3 out of 4 stars
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Christopher Williams writes a raw and authentic novel. Depicting an average young Black man's life in "White America". The book follows a 21-year-old man called Crenshaw Dimes during the 20th century. On the outside, Crenshaw is just an ordinary Black man, who is starting his journey into manhood. He is attending Morehouse College and when he is not studying he works at The Pizza Shack to support himself. Meanwhile, on the inside, Crenshaw is battling the horrors of racism that were inflicted on him during his childhood. Furthermore, using the knowledge of his past he is trying to figure out how his Blackness and his Manhood can be most suitably expressed in this confusing world he is in.
Fear Me Now is a thought-provoking thriller/crime/mystery novel. Thus I reward it with 3 out 4 stars.
Williams does a great job in creating an emotional rollercoaster for the reader, by making Crenshaw a likable and relatable guy at the beginning of the novel. It is hard not to experience toxic empathy during certain times in Crenshaw's journey. I enjoyed the way that the author structured the novel and the hyperbole used to emphasize the transformation that the main character experienced.
I enjoyed this thriller/crime/mystery novel from a psychological perspective, because of how Crenshaw's mentality resonated well to that who has faced trauma during their life and the way he sought resolution. The path which Crenshaw took sparked the whole nature versus nurture debate within me. For example, is Crenshaw just a product of his environment. Therefore with optimal conditions, any one of us can be pushed to such an extent. Or was it simply that he already had underlying mental health issues, which were triggered by his stressful environment.
I find it interesting that during Crenshaw's emotional rollercoaster, we never feel the need to question or distrust his recounts of the situation in front of him. Thus, making me wonder how lucid do we feel Crenshaw is during his rendezvous.
The thing I disliked the most about the novel is that there was no appendix added; that explained the different slang terms that were used in certain chapters. This made it harder to spot if it an overlook mistake during editing or this was purposeful in building the authenticity of the characters. Therefore, making certain chapters difficult to read smoothly.
I think this book would suit an open-minded individual, as certain themes covered could offend some readers.
Fear Me Now
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