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Waiting in Vain

A book by Colin Channer

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Sensual, realistic, great imagery, great!

  • Jan 13, 2000
  • by
I can't believe I have had this book since August and just read this past week! The majority of the reviews I see agree with my opinion that this was a great book. As for those few who disagree, well you can't please everyone. Mr. Channer has captured the culture of the thirty-somethings of educated, middle-class people of African descent who live in the States, Jamaica and London. The characters were multi-dimensional and realistic. Fire was a some kind of man and while I didn't always like Sylvia, I was sympathetic to her character. This book got to the root of how our past and environment of our child affects what we carry over into our adulthood. As to what makes this book different from the so called "pop fizz" fiction and run-of-the-mill relationships stories is the depth to which the characters are drawn and therefore entices the reader to think intelligently about issues such as class structures among Blacks, moral dilemnas, and friendships. It even makes us think about the why of relationships. Not to mention the sensual poetry. The letter Fire wrote to Sylvia from Jamaica was my favorite. I applaud Mr. Channer on this book and look forward to more of his writing.

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About the reviewer
Dera R Jones Williams ()
Ranked #1055
Dera is a writer, editor, genealogist, writing mentor, researcher, and family historian, and she is active in local literary and national literary circles. She is the keeper of family stories, archivist … more
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About this book


Representing a figure all too rare in contemporary romance, African American A.J. "Fire" Heath, a sensitive, sophisticated man with a good career, is a major asset to this appealing first novel by short-story writer Channer. Fire's combination of good looks, kindness and brains, and his desire to find the right woman "in the fullness of time," will make him nearly irresistible to readers of commercial fiction. A painter and novelist who has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Fire shuttles between his native Jamaica, London and New York. In a chance encounter on a Brooklyn street, Fire meets Sylvia, another transplanted Jamaican, who is disappointed with her magazine-editing job and her art-dealer lover. Fire and Sylvia pursue and retreat from each other in convincingly soul-searching scenarios while Channer vividly describes urban New York, industrial Brixton and rural Jamaica. Channer has a fine ear for Jamaican patois (and for when it bubbles up in otherwise American-accented conversations). Also to his credit, Channer largely resists the trendy name-dropping and product placements so common in this genre. Subplots of intrigue in the African American art world add substance without detracting from the pace. As readers in the know will recognize, this tale of continent-hopping romance takes its title from a Bob Marley song. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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ISBN-10: 0345425529
ISBN-13: 978-0345425522
Author: Colin Channer
Publisher: One World/Ballantine

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