Summary and book reviews of Red Now and Laters by Marcus Guillory

Red Now and Laters

By Marcus J. Guillory

Red Now and Laters
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Mar 2014,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Morgan Macgregor

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

South Park, Houston, Texas, 1977, is where we first meet Ti' John, a young boy under the care of his larger-than-life father - a working-class rodeo star and a practitioner of vodou - and his mother - a good Catholic and cautious disciplinarian - who forbids him to play with the neighborhood "hoodlums." Ti' John, throughout the era of Reaganomics and the dawn of hip-hop and cassette tapes, must negotiate the world around him and a peculiar gift he's inherited from his father and Jules Saint-Pierre "Nonc" Sonnier, a deceased ancestor who visits the boy, announcing himself with the smell of smoke on a regular basis.

In many ways, Ti' John is an ordinary kid who loses his innocence as he witnesses violence and death, as he gets his heart broken by girls and his own embittered father, as he struggles to live up to his mother's middle-class aspirations and his father's notion of what it is to be a man. In other ways, he is different - from his childhood buddies and from the father who is his hero.

The question throughout this layered and complex coming-of-age story is will Ti' John survive the bad side of life - and his upbringing - and learn how to recognize and keep what is good.

four
a reckoning

We were going to the rodeo. Despite all the rigmarole with loading up the horses, saddles, and ice chests in preparation for the trip, the entire experience was exhilarating. During the week he may have spent his days loading shipping containers at the Houston Ship Channel until he was exhausted or chanced his paycheck on the roll of the dice on Stassen Street or the dexterity of his pool cue at Jewel's Lounge or listened to Mother's harangues while trying to watch the Astros game, but none of that mattered on Sunday because on Sunday, Father was a bona fide rock star in the black rodeo circuit and nobody questioned that.

We loaded up a palomino named TJ. A beautiful, cream-colored horse that Father had been training for calf roping. Then we loaded in a jumpy quarter horse called Black Jack. That was my horse and part of Father's blatant attempt to make me a horseman. Black Jack had come off the racetrack and was a bit skittish, prone to take off without...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse

With a luscious Louisiana Creole always percolating below the Southern-spiked black urban dialect, the language is as rich and textured as the landscape Guillory evokes, reminding one of Faulkner's famous line: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." The whole novel, in fact, can be read as an exploration of Faulkner's contention. Ti'John must learn to incorporate the past into his life, or else be haunted by it, in his case quite literally. Much as he might wish to turn a blind eye to the dark, violent, contentious history of his people and concentrate on running the block and "getting booty," Ti'John realizes early on that he must honor his heritage before he can make his own future.   (Reviewed by Morgan Macgregor).

Full Review Members Only (1037 words).

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

Guillory's story provides insights - simultaneously provocative, angry, and compassionate - into one of America's neglected communities.

Booklist

With dark humor and élan, Guillory's complex and mesmerizing novel spans numerous eras of family history and southern folklore, offering a haunting yet soulful portrait of a neglected America culture.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. Elegantly balanced, dense and ripe, Guillory's novel illuminates things alien to most, and although ugly and hard at times, it brings hope, no matter the dark secrets of family.

Author Blurb Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of Wench
A truly unforgettable world of spirits and magical men. Guillory's community is like the richest of cultural maps, peopled by some of the most memorable characters I have ever encountered.

Author Blurb Mat Johnson, author of PYM
This is everything a debut novel should be: the call of a distinctive new voice staking claim to undiscovered territory. Marcus Guillory has created a heartfelt tribute to the beauty of Creole culture.

Reader Reviews
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Zydeco Music

In Red Now and Laters, there are several references to zydeco, a type of music descended from Louisiana Creoles.

Clifton Chenier The commonly accepted explanation for the word "zydeco" is that it comes from the old Creole adage, "Les haricots ne sont pas sales," meaning literally "the beans aren't salty," a lamentation that times are hard when you can't even have salt for your beans. The saying can be found in many Creole songs, and when pronounced in Louisiana Creole sounds like,"leh-zy-deco nuh sonh par salay" It officially began to be called zydeco when Creole musician Clifton Chenier defined his own music as such.

Chenier (pronounced shen-eer to rhyme with veneer) identified with the blues over traditional French music, adopting the keyboard...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Red Now and Laters, try these:

  • In Darkness jacket

    In Darkness

    by Nick Lake

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Raw, harrowing, and peopled with vibrant characters, In Darkness is an extraordinary book about the cruelties of man and nature, and the valiant, ongoing struggle for a country's very survival.

  • Out of The Easy jacket

    Out of The Easy

    by Ruta Sepetys

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Take This Man
    Take This Man
    by Brando Skyhorse
    "A chorus of six men calling me Son might sound ludicrous to you, but to me it's the sound of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  132Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.