I wanted to like this book. I mean, if Oprah likes it- who am I to say otherwise. However, there are a lot of issues with this story. First, you can tell from the #of pages either or both Coates and his editor have an editing problem. I have not seen the paperback but I imagine it looks like the Yellow Pages from the 1990s. Coates is a great storyteller however, he doesn’t know when to just tell the story and leave the rest. This book is two hundred pages too long. I like the way the main character talks although at times he and his friends do not sound like slaves. More like poor people living in the 1970s. My main issue is- for every thirty pages- you only need to read ten. The rest is gibberish. He goes on and on about small details that left my mind wandering about other things. It’s equivalent to two people sitting on the porch talking. One has nowhere to be and the other has somewhere to be in an hour but it only takes ten minutes to get there. Neither one minds a long story for those reasons. If you don’t have time to waste- pick another book.