This book collects five stories of 'contemporary urban life': the title piece is a conversation between a young couple of parents planning a robbery (their regular job); 'Johnny Angel,' in two parts, tells of 'a prostitute searching for the love of her life'; the less said about the wonderfully strange 'Twilight of Our Years' the better, but it's kind of about a visit from a boyfriend's mother...or not; 'Molly and Madeleine' is a very short encounter between two women who have met before, but not quite in the same way; then the long closer 'The Jazz Life (or) Portrait of the Musician as a Young Asshole' follows a musician who's torn between the women in his life, loyalties to his friends, and the music that he loves versus the music that drives him nuts.
But that's just what these stories are about. What goes on within them is what makes Ho Che Anderson wonderful. He has a talent for natural dialogue, without ever resorting to dialect, and for peering into the private inner workings of human relations. Sure, the characters can be a bit talky, but it never seems anything but normal. There are no pat conclusions here, and people don't always do the right thing...just like real people.
Anderson's art is probably a bit of an acquired taste, similar to Dave McKean's black & white pen work, and often just as loose and indecipherable (all of which is probably what drew me to him to begin with).
These are definitely NOT stories about The Black Experience, in spite of nearly all the characters being black. Instead, it's about the human experience, and that it portrays deftly, with great honesty, humour and sympathy.
eBook Young Hoods in Love