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Everyday people
Stewart O'Nan
Adult Fiction ONAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Crest Tolbert, 18, was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair after slipping, along with his best friend, from an overpass he was tagging with graffiti. His friend died from the fall. His father, Harold, is having a homosexual affair, a fact he cannot admit to his family, whom he would leave if it weren't for Crest's condition. His mother is certain that Harold is cheating on her with a younger woman and is torn between setting him free and trying to win him back. Vanessa, Crest's girlfriend and the mother of his son, has enrolled in her first college class and is learning about the rich history of their people. Eugene, his brother, is a reformed gangbanger, a born-again Christian whose mission in life is to save young gang members before they end up in prison. Although this is not one of the brilliant O'Nan's best efforts, Esposito comes through with a brilliant reading of the text. His quickness and ease with street slang and verbal posturing fit the characters perfectly and make listening to this tale of day-to-day struggle a truly engaging experience. Simultaneous release with the Grove hardcover (Forecasts, Nov. 20). (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

O'Nan's depictions of the African American families in East Liberty, a small enclave near Pittsburgh, are startling: the two teenage graffiti artists who fall off a bridge, one killed, the other trapped in a wheelchair; the boy murdered in a turf war; the former gang member who got religion in prison; and the single mother trying to better herself. Additionally, having Giancarlo Esposito to read this book was inspired. The only problem is that, despite all the inherent possibilities for drama, listeners are left with mere description. For more than two tapes, the words simply drift past, floating from one character to the next, interesting but never engrossing. Finally, on the second side of tape three, the narrative asserts itself, and we begin to follow changes in the characters' interactions, even if transitions from one scene to the next are often muddled. This reviewer was left questioning the abridgment; descriptions of Vanessa's college class, for example, which don't further the tale, could easily have been omitted. As it stands, with its extremely pat conclusion, this audiobook has little to recommend it. Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News,"New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Crest
Age: Teenager
African American
Paralyzed in a fall while painting graffiti.

Eugene "U"
African American
Born-again Christian; Crest's older brother.

Age: Teenager
African American
Raising Crest's son alone; part-time college student.

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