59. Midnight: A Gangster Love Story

by Sister Souljah

started 11/6 finished 11/17

So, I finished this book a couple of days ago and am ready to post about it now that I have decompressed.

If you are a fan of The Coldest Winter Ever, than you are familiar with the character Midnight. I read it so long ago that I didn’t remember, but evidently he is a super-fine brother from Africa who works for a local drug dealer and Winter pursues him heavily. Midnight is sort a prequel that tells how he arrived in America as a boy. It has been 10 years since Sister Souljah’s last book, so I was very excited to read this.

The Good:

  • The first few chapters are masterfully written and set up the plot very well
  • The lessons passed to Midnight by his father give an accurate account of life as a true Muslim man and the responsibilities that requires.
  • It’s good to see a Black man in literature that lives by a moral and spiritual code and treats women with reverence and respect.
  • The plight of immigrants in this country and their desire to fit in while maintaining their culture is always refreshing.
  • The beauty of African culture is always good to read about.

The Bad:

  • While African Muslim women (and later some other women) are portrayed virtuous beings to be put on a pedestal, African-American women (who appear here mostly as teenagers) are written as gold-digging, violent, whores.
  • Some of the plot has huge holes, although now that I am finished and sure that there will be another book, I am hopeful that those loose ends will be tied up.
  • This books has pictures! In a novel! And not pictures of things that will help you with the story like the Da Vinci Code. But actual photographs of models who are meant to represent the characters in the book. That wouldn’t be a problem if they even remotely resembled the descriptions. Midnight is supposed to be a blue-black incredibly fine man. No disrespect to the brotha on the cover, but … Also, one of the characters is described as an artist with a distinct sense of style. The girl in the picture looks like she could care less about getting dressed.

The Ugly:

There is quite a bit of ugly. At my job, there were 5 of us reading this book at the same time and we had conversations and debates all day long (in between helping customers, of course). The thing is we were all on the same side! We all had the same problems with the book! I can’t reveal the ugly because that would give away most of the plot, especially the ludicrous Monster’s Ball moment (as Doret affectionately calls it). I want to tell you not to bother with this book, but I also want you to read it so I can hear your opinion. Please let me know.

4 thoughts on “59. Midnight: A Gangster Love Story

  1. This book went straight downhill after the first half. Midnight’s sex scened were so TMI and not in a Zane kind of way. And you’ll know the Monsters ball moment when you get to it. Though I agree with Toni everyone should read it for themselves. There are going to be many discussions/arguments about this book.

  2. Lyn says:

    I'm in the process of reading this book and I don't like it! I think it's starting to bore me, but I keep praying that it gets better. I have read tons of books, some I can't put down for a minute. This book is not interesting enough. Usually it takes me 2-4 days to finish an excellent book….I think it'll take me weeks to get through this story.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I Loved this book I'am a 20yr young Afro American “Man” and I found it very intriguing that sista souljah being a female could tell a story of a young black man growing up in america's hard knock neighborhoods…She was so dead on I almost forgot it was a woman that wrote this novel!!! As far as the bad reviews I've been seeing I think it's been mostly women knocking the book because they cant relate but me as a young man I know what it feels like to grow up trying to do the right thing and be the man of ur house because there is no one there to do it or fighting the temptations of beautiful girls exposing themselves and poisoning my mind!!! the book did have holes but after half way through the book I knew there was going to be a second book…

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