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Slipping
Cover of Slipping
Slipping
A Novel
Growing up in a Chicago ghetto, seventeen-year-old Donald "Don-Don" Haskill has nothing but time on his hands–time he rarely spends in school, choosing instead to smoke weed and hang out with friends. As a child, he witnessed his father's suicide, and today Don-Don's relationship with his mother, a worn-down cop trying to keep the family together is tenuous at best. Then Don-Don meets a girl with a taste for crack–and his delinquent life turns violently criminal.
Consumed with chasing his next hit, alienating even his best friends, Don-Don works the streets like a pro. In pursuit of the demon, no deal is too shady. But when a huge drug transaction goes terribly awry, a bloody chain of events is set off, as Don-Don becomes a moving target, not just for the Chicago police force but for the ghetto's most hardened thugs. . . .
Growing up in a Chicago ghetto, seventeen-year-old Donald "Don-Don" Haskill has nothing but time on his hands–time he rarely spends in school, choosing instead to smoke weed and hang out with friends. As a child, he witnessed his father's suicide, and today Don-Don's relationship with his mother, a worn-down cop trying to keep the family together is tenuous at best. Then Don-Don meets a girl with a taste for crack–and his delinquent life turns violently criminal.
Consumed with chasing his next hit, alienating even his best friends, Don-Don works the streets like a pro. In pursuit of the demon, no deal is too shady. But when a huge drug transaction goes terribly awry, a bloody chain of events is set off, as Don-Don becomes a moving target, not just for the Chicago police force but for the ghetto's most hardened thugs. . . .
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    "Donald Haskill, get yo lazy butt up and get ready for school! Don-Don, you heard me, get yo raggedy, nappy-head butt up!" "I'm up, I'm up. Quit hollering like a fool!" Don answered grumpily.

    "No you ain't, yo lazy butt! Don't make me come up there and throw some cold water on yo funky butt!"

    Ignoring his sister's last remark, he asked, "Ay, girl, is Momma gone?"

    "Boy, yeah. Momma been gone since six o'clock this morning. She waited for you to come in till one o'clock last night. She said to tell you to start bringing yo butt in this house at a decent hour. Just because she be spending time over her boyfriend house, she said to let you know that you only seventeen and you better start coming in this doggone house at a decent time on school nights."

    Don cut her off. "Did she leave me some money?"

    His sister left the bathroom and climbed the few stairs to Don's bedroom door, opened the door wide, and leaned on the door jamb.

    She gloated, "She left me some money, but she didn't leave you any. She would have, but you weren't here. She said that she would have had to stop at the cash station and get some out and she wasn't going to go through all of that trouble for you and you weren't even here. If you stopped hanging out in the streets with them no-good friends of yours and got you a little part-time job or something after school then you wouldn't have to wait on Momma to give you money all the time. I got to get ready for school. Something you should be concerning yourself about."

    As Rhonda retreated to finish preparing to leave, Don chuckled at his sister's short speech. He loved Rhonda and he knew that she loved him, but she seemed to hate all of his friends and told him so at every available opportunity. She was nineteen, two years his senior, but she thought she was thirty. Because their mother worked long, hard hours as a Chicago policewoman, attended college, and still tried to have some semblance of a love life, Rhonda stepped up to play the role of surrogate mother to the hilt. He had to admit, she did manage to take pretty good care of home base with his mother being gone so much. She even looked like their mother, especially when she was fussing at him.

    Don couldn't remember much of his father, outside of his death, but his aunts and uncles claimed that he was the spitting image of the man. Whenever the subject of his old man arose his mother became tight-lipped. From what information he had been able to piece together about his father, his story was the same as too many Black men in America. Systematically raped and dehumanized by the unholy caste system in America, his father turned to the bottle. After four years of diligent service in the army, then as a glorified janitor at city hall, he grew tired of being overlooked for promotions. He thought no one at work noticed his deepening depression. The last day of his life he appeared to be happier than he had been in years. He whistled a cheery tune all day as he completed his daily tasks. When his coworkers noticed his obvious attitude adjustment and questioned him about the change, his only reply was a smile that seemed to signify that he had a secret--a secret that tickled him pink. At quitting time he cheerfully bid everyone farewell. At home he ate the dinner his wife had thoughtfully prepared in between her job as a loss-prevention specialist at Marshall Field's downtown on State Street and her classes at Kennedy King Junior College. He drank two beers as he watched the evening news and then he took his .38 caliber handgun out of the closet, climbed to the roof of their...

About the Author-
  • Y. Blak Moore is a poet, mentor, motivational speaker, and former gang member who grew up in the Chicago housing projects. He lives in Chicago.

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    August 15, 2005
    In this lacerating new work from the author of Triple Take, Donald Hakill is indeed slipping--from average high school kid to drug addict to murderer. It's astonishing how easy those steps are to take. Don's father committed suicide, wracked by the depression that comes with fighting America's racism daily, and his Chicago policewoman mother struggles to hold the family together. But Don links up with bad-girl Juanita, gets hooked on crack and crazed sex, and soon finds himself $400 in debt. And then Juanita betrays him, which leads to a spiral of violence that destroys everything. Moore, a onetime gang member who has lost family and friends to addiction and street violence, wrote this book to show how in recent decades crack addiction worked to destroy what little community poor urban African Americans could claim. It's extraordinarily gritty, edgy, foul-mouthed, sexually explicit, and brilliant, the sort of book you absolutely can't read and absolutely can't put down. And it's truly illuminating to anyone who grew up where the livin' is easy. Not for your gentle readers, but definitely for street lit, African American, and cutting-edge literary collections in public and academic libraries.--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

    Copyright 2005 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Random House Publishing Group
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