Reviews tagging Self harm

Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

3 reviews

emily_mh's review against another edition

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

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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


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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horizonous's review against another edition

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The collection opens up with a gut punch of a story called "THE FINKELSTEIN 5" and I highly recommend it, beyond that I was more or less completely lost, or in the case of "LARK STREET", repulsed. To me that story striked me as blatantly pro-life with a teenage couple who decides to have an abortion and the two aborted foetuses coming back to guilt-trip the guy for a night.. After that I kept reading because I thought there must be something more to this collection with all the praise it gets, but when I couldn't even get through its titular story I decided, this wasn't for me.

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