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Poetry Is Alive
It's the story of two guys, two girls and the simple way life in Harlem can get Pretty Ugly
Stash “Pretty Ugly – A Harlem Situation” in your backpack if you commute by public transportation. If you prefer to do your reading at home, place this book next to your favorite snuggle spot. Once you connect with Chuck Love and his escalating street hustle/gun running plan, you will be hooked to the end. Author Brad Bathgate has constructed a first time novel that is fun, sexy and full of surprises.
Rounding out a quartet of unsavory and self-motivated characters are Apple, Chuck’s high school crush now involve with Zachary. A cutthroat dandy and Eyonna, Apple’s roommate and sometimes-best friend. These four play out a scheme to make money that takes them from the mean street of Harlem to the backwoods of Kentucky and back again. In between there are reality glimpses of Harlem street life, invitations to explore the hustler mentality and just enough shenanigans to set the pace toward a powerful ending. Folks of all walks of life will find themselves learning a lesson for two for Pretty Ugly.
Talent in Motion Magazine
Tone was known as the Asian ladies' man back at school, and he was one of the most popular guys on campus - but when he started hanging out with the hometown locals back in Louisville, he began to lose respect. His drug habit was taking its toll, and he was getting careless with his own life and others'.
Tone's thing was stealing new cars. He would go to the car dealerships around two or three in the morning, pick out a car he liked, and just take it. He knew that the silver box on the car window was not an alarm as most people thought, but a lock-box that contained the car keys. He would pry the box off the window, extract the keys, and simply drive the car off the lot. Once he found a safe place to park, he would switch the license plates and drive the car across the state line to a chop-shop, where they would dismantle it and resell the parts.
During the summer breaks, Tone stayed with a girl who lived in a historical section of Harlem, where the streets were lined with trees and flowers blossomed like baby’s breath and that is where Zachary and Chuck were headed on the afternoon after Chuck had returned to New York.
Zachary was slouched back in the cab with his legs gapped opened. He was grabbing himself and boasting about how guys on the streets feared him because of his tough reputation. The cab cruised down 8th avenue and whenever they stopped at a red light,
or turned a corner Zachary would point to the people he knew or blocks he once hustled on. In between, the hoards of black faces that strolled over the filthy sidewalks stood two different sects of Muslims. They were handing out flyers, while a dopefiends nodded into another lifetime. His hands were swollen like black boxing gloves and every time he looked like he was about to doze off and hit the ground, he'd jumped up and start wiping his runny nose. On the other end of the avenue stood a group of thugs and when Zachary noticed them, he tapped Chuck on the shoulder. "Pussy, pussy, pussy," he arrogantly grumbled, "all them bitches you see standin' on that corner right now Chuck, is pussy. As a matter of fact, that whole block is pussy. Back in the days when I was comin' up, I probably fucked every bitch on that corner, an' fucked up every nigga out there. Dey fear me, Chuck. Ya know why?" Chuck didn't know what to say, so Zachary continued, using the back of his hand to tap Chuck on the chest. "'Cause big Zach don't play. That's how you got to be, Chuck. Ya got me? Like I was tellin' you back at the crib. You gotta step to these kids right away! You gotta let'em know you ain't no joke!"