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For fans of Dave Eggers, Teju Cole, and James McBride, comes this extraordinary novel of morality and the redemptive powers of art that offers a glimpse into an African underworld rarely described in fiction. Meet Bingo, the greatest drug runner in the slums of Kibera, Nairobi, and maybe the world. A teenage grifter, often mistaken for a younger boy, he faithfully serves Wolf, the drug lord of Kibera. Bingo spends his days throwing rocks at Krazi Hari, the prophet of Kibera's garbage mound, "lipping" safari tourists of their cash, and hanging out with his best friend, Slo-George, a taciturn fellow whose girth is a mystery to Bingo in a place where there is never enough food. Bingo earns his keep by running "white" to a host of clients, including Thomas Hunsa, a reclusive artist whose paintings, rooted in African tradition, move him. But when Bingo witnesses a drug-related murder and Wolf sends him to an orphanage for "protection," Bingo's life changes and he learns that life itself is the "run." A modern trickster tale that draws on African folklore, Bingo's Run is a wildly original, often very funny, and always moving story of a boy alone in a corrupt and dangerous world who must depend on his wits and inner resources to survive.ONE OF LIBRARY JOURNAL'S OUTSTANDING NEW VOICES TO CONSIDER "James A. Levine is a deeply gifted writer who reaches into the dirt, sweat, and diesel of modern-day Nairobi and introduces us to a young innocent whose adventures are unforgettable. Bingo's runs between joy and death, laughter and sorrow, survival and redemption, will make you feel like cheering."--James McBride, author of The Good Lord Bird and The Color of Water "Bingo's Run is one of those rare books that infuse a potentially difficult subject with intimacy, tenderness, and humor. Social commentary, gritty comedy, and pure cinematic adrenaline meet in an utterly compelling novel with a voice all its own."--Tash Aw, author of Five Star Billionaire "Bingo's Run manages to read like timely news and high adventure at the same time. Levine's main character, Bingo, is an underage drug runner, hardened orphan, and hustler extraordinaire. He's also funny and wise well beyond his years. The rousing story of Bingo's evolution is matched only by Levine's portrait of modern-day Nairobi, both child and city depicted with real flair and affection."--Victor LaValle, author of The Devil in Silver "A phenomenal street kid from the slums of Nairobi is the narrator of this second novel, a fable with realistic underpinnings. . . . Levine has found just the right voice for Bingo, an upbeat survivor mired in corruption yet still capable of redemption. . . . One thing's for sure: Bingo will win hearts."--Kirkus Reviews "Levine sets much of his latest in Kibera's back allies and slums, but he doesn't dwell there. By telling the novel from the perspective of this charming teen grifter, Levine makes his story feel substantial while also quite fun, significant even as the pages turn themselves."--Publishers Weekly"A delightful entertainment. And Bingo is a captivating protagonist. . . . By its end readers will want to adopt him themselves."--BooklistFrom the Hardcover edition.
The story of Batuk, an Indian girl who is taken to Mumbai from the countryside and sold into prostitution by her father; the blue notebook is her diary, in which she recalls her early childhood, records her life on the Common Street, and makes up beautiful and fantastic tales about a silver-eyed leopard and a poor boy who fells a giant with a single gold coin. How did Levine, a British-born doctor at the Mayo Clinic, manage to conjure the voice of a fifteen-year-old female Indian prostitute? It all began, he told me, when, as part of his medical research, he was interviewing homeless children on a street in Mumbai known as the Street of Cages, where child prostitutes work. A young woman writing in a notebook outside her cage caught Levine's attention. The powerful image of a young prostitute engaged in the act of writing haunted him, and he himself began to write. The Blue Notebookbrings us into the life of a young woman for whom stories are not just entertainment but a means of survival. Even as the novel humanizes and addresses the devastating global issue of child prostitution, it also delivers an inspiring message about the uplifting power of words and reading-a message that is so important to hold on to, especially in difficult times. Dr. Levine is donating all his U.S. proceeds from this book to help exploited children. Batuk's story can make a difference.
An unforgettable, deeply affecting debut novel, The Blue Notebook tells the story of Batuk, a precocious fifteen-year-old girl from rural India who is sold into sexual slavery by her father. As she navigates the grim realities of Mumbai's Common Street, Batuk manages to put pen to paper, recording her private thoughts and writing fantastic tales that help her transcend her daily existence. Beautifully crafted, surprisingly hopeful, and filled with both tragedy and humor, The Blue Notebook shows how even in the most difficult situations, people use storytelling to make sense of and give meaning to their lives.
Dr. James Levine, an esteemed expert on obesity, argues that the reason so many of us are overweight is simple: our office and social-networking environments coax us to remain desk sentenced. Human beings were not built for sitting, and sedentary living is bad for us. The solution is to think NEAT - nonexercise activity thermogenesis, the scientific name for everyday movement. You don't need to schedule additional workout hours. Dr. Levine's eight-week prescription for effortless weight loss fits anyone's busy schedule. Book jacket.
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