be stolen or used for other means? Will the huge clan from Texas show up? What about the food, will they have enough? Will the relatives go nuts eating like they are on death row and this is their last meal, consuming it all in fifteen minutes or less? How much of the buffet will they steal and take home? Who will drink too much and act up? Has Cleopatra and her family learned from their previous gatherings? Will they even attend the bash?
Cleopatra is married to Marcus Jones Senior. They have two kids Marcus Junior and Edward (Eddie) Jones. Eddie is a hardworking man and is perplexed about his family’s actions towards his family, immediate and distant kin. He has trouble understanding even his Dad’s outlook on the birthday party. He begins questioning family loyalties, their love for one another while at the same time remembering the advice his Mom and Aunt Gladys told him several years ago. Will this gathering, compounded with the events of the other ones finally open Eddie’s eyes?
Pimp in the Pulpit
Rating: 2 stars
This story does deliver when it comes to gritty, quick humor. Make no mistake, it is pretty funny if you’re not too close-minded and unwillingly to read a lot of profanities. If you are easily offended by crude language or outlandish behavior, this is 100% not the book for you. However, I found the attitudes and lashing out to be very funny and entertaining, and for this reason alone, I really wanted to like it a lot more. It doesn’t hold back at all and you really feel like you’re just sitting down with the author conversing and he’s telling you stories. The issue I had here was that the stories didn’t always flow together, so there was a lot of jumping around in the past and present. Things were not cohesive. It was also exceedingly hard to keep up with all of the characters. This is a story about a very large family, and McRae introduces you to a lot of the kin. In addition to this, he often uses their full name when reintroducing them each chapter, and because they are all related with similiar last names (except those who have taken their spouses last name), it can be a little confusing to remember who is being discussed. Eventually, I got used to some of the main characters, like Lillian, Cleopatra, Viola, Edward, and Tierra, but there were lots and lots of others who I couldn’t always place.
Pimp in the Pulpit Part 2
Rating: 3 stars
The second installment in this set was a little easier to read. There was still quite a bit of jumping around in the stories, but there seemed to be less characters to keep up with, and since I got a little familiar with some of them in the first novella, it was a little easier to keep everything in context for each character. Once again I was very amused and brought into the arguments and family quips going on here. There is a lack of veil to sugarcoat things in these novellas, making it feel real, honest, and raw. I think that the author has an interesting story brewing, but the two novellas could be merged into one with some more context and character information to make a very real and very interesting story. I like the direction that these stories take and the dialogue is exciting, but the stories lack context, which makes it harder to connect to them. With this being said, however, it will definitely bring you back to memories of family drama and incidents of your own, which can help the stories seem more familiar.
Overall, it was a very interesting ride reading these two novellas, and I would really like to see these crazy characters come alive with more background in possibly a longer story.