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A Brownstone in Brooklyn by Julius Thompson
by Dennis De Rose   

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Publisher:  PUBLISH AMERICA Type: 

Copyright:  May 7. 2011 ISBN-13:  9781452490328

Price: $2.99 (eBook)
Download from Smashwords (eBook)

Julius takes us back to Brooklyn in the turbulent 60`s, race riots and all. A black boy,Andy, grows up fast...but not mean.

 See review below. Book edited by Dennis . Moneysaver Editing 

You can find the book in e format at Smashwords and in Amazon in trade paper here...

 Here is a short synopsis...

 A Brownstone in Brooklyn revolves around the ordinary,day-to-day events in the life of Andy Michael Pilgrim and the residents of a Gates Avenue Brownstone. It seems to be a normal place to live until you learn about the plots against Andy and the residents.
Andy is a strong black male growing up in the turbulent sixties. He has to overcome the odds to graduate from college and pursue his career as a sportswriter with The Washington Star. Andy is the pride of the residents and this causes simmering jealousy in another young resident.
The events flow to a climax as Andy survives the takeover of his college, the race riots in his neighborhood, and an attempt on his life. Andy is physically attacked and a needle is thrust in his veins. Survival is not assured.

Andy Michael Pilgrim flipped the tears from his face as he snapped his head across the wet pillow. The anxiety generated in his mind created a sense of motion in his body that felt like his bed was cresting and ebbing like a boat on a stormy emotional sea. Andy sprung up from the bed, cupping his face in his hands. How will I handle the leaving?

Tension pushed Andy back onto the bed. Anxiety brought the walls closer. Keeping his eyes closed, he slipped deeper into his thoughts. ‘When I left to spend that summer in Georgia’, Momma cried. Andy rolled over in his sweat. ‘Now, I can’t imagine how she will react.’

He opened his eyes and faced the window that beckoned about four steps from his bed. Andy kicked the forest green sheets and maroon comforter off his sweat-covered body.

He felt for the remote on the night table. The light from the TV screen penetrated the darkness. What Andy saw was one of those old black and white movies. It was a scene where a young boy was leaving home for the army. The young boy felt his friend’s mother horror when she read the telegram from the army telling her about the bravery of her son, and how he died defending his country. Now, the negligible chance of the young man’s survival was evident in his face. The young man’s face on that television screen reflected how Andy felt.

Gradually, Andy drifted back into a restless sleep. The roar of a Brooklyn City bus, speeding down Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, startled him. A young person of the sixties shouldn’t be scared, but he was. After all, he remembered sitting on the stoop in front of the Brownstone and a bullet streaking over his head. Andy ducked. If the bullet were meant for him, ducking wouldn’t have done any good. At this moment he ducked, but fear was still biting into his being.

The television showed a lover’s quarrel bringing conversation into the room. Now, the soldier and his sweetheart looked at each other and realized this could be the last time they could see each other. The soldier kissed his girlfriend and then walked out.

Andy turned off the TV and turned on the radio. The soul station, with the famous call letters WBLS-AM, was playing. The announcer said the weather was typical of late spring: hot, humid and in the nineties. What caught Andy’s attention was the last thing the announcer said, “President Lyndon Johnson ordered an increase of American forces in Vietnam.” Andy thought the Vietnam War would dissolve as a fairy tale of heroism on the cover of Time Magazine. Now, it was up close and personal. Since he got the letter that required him to appear at the military draft board for his physical, he’d spent many sleepless nights worrying about his future.

Andy flipped his legs over the side of the bed. Time passed. He heard another bus, gliding past his family’s apartment, finally squeaking to its regular scheduled stop at Gates and Nostrand avenues.

Professional Reviews

Julius Thompson`s "A Brownstone in Brooklyn" is about a young driven Black man,his family and his Brooklyn brownstone neighbors and friends. Julius has the uncanny ability to write with such intensity that you can`t help but feel that you were actually walking right next to Andy Pilgrim as be experienced,first hand, the love of his family,friends and neighbors and their drive to push him to be all that he can be. Unfortunately, life is not that ideal. Andy experiences some very trying life lessons..the extreme jealously of an old friend to the point of dire consequences; black and white prejudices again with dire consequences; and last, but certainly not least, the race riots of the late 60`s that affected many inner city communities. He witnesses rioting,shootings,death,looting,burning buildings and severe property damage.

As a White man, I knew very little about the late 60`s race riots and Julius has helped me to see, first hand, the extreme feelings and the emotions that people, both back and white, went through during that time. At that time, I was a self-absorbed teenager and I was not affected by those events, so I felt nothing for others that it affected. This book has changed my being. It has provided me with a closer look at Black issues of the times.

There are also some underlying issues that Andy is dealing with during this time in his life. I will not delve into them; I do not want to spoil it for future readers of Brownstone.

Julius Thompson has done a wonderful job with "Brownstone in Brooklyn". If you like it, and I hope you will, I know you will want to read the next two books in the Andy Pilgrim saga. Julius, please keep writing;you are doing a wonderful job...

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