The Last Block In Harlem Epub í Last Block In

The Last Block In Harlem [Read] ➵ The Last Block In Harlem Author Christopher Herz – A young couple seeking a fresh start moves into a fourth floor walk up in Sugar Hill Harlemwhere kids run through hydrants and music blares from stereos plugged into lampposts When the husband notices A young couple seeking a fresh Block In Epub â start moves into a fourth floor walk up in Sugar Hill Harlemwhere kids run through hydrants and music blares from stereos plugged into lampposts When the husband notices trash marring the streets he finds his cause However his The Last MOBI :Ê best intentions go awry when his clean up efforts bring media coverage that sets off a rash of evictions and ushers in an influx of new and affluent tenantsHis fight to clean up the block evolves into a uest to cleanse his soul but the Last Block In PDF/EPUB ¿ choices he makes cannot change the past and the secrets that haunt him What exists beneath the surface can't be held down for long On The Last Block In Harlem accomplishment and love will clash but which force is strong enough to win.

10 thoughts on “The Last Block In Harlem

  1. Byron Byron says:

    This book was going so well for about the first half then it started to gradually veer off course and then the plane crashed into a mountain in the last 20 pages or so The ending was bungled in a way that's so epic that I actually kinda respect it If you gave me the first 14 chapters of this book and told me to write two final chapters that completely ruin it as some silly writing assignment I don't know that I could come up with something as bizarre as what this guy came up with I don't have as vivid an imaginationNot that this was necessarily the great American novel up until that point But I really did like the idea behind it Some yuppie marketing a hole moves into an apartment in Harlem He falls in love with the area and the people and he hates his job because it's marketing One day he has a Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire moment and decides to uit his job and focus on sweeping the sidewalk No really But then the media takes notice and he gets funding from a politician a corrupt one natch and the whole thing turns into one huge clusterfuck Someone who's not high should rip that idea off for a film

  2. Kenya Wright Kenya Wright says:

    I would say this was soft literary Very vibrant writing Great use of setting I felt like I was in Harlem The story was enjoyable Usually I like a lot of violence or sex with my reads unfolding withing a mystery This story was not that It was about a man finding himself human connection within a urban jungle and even some themes on gentrification and existentialism Good read I will def check out from this author

  3. Jenny Jenny says:

    Unless you're new to reading my blog you're probably aware of my love for all things New York City There is something so real about the city and it's full of such history And the variety in culture and people in New York is something that continues to draw me to it My family makes fun of me for a remark I made after returning from my first trip to NYC when I said that I felt like I belonged in NYC than I do here in Florida where I grew up But it's true On my most recent trip to the city I was able to spend some time with a good friend of mine in ueens She took us on a tour of the borough she absolutely loves and calls home Her passion for this part of New York was contagious I could have walked around the streets of ueens all day just taking in the world around me I feel this way about all the parts of the city I've visited so far So it only seemed natural that I would feel the need to read The Last Block in Harlem by Christopher Herz his own love story for yet another part of New York City Coincidentally the same friend from ueens Sarah and I had a conversation that day about the gentrification of Harlem Say the world Harlem and look at the automatic thoughts that run through your mind It's probably thought of as a rough kind of place and dangerous So for some the thought of beautifying the city and transforming it into a new safe place to live might be desirable But then what happens to the culture the history? Or the people who have spent their entire lives in Harlem and can no longer afford the lofty rent payments increased by the said gentrification of the city?The Last Block in Harlem explores this topic the connection a group of people has to their neighborhood which is an extension of their lives This book is narrated in first person and is about a man who takes it upon himself to start cleaning up the streets of his block in Harlem He doesn't do it for payment or rewards of any kind It's merely for him and his home This contemporary novel has some existentialist themes running through it reminding me in parts of the main characters from The Unnamed and The Financial Lives of the Poets Our main character is tired of his meaningless life as a copywriter for an advertising agency and decides to leave his job to focus on finding meaning in his life; and it just so starts with his cleaning up his block But these actions lead to media attention and ultimately real estate agencies start looking into Harlem and its real estate potential This man then has to turn things around and find a way to bring the block's inhabitants together to protect their homes from being taken overThough short at only 215 pages The Last Block in Harlem is thorough and complex and can't necessarily be considered a light read There isn't a large amount of action at any given time; in fact much of the mentioned plot doesn't occur until halfway through the book In the way that many books are character studies this one is in a sense a neighborhood study with snapshots of the people that make up the neighborhood Alongside this storyline and complementing the character's period of enlightenment is that of the man's relationship with his wife Namuna That he is absolutely in love with his wife is never in uestion but how he shows his love for her while going through this part of his life is The storyline between the two of them did confuse me at times and the place where their relationship ultimately goes was strange to me Because there's so much to contemplate in this book it's possible I didn't catch on to the significance of this part so for me it's the only part I would have maybe preferred to be differentI was certainly taken away to the streets of Harlem while reading this book and could feel Herz's love for the city The descriptions painted for me a clear picture of the neighborhood and the dialogue between all the characters contributed to the atmosphere of the novel And I can't fail to mention how much I love the cover of this book I also can't finish this review without mentioning a little about the author I had the opportunity to meet him at the book blogger convention this past May He talked about how when he first wrote this book he walked the streets of New York City every day selling it individually to anyone who was willing to listen to him He was even featured in an article in Publishers Weekly and shortly after was offered a publishing deal from 's new publishing house Encore On his blog Herz Words the author has placed pictures with a short caption of all those individuals who bought the copies of the book that he hand sold individually It's sort of fun so check it outThe Last Block in Harlem exuded for me a passion for that block in New York City It was a deep thoughtful read that I feel could really use a second read through to truly grasp everything the author intended Those who love this city or can relate to the passion for one's own neighborhood will likely enjoy this book Same for those who enjoy reading about a person's search for their true identity and meaning in their life Great debut

  4. Emily Emily says:

    The first thing I noticed about this book was how distinctly male it was In no way is this a criticism I am a huge fan of Jack Kerouac and you can't get much male focused from the male perspective and about things that could only happen to males than him Perhaps as with Kerouac this was incidental by the writer who just writes about the things he thinks about many of which are manly baseball hot women who aren't his wife feeling insecure about his wife's success which is superior to his You're taking away my manhood My own wife selling out the soul of the neighborhood pressure to measure up to previous generations of men her description of the neighborhood in her day and the image of her husband trying his hardest to leave his mark on the world while still supporting a family made me worry that I'd given up my dreams too easily for the safety of a weekly paycheck Sure these are things I have heard that men think about But somehow it seemed a little forced here as though the writer was trying too hard to make his protagonist sound like a relatable average bro with a dream or that he had assigned flaws and pastimes to the character a little too deliberately To me they came off instead as too generalized Adding to this the author falls into the same egocentric trap as many male writers few if any of his female characters have than one dimension and are merely tropes for what they represent to the male protagonist For example when a female character gifts him a type writer the following exchange occurs between him and his wife What am I supposed to do with this? I asked You're sometimes just a little bit dense than I thought you were Namuna said When a woman gives you something there is always a reason or purpose Ah yes women we mystical creatures oozing with intuition for whom every action has a reason or purpose perfect for its male recipient if only he could detect our subliminal intent Gag me with a Manic Pixie Dream Girl However the second thing I noticed about this book was the overall excellent and uniue writing style and how well it lended itself to the many descriptions of Harlem I lived about ten blocks from the story's location about seven years ago and it really did feel like gentrification had skipped over us into Washington Heights and left Harlem alone This caused inconveniences of course poor selections for restaurants other than fast food a filthy and perpetually overcrowded grocery store nowhere to drink but a handful of dive bars filled with old men as well as the problems the book describes an abundance of litter kids on the streets often causing trouble and earsplittingly loud radios blaring at whatever hour the owners felt like But I shared the author's appreciation for it as well Living there felt like it would have been a similar experience 20 or even 50 years ago if not for the kids' ipods and the modernized Dunkin Donuts signs It had a timeless uality and its essence was uniuely New York The book's descriptions of Harlem's people and streets in all their flaws and glory were beautifully written detailed and vivid I also really enjoyed the writer's introspective passages about trying to be of some use to his community and fearing that he sold out his own potential for security and thus complacency Each time you give in like that each time you back away from something you believe in a piece of you dies that can never be brought back to life Don't let anyone tell you not to care It all matters Everything Passages like this are golden and really hit home for a reader like myself as a lawyer now living in a uickly gentrifying area of New Orleans who does a little community activism on the side the story of a dissatisfied white collar white person whose good intentions end up ruining the neighborhood they love was definitely appealing and relatable to me I'm glad that the book was not redemptive However having done uite a bit of community service myself including a brief stint in nonprofits in the past the protagonist's plan coming together is where the book started to fall apart for me Putting together an event much less an entire program or organization takes SO MUCH WORK Research Time Feedback from other people Yet the protagonist does none of this and just put the whole concept down in less than two hours Which begs the uestion all white gentrifiers myself included of course should ask ourselves before we try to fix a neighborhood we moved into If the problem you are addressing were that easy to solve don't you think someone would have thought of it by now? If it were as easy as picking up litter being literally stumbled upon by an interested journalist and then found by a politician who actually wants to fund your project there would be no grant writers no corporate giving divisions no need for press releases I guess I loved the concept behind this book but I couldn't tell whether the author was as clueless about how community programs start up as his protagonist or whether he was trying to make a point about his protagonist's cluelessness I'm guessing the former because the ease at which the protagonist's idea was recognized funded and running was not presented as a problem The problem came from its success and the gentrification it caused The program's destruction was then deliberate and literal rather than due to flawed planning research inevitable unforeseen problems or pulled funding that have been the death of many great community programs and projects Maybe I'm being too nitpicky and the author didn't take the time to show the nitty gritty aspects of community start ups because it was meant only as an example of good intentions gone awry But then why include that the character put the plan together in less than two hours? Also wouldn't it have served the character's mourning process better and made his destruction of his own project even significant if his blood sweat and tears had gone into it? The unbelievability of the story just continued for me from there right up until the last pages when SPOILER ALERT it's revealed that the protagonist has actually become delusional and is living with his dead wife's body Um what? Metaphorical for wallowing in the destruction of something you loved by your own hand? I don't know man Good writing good concept nice descriptions of Harlem and the learnings of someone who's just trying to matter but the execution of the story did not work for me

  5. Amy Amy says:

    I wanted to like this book I really enjoyed the premise but the execution was unusual This is Mr Herz's first book and it reads like it That is ok Every author has a first book and lots of kinks need practice to work themselves out The writing is a little clumsy at times but he has a talent for descriptions It's the organization of ideas and the consistency of time that is bothersome The ending is nuts In the weirdest worst way imaginable Heck I couldn't imagine it The wheels really fall off the bus at the end Then that bus runs off a cliff And catches fire And burns a village below You get the picture Spoiler Alert A couple of things about this story really bugged me The ghosts like the kid on the bridge Maybe the man on the subway with the EXACT SAME abortion story I felt like this second story line added nothing It seemed to muddy the water if anything Is this mystical realism? Just the protagonist falling apart? I'm not sure I'd feel any better about the book knowing the answers Also I was just kind of left with the feeling there was a slight anti abortion tone to the book Maybe not I'm not certain Just because the theme of abortion regret was present doesn't make it intended as a cautionary tale It just sort of left that impression with me

  6. Rosae Rosae says:

    Ok so this book was loaned to me on my Kindle and I was so excited to receive it I began to read it immediately Of course I only had two weeks to finish it which is an eternity to me but I was anxious to get started reading The title drew me in also The story began and I was somewhat interested As I continued reading I began to feel disconnected and lost for where the author was trying to take me The development of characters was slight at best I didn't feel any connection to them at all even when he went into some detail about their lives It was all very matter of fact The details of the story did nothing for me at all The story line for me was too choppy Like a movie that drags on and on to get to a particular point EDITING is the key The most disturbing part to me was at the endI won't give the story away for some of you who still might want to read it but lets just say Pet Cemetery This part of the book seemed to be released of any part of reality I understand fiction but sheesh It was totally unbelievable In a nut shell I finished this book in 2 days and was uite annoyed that I wasted my time reading it for that long Me no likey

  7. Stephanie Stephanie says:

    I really wanted to like this book I picked it up as a Samsung Deal of the Month because I'm currently living in a downtown neighborhood that's going through gentrification I liked that this book was dissecting the growing pains of neighborhood change from the inside out It started well and I liked where it was headed but then the whole thing went down a bizarro rabbit hole and crashed and burned I also really wanted to like it because it's the author's first book and I think he put a lot of himself into the main character He does have a talent for description and for dissecting things and breaking them down from a new point of view hence 2 stars and not 1 but I can't honestly recommend this read to anyone I only finished because I was enthralled by the train wreck ending and just had to watch to see if anything worthwhile survived Spoiler it didn't

  8. Karen McQuestion Karen McQuestion says:

    I've never been to Harlem but I feel like I have after reading this book The author has a rare talent for recreating the sights sounds and smells of the neighborhood not to mention realistically depicting the characters who populate it Not to give too much away but I didn't see the ending coming and wasn't sure how I felt about it Later I thought about the book and mentally retraced the steps leading up to the last chapter similar to what I did after seeing the film The Sixth Sense Overall I still prefer warm fuzzy endings but this one made me think and react not a bad thing at all I will definitely read Christopher Herz's next novel He clearly has a creative mind and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next

  9. SenoraG SenoraG says:

    I read this via a Crazy Book Tours and I have to say it did not impress me Not every book can be a winner and it's great to step out and read things that normally you wouldn't so I am not sorry I read it just that it didn't click with meWhat starts as a little sweep up from a resident our main character who is never named in the entire book turns into so much It's a look into the lives of people in Harlem and everywhere in my opinion

  10. Kathryn Kathryn says:

    weird but good book I enjoyed reading it

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