Thursday, November 9, 2017

DNF Review: Johnny and Jamaal by K.M. Breakey

Johnny and Jamaal

30679683Two athletes from different planets are on the verge of greatness. Johnny’s a carefree Canadian making his mark in the NHL. Jamaal’s set to follow LeBron and Kyrie out of the ghetto. When their worlds collide, the catastrophic clash ignites racial conflict not seen since Ferguson. The incident tests the fledgling love of Johnny’s best friend Lucas and his African-American girlfriend Chantal, and sets them on a quest for truth and justice in the perverse racial landscape of 2016. 

As chaos escalates across American cities, an MLK-like voice rises from the ashes. Wilbur Rufus Holmes may be salvation for Luke and Chantal, but can he stop society’s relentless descent into racial discord? 

Johnny and Jamaal is awash with sports, violence and political taboo, as America’s seething dysfunction is laid bare.

My Take:
Two athletes from different worlds collide and spark a race war and chaos across a racially divided United States. Johnny is a carefree Canadian hockey player just rising to stardom. Jamaal is a lanky rising star aiming at the NBA. When these two collide in St. Louis, the clash ignites a tidal wave of racial conflict across the US. As Johnny's best friend Lucas and his African-American girlfriend Chantal try to keep their buffeted relationship afloat, the Black Lives Matter movement spreads chaos and violence across American cities.

An MLK-like voice rises from the ashes, as Wilbur Rufus Holmes tries to stop the violence and be a voice of reason against a war zone of racial hatred.

This book is a hard hitting expose' on racial tension and looks at racial violence, white supremacy, and the Black Lives Matter movement from all angles, exposing the dysfunction in the US. It's a gripping read. However, the violence, the pervasive foul language, and the difficult-to-follow ghetto language threw me out of the story about 25% through it, and I couldn't get my head back in, especially when the action was so painfully true to the reality we live. I'm giving a review, based on what I've read, but this is one I could. not. finish.


Drug Content:
R - The drug culture is alive and well, and weed and crack make appearance in several places. Drinking and drunkenness appear in a few places as well. 

R+ - In a critical scene, a character is beaten to death, beaten until he is completely unrecognizable, his skull destroyed and internal organs compromised, broken ribs, you get it. There's a lot more violence, gunplay in the book, but I can't speak to that as it's beyond where I read. A lot of violence to a dead body, including desecration.

X - The F bomb appears on just about every page, sometimes as many as six times. Other expletives are even more common. There's so much bad language I couldn't continue. The N-word in multiple forms was common throughout, spoken primarily by blacks but also by whites. Cracker was used extensively as was many other racial slurs and epithets.

Adult Content:
PG-13 - As far as I read, there were many references to sexual encounters but nothing occurs on screen. 

Christian content:
Not so much. The Lord's name appears fairly often but only as a curse word. There are a couple places where a Christian speaks out about faith and hope, but it's practically drowned out in the pervasive darkness.

Final analysis:
Gee. Where to begin? Racial division and the hopes of reconciliation, and efforts in that direction, have been the focus of so many circles in the US, that this seems like a must-read. I entered it with high hopes. But this book was so real, so full of triggers I couldn't get more than a quarter through. The characters seemed to be quite real and the social problems this book raises are raw, divisive, and so close to home it was a painful read from page to page. I'd say that, what I read was very well-written, gripping, and a book that needs to be read. But unfortunately, the language was so foul, the violence so real, it was not something I could wade through. Four Stars.

About the Author:
K.M. BreakeyK.M. Breakey was born in Toronto and educated at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. He spent 25 years in software development before turning full attention to writing in 2016, with the success of his 3rd novel, Johnny and Jamaal. In it, he fearlessly explores racial dysfunction in America, from perspectives you won't hear in mainstream media. Mr. Breakey states that, while Johnny and Jamaal solves America's racial problem, his forthcoming title is slightly more ambitious. Coming in November 2017.

He has also published Creator Class and The World Clicks. To learn more,

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