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Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

13 reviews

lain_darko's review

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dark funny fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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cati's review

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dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

It's been a while since I read this collection, but after finishing another one by another author I had to write my review. This is probably the best collection I've read in my life, so far. There are stories in here that I remember even now, months later after finishing this. I would give it a full 5 stars, but the first story, The Finkelstein 5, felt like it dropped the concept of
SpoilerEmmanuel rating his Blackness on a numerical scale
Spoiler towards the end, but maybe I took this concept too literally instead of it being something that exists inside his head.
Lark Street had a good premise, but I thought
Spoilerthe talking fetuses was too silly
Spoiler.
Through the Flash is the story that will stick with me, and has stuck with me, for a very long time. In conclusion, I enjoyed the stories dealing with dystopian settings or satirical political commentary like Zimmer Land the ones set in a retail store. 

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apiersonsmela's review

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dark sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

I wanted to like this book more than I did. What I feel it does well is to draw attention to many pressing issues in modern (American) society, but where it falls short is in the length and nuance of the stories, so that many are just “wouldn’t it be messed up if this happened?” Personal favorite is Through the Flash, but I wouldn’t recommend other stories to my friends. 

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whatmackinseyreads's review

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challenging dark funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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viaviaggi's review

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challenging dark mysterious reflective tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

3.75


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gattolinos_nerdy_nook's review against another edition

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challenging emotional sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

I really enjoyed each of the story stories. They were really attention grabbing and different from one another, but still displaying similar messages to the reader.
I'm not often drawn to short stories and if this wasn't a group read, I don't think I would have found and read this. I'm glad that I did get a chance to be introduced to this book and will have to keep an eye on the author for any upcoming writing he has.

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booksthatburn's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

FRIDAY BLACK is a finely constructed collection of stories which range from simply invoking a certain kind of Black and American existence, to ones where the premise is inextricable from the intersection of these identities. 

Some of them have not literally happened but feel like they could if reality got just a little bit worse (or, more awfully, like they’re already here). Others are more speculative, requiring some shift in reality in order to be plausible, or being altogether impossible. In all of them, the relevant social and existential rules are deftly conveyed to build tiny pockets of a different space, in which a story is told that believes its own premise unabashedly and wholeheartedly. 

Three of the stories have a shared underlying reality, but I’m not certain whether the others are meant to be connected with them or not. None of the premises are mutually exclusive, but a few would definitely be oddly paired if they canonically coexist. My favorites are “Zimmer Land” (for the way it shows the precarious position of a marginalized employee in a job which objectifies his existence even as it exploits his identity), Friday Black” (for making shopping feel like a zombie story), and “Through the Flash” (for unflinchingly capturing the potential and inevitability of brutality in a certain kind of time loop).

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inmegslibrary's review

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challenging dark tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

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adamnoel's review

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challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

I really enjoyed this book. Some stories sincerely left me breathless. Obviously, they're horror stories, but this was horror not meant to scare the reader, but to leave them truly horrified. More than one story left me anxious, almost nauseated as I contemplated them. More than once, I finished the story and had to put the book down and recoup before starting the next. Adjei-Brenyah wonderfully executed what he set out to do, and I look forward to reading his next release. However, not all stories were as strong as others, sometimes by a wide margin. A few left me mystified as to what the point even was. I suppose they could've been grotesque for the sake of it (which is a valid form of horror, don't get me wrong) but in a book that was so clearly centered on social/political commentary and metaphors that beg you to ponder them later, I felt like some were out of place. But overall, I was really impressed, and what few stories I didn't like were outweighed tenfold by how much I enjoyed the others. Adjei-Brenyah has a really intriguing style and his creativity is intense. Definitely give this book a try if you're on the fence about it!

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hpfan9501's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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