Thugs and Kisses
by Dewey Booklover
(book assigned by consensus)
Editor’s Note: Glaceau Vitaminwater® – the original from new york – is a great-tasting, hydrating beverage with the added bonus of some vitamins and minerals for a little extra nutrition. It is carefully formulated to deliver nutrients safely and can be a part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Our products are not kosher for passover.
Before reading any further, please press play on the above video for appropriate background music.
Today’s book is Death Before Dishonour, Written by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Nikki Turner. It is a “gritty” and “real” account of the mean streets of Richmond, Virginia. I was initially excited when I was assigned this book, given that one of the authors is 50 Cent, but unfortunately it turns out he didn’t have much to do with it.
Browsing the “Early Life” section of 50 Cent’s Wikipedia, I learn that 50 Cent had a criminal background that started when he was around twelve. Usually an author would use these experiences in their writing, but there is no evidence of any real-life knowledge in this book. Technically, 50 Cent’s name is on the cover, and he no doubt helped pick out names of the characters as well as which hats and fur coats they would be wearing, but his involvement was almost certainly a series of head nods and a thumbs up.
The real workhorse behind this book is Nikki Turner, a travel agent who decided to try her hand at “street literature” and has sold a modest amount of copies, making her the “Queen of Hip-Hop Lit”. Considering that this book reads like it was submitted to a middle school fiction competition by a twelve-year-old referencing Wikipedia, I will be making my own attempt at the hip-hop lit throne. Watch out Nikki, there’s a new queen in town.
A very quick plot overview: Our two main characters of this crime-filled love story are Sunni James and Trill Johnson (two names that were workshopped by clicking the random button on Urban Dictionary and blindly pointing a finger at the results). Trill is a hustler who makes his money by ripping off local drug dealers and Sunni is the owner of a very successful hair salon (it is never explained why it is successful). Trill meets Sunni while being chased by police and the two fall in love because of reasons that are never really fleshed out. Both characters are very good at giving head, I suppose that’s something.
After Trill rips off a drug lord named Diego, he catches his one-legged wife named Precious Pay stealing his money and decides Sunni is the girl for him. Then learning that Trill has another woman, Precious hatches a plot to double-cross Trill and live a life with his crew member Mont. In the last three pages a few things happen (SPOILER ALERT):
- Trill ends up being tortured by Diego with piss-soaked rags in Sunni’s garage before having his throat slit.
- Precious is almost killed in an attempted hit-and-run with a tractor trailer, a half baked attempt at revenge from Trill’s old gang.
- Precious lays in the hospital wondering if she will have to be on the run forever.
That is the whole vapid plot (some details I left out for brevity), with an ending devoid of any payoff or resolution thrown in just in case you weren’t sure if you wasted your time reading this book. I got a slight hit of exhilaration finding out that the last thirty pages or so is actually excerpts from other books from the G Unit series, so I was done the book quicker than I anticipated.
The fatal flaw in this book is the pacing. It seems as though Turner spent too much time thumbing through copies of Tacky Taste Magazine for descriptions of expensive merchandise and forgot that there is supposed to be a story happening in this story book, so ten minutes before her draft was due she threw the last 150 pages together like a kid trying to get his homework in before the bell.
This book is not without entertainment, Mrs. Turner’s disregard for reality is obvious in every chapter. Take for example the first time that our two lovebirds meet: Trill is on the run after being pulled over by by the police and asks Sunni to hide him at her place until the manhunt is called off. Luckily for Trill, Sunni reluctantly obliges (she don’t have time for no man) and our love story begins. Like all classic love stories, it starts with a vodka soda, a glass of Hennessy, and a man lathering up his lady love with hot wing sauce and eating her out while she’s on the phone. A sexual act that Yahoo Answers UK seems to be pretty split on.
More evidence to be used in Turner’s insanity defense is the big, fancy event in town that everyone is buzzing about. Turns out that Nikki Turner lives in Richmond, Virginia in this book’s universe and is having a huge book launch supporting the Gunity Charity (how fictionally charitable of her). Two things about that:
- Putting your own book launch as a highly anticipated event in your own fiction book is absolutely brilliant and I support it 100%. Nothing screams success like promoting yourself in your own book.
- The Gunity Charity is a real-life charity and has just opened a real-life garden in New York called the Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson Community Garden. The garden looks absolutely stunning, and if you find yourself in the Queens area be sure to check it out.
That’s about all the excitement I could pull from this mess. Too explicit for children and too brain-dead for adults, I would recommend this book to people who need a little bit of story line with their detailed descriptions of men’s clothing. I had a note to myself in this paragraph to discuss the irony of publishing books glamorizing the criminal lifestyle while also running a charity that focuses on youth outreach, but instead I will end my review with a brief list of things described in the book that I would like to have in my own life.
- Three piece chocolate-brown suit with mink hat and jacket to match
- imported Napa leather chaise
- 8-foot solid oak table inlayed with 33×36 inch high-resolution copy of the last picture taken of Tupac Shakur
- brown and white marble foyer with indoor water fountain
- punch bowl full of hydro
– Dewey Booklover