Dutch

by

Author: Teri Woods

Title: Dutch

Genre: Urban Lit

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 242

Geographical Setting: New York and New Jersey

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: 1st in the Dutch Series

Plot Summary: Bernard James Jr., better known as Dutch, is a New York drug kingpin, but when the book starts, he’s on trial and it seems like his empire is about crash all around him. As the trial continues, the testimony and a series of flashbacks serve to show Dutch’s rise to power from a teen working at a pizza place to a car thief, and after a stint in prison his eventual transformation into one of the most infamous druglords in the East Coast.

Subject Headings: Gangsters, organized crime, street life, mafia, African-American men

Appeal: fast-paced, dark, gritty, hard-edged, stark, plot-driven, dialect-heavy, compelling, flashbacks, steamy, chilling, flawed characters

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: fast-paced, gritty, flashbacks

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Dyson, Michael. “Mercy, Mercy, Me: The Art, Loves and Demons of Marvin Gaye”. Not quite a biography, Dyson’s book shows how various factors—his abusive father, living in the inner city, cultural racism, religious upbringing, alcoholism and drug abuse—shaped Marvin Gaye into the popstar and man he became. Woods does similar in creating the story of Dutch.

Greene, Robert.  “48 Laws of Power”. Dutch was all about power—who had it, how to earn, it, how to keep it, even during Dutch’s stint in juvie. In this book, Greene discusses the concept of power and creates a series of laws based on popular leaders, such as Machiavelli, Henry Kissinger, Sun-Tzu and Queen Elizabeth. Dutch would probably keep this book on his nightstand.

Moore, Wes. “The Other Wes Moore”. Popular book showing the true-life story of two black men named Wes Moore who grew up on the streets; one ended up in jail, the other was a Rhodes Scholar. Dutch seemed to blame society for his fate, and this book focuses on society’s effects on black inner city youth.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Ashley and JaQuavis. “The Cartel”. The Diamond family is the most infamous drug cartel family in Miami; when Carter dies, his illegitimate son takes over; but a rival group tries to take them down. Like Dutch, Young Carter is a new kingpin that must take on rivals in a gritty urban lit title.

Dickey, Eric Jerome. “Thieves’ Paradise.” Dante Black is a low-level hood, as opposed to Dutch’s far-loftier lifestyle. However, both must deal with betrayal within their circle of friends, ex-lovers, and others in this urban lit book.

Puzo, Mario. “The Godfather.” Although a different sort of gangster in some ways, Dutch probably modeled himself in some ways after Don Corleone, the eponymous Godfather. This is the book that was the basis for the movie, and a classic in its own right.

Name: Brian C

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