Welcome to Soul City, the fictional American metropolis where magic is as natural as sunshine. With this inspired collectionin which irreverent humor and sharp-eyed social satire combine to produce unforgettable storiesToure emerges as one of the most talented and inventive young writers at work today.
Toure takes a measured yet whimsical look at the ups and (more often) downs of modern African-American life and culture in his successful debut collection of stories, lists and essays, most of which use racial stereotypes as their jumping-off point. He gets things off to a funny start with "The Steviewondermobile," a snappy yarn about a resident of the mythical Soul City named Huggy Bear Jackson, who installs in his Cadillac a state-of-the-art sound system that will play only the blind soul singer's tunes. "Attack of the Love Dogma" takes a pointedly satiric tack as it portrays a detox center where black men are slowly weaned of their "Blonde Obsession," while "A Hot Time at the Church of Kentucky Fried Souls..." finds one Daddy Love setting up a chapel in an abandoned restaurant formerly run by "that good ol neo-massa Colonel Sanders." Tour displays a fine eye and ear for language in a pair of word-based conceits, "Afrolexicology Today's Bi-Annual List of the Top 50 Words in African-America" and "The African-American Aesthetics Hall of Fame." His over-the-top sense of humor serves him well, although occasionally his sharp but somewhat hyperactive style gets away from him, most notably in a trilogy of stories about a female hip-hopper-cum-ghetto guerrilla named the Black Widow that degenerate into facile diatribes on racial politics. A few missteps aside, this respected essayist and Rolling Stone editor should find an enthusiastic audience for his lively brand of social commentary. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.