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Standing at the Scratch Line: A Novelby Guy Johnson
Synopses & Reviews
Raised in the steamy bayous of New Orleans in the early 1900s, LeRoi "King" Tremain, caught up in his family's ongoing feud with the rival DuMont family, learns to fight. But when the teenage King mistakenly kills two white deputies during a botched raid on the DuMonts, the Tremains' fear of reprisal forces King to flee Louisiana.
King thus embarks on an adventure that first takes him to France, where he fights in World War I as a member of the segregated 369th Battalion—in the bigoted army he finds himself locked in combat with American soldiers as well as with Germans. When he returns to America, he battles the Mob in Jazz Age Harlem, the KKK in Louisiana, and crooked politicians trying to destroy a black township in Oklahoma.
King Tremain is driven by two principal forces: He wants to be treated with respect, and he wants to create a family dynasty much like the one he left behind in Louisiana. This is a stunning debut by novelist Guy Johnson that provides a true depiction of the lives of African-Americans in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Forced to leave his Louisiana home after killing two white deputies during a raid on a rival's smuggling operation, Le Roi Boudreaux Tremain joins the army, where he becomes King Tremain, an angel of vengeance who kills based on his own code of honor, love, and loyalty. A first novel. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
This much-praised debut novel by the son of Maya Angelou features a larger-than-life antihero, King Tremain, who does whatever it takes to protect his family and build a dynasty.
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