Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed Review
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While reading Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed, I laughed at the thought that author Marc Blatte could be the future’s William Shakespeare. I imagined students in a classroom a hundred years from now, trying to decipher the predominant hip-hop language scattered throughout and scratching their heads as they attempt to figure out what the author meant by “Word up, yo!” or “lit up a juicy spliff.” Still, I do admit that, although I’m a white gal from the South, I had a grand old time reading this urban hip-hop crime novel.

Pashko Gazivoda, an Albanian immigrant, ends up with two bullets in his chest outside a popular nightclub. His cousin, Vooko, wakes up in a hospital half dead, an apparent victim of a hit and run, but he can’t remember what happened. When he learns that Pashko is dead, he starts planning his revenge—old-world style.

Detective Salvatore Messina, a.k.a. Black Sallie Blue Eyes, takes a call about a homicide in a parking lot across from the Kiki Club. The investigation sends him on the trail of an Eastern European refugee and into the world of rap star wannabes who don’t know the difference between playing a thug for an audience and actually being a thug on the streets. Then a kinky female wrestler and a billionaire real estate tycoon get mixed up in the crime, leaving Detective Salvatore wondering how they all connect.

Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed is a daring novel, written by a white boy from the Bronx—and I must say I’m impressed. Mr. Blatte seems to know the hip-hop world (and language) well, and he’s created a perplexing crime around it. Even though the language is a bit graphic for my taste, I soon grew numb to it and became engrossed in the crime investigation.

In a way, Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed is another novel about immigration. This time, an Albanian immigrant arrives in New York to follow his dreams. Vooko quickly becomes confused and disillusioned, and he thinks about turning to crime to make his dreams come true. He slowly begins to learn that, no matter who you are—the rich guy on the hill or the poor man in the slums—bad things happen even in America, the land of opportunity.

I quickly became caught up in Vooko’s story—which, at times, overshadows the crime story. I so wanted him to make the right decision and follow his dreams the legal way, instead of going down a wrong path like so many immigrants do, ending up in prison or, worse, dead. Vooko was a compelling character, and the author made me care about what happened to him.

Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed isn’t the type of novel that I’d want to read often, but I did enjoy getting inside the urban hip-hop world and getting to know characters that are so vastly different from me. It’s a cultural experience you won’t want to miss.

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