“The Kid brings us deep into the interior life of Abdul Jones, son of Sapphire’s unforgettable heroine, Precious. Left alone by his mother’s death to navigate in a world where love and hate sometimes hideously masquerade, forced to confront unspeakable violence, his history, and the dark corners of his own heart, Abdul claws his way toward adulthood. In a generational story that moves with the speed of thought from a Mississippi dirt farm to Harlem in its heyday, from a troubled Catholic orphanage to downtown artists’ lofts, The Kid is a soaring tale of body and spirit, rooted in the hungers of flesh and of the soul.”
I saw this right next to Push and I expected to love Push so I grabbed it. I wanted to like it, but this book was so bad. The main character was unlikable for me because of how flat the author made him. The book follows around Precious’s son and it starts on the day of her funeral. There is little snippets of the life that they shared before she died (which would have made the other book so much better!), but were not enough to save this novel.
The main boy ends up in an orphanage run by male members of the church (unreliable narrator so not sure what they really were). These grown men were molesting and raping the boys that they were in charge of. This was not entirely clear as the narrator was never very good at expressing anything but anger (at his mother for dying and “lying” about his father, his desire to dance, and how much he loved women despite how many men he slept with) so it was hard to really piece together a human from him.
I, again, hated how homophobic everything was. The main character was raping young boys (one was six or seven) and he even lived with a gay man for years (of course he was getting blowjobs from it), but of course he couldn’t be gay because gay men are gross. I am sick of that plot in books and this book already had very little going for it that this was just the final nail in the coffin.
I am not even sure what happened at the end of the book. There was no need for the last hundred or so pages. I had to fight to stay awake while reading. I kept saying that I had to finish it because I was so close, but I have not been this bored reading a section of a book since Wicked (the long scene where Elphaba lives in the mountains).
It honestly felt like the author was flat out attacking me as a reader through most of the book. I consciously know that the author does not know me and therefore could not be writing this book just to anger or bore me, but it was so graphically bad in a way that was insulting that I can’t recommend this book to anyone even as a joke. At least Precious had some redeeming qualities that made it at least interesting, though Their Eyes Were Watching God played most of them better.
1.5 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this book.
You can buy this book here.