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1. No Identity Crisis: A Father and
2. Carlito's Way: Rise to Power
3. Panther: Illustrated History of
4. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song:
5. Panther: A Pictorial History of
6. Mario Van Peebles
7. New Jack City
8. Panther; A Pictorial History of
9. No Identity Crisis

1. No Identity Crisis: A Father and Son's Own Story of Working Together
by Melvin Van Peebles, Mario Van Peebles
 Paperback: 260 Pages (1990-07)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$7.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671673580
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

2. Carlito's Way: Rise to Power
by Edwin Torres
Paperback: 208 Pages (2005-09-19)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$1.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802170129
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This powerful, gritty, and vivid novel is the unforgettable story of Carlito Brigante, a Harlem drug dealer in the 1960s, and his rise to the top. Drug dealer, thief, and murdered, Carlito Brigante was once just another Spanish Harlem street punk with a poor boy's dream of flash and fast money -- but as he gets older he determines that it's either take or be taken, and he knows which role he intends to play. Soon he's a mob-connected professional with an easy charm, joie de vivre, stubborn pride, and hair-trigger temper. But the rules change rapidly in a sudden-death world of scams, sell-outs, and payback, where only the strongest and smartest predator can be king of the barrio. And when there's a major changing of the guard in the top echelons of the mob, Carlito will have some hard choices to make. Taut, thrilling, and a joy to read, Carlito's Way established a voice that has lost none of its vivid color or power to enthrall. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars I Found This To Be A Rather Wearisome Read
The author was a highly respected Assistant District Attorney in New York City and Justice of the New York State Supreme Court. So, he indeed writes with authenticity. The plot chronicles the beginning criminal years of the fictional character who was the first Puerto Rican major league gangster in New York City. From humble beginnings in Spanish Harlem came Carlito Brigante. He ultimately became allies with his future partners Earl Bassey from Black Harlem and Rocco Fabrizi who was tied into the Italian Mob. The story was related like an autobiography first hand reflecting as favorably as possible on the main character. But, to my taste, nearly 200 pages of Latino ghetto prose was a bit too much. Actually, I did enjoy the flashbacks to the various neighborhood locations mentioned in the book. Almost made you wish someone would organize a tour to revisit the past places. Another interesting aspect of the time frame that was covered...1940's thru 60's..a lot of the characters were referred to by their ethnicity. Spooks,spades,wops,dagos, guineas, Louie The Jew, etc. Which, of course, was the way it was back then. This was a fairly quick read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing style. Extremely engaging voice.
Though he comes across a lot meaner in this book when contrasted with the movie starring Al Pacino, Carlito remained a very strong, and even sympathetic character for me. I can only think of a few characters-- fictional or real-- who have won me over, despite their considerable flaws: Humbert Humbert in Lolita, Neil (Robert De Niro) in Heat, Tuco from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and Henry Hill from Goodfellas.

The first person prose was very readable and believable. It also displays wit and humor that doesn't take away from its grittiness. All in all, I would strongly recommend this book. I am hoping there will be a re-release of the follow up book, After Hours.

5-0 out of 5 stars True to the game
For fans of streetlife and "the real" in general, this is a fantastic read. Having seen the movie, I wasn't quite expecting the book to be what it was - a running mental monologue recounting the life and times of Carlito Brigante, the fictional yet prolific gangster the film was based upon.

Having grown up in Brooklyn, I was thoroughly impressed by the accuracy with which Torres illustrates the "I've got mine, so .... you" thug mentality that's so much a part of the underground New York experience. That, combined with the "Code Of The Streets" and a tiny dab of conscience, is what makes Carlito seem human and uncannily real-to-life.

Torres, being a NYC criminal court judge, has chosen to expound his abundant understanding of the criminal mind not through textbooks or bland case studies, but through this brilliant character depiction. I place it in the same category as "Down These Mean Streets" - a modern urban classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great crime memoir
If you like crime stories don't miss this one. This is one of my all-time favorites and it never really got the attention it deserves. The story of Carlito Brigante shows us the world of crime from a different angle thanthe classic Mafia tales. Carlito is Puerto Rican and comes up in the NewYork of the fifties and sixties. He's a hard-core criminal, hard-nose, andhe makes no bones about it. He starts of with breaking-and-entering, movesup to racketeering, and after a long impatient wait breaking into thebig-time--heroin trafficking.

Yet Carlito never comes across as a merelyevil person. Living in America, where the streets are paved with goldexcept in the barrio where he spent his entire life, Carlito says that noway was he going to spend his whole life washing dishes when there was bigbread out there for guys with the guts (he would use a different word) togo get it.

Torres, to his credit, never romanticizes Carlito to thepoint that he comes across as a good guy, either. Carlito follows his waybecause its the one HE chose, and if that means dancing with a fine lady atthe Palladium one night and then going into Lewisburg Penitentary for a3-year stretch the next, that's how it goes. Those are the risks andrewards of the life he leads. He meets characters like smooth guy EarlBassey, crazy guy Nacho Reyes, wise guy Rocco Fabrieze, and bad guy PeteAmadeo. All in all, "Carlito's Way" is a wild ride, both the upsand downs.

I really recommend that you get the audio version of this bookand listen to Torres read his book. The movie "Carlito's Way"actually focuses on the second book Torres wrote, titled "AfterHours." It's good, but the first novel is told in the 1st person, inCarlito's voice, and Torres is fantastic as he speaks in Carlito's voice.Well worth a listen.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Vivid Glimpse of Life in the Barrio
Like many, I was first introduced to this book when I saw the popular movie starring Al Pacino, Sean Penn, and Penelope Anne Miller. I receivedthe book as a Christmas present, that particular paperback being a movietie-in reprint with Al Pacino (Carlito) on the cover. I think I gave awaythe book to the library when I moved a couple of years ago. Film Ink'sedition, showcasing a typical street in an ethnic neighborhood, impressedme. I've always been fascinated by some of the provocative photography onbook covers these days.

The saga of Carlito Brigante's life (in essencethe film Carlito's Way) is actually chronicled in two books, the firsttitled Carlito's Way, wherein Carlito in 1st person narrative describes hisrough-and-tumble childhood and induction into New York's ruthless criminalworld, culminating in Carlito's arrest, conviction, and sentence of thirtyyears in Riker's Island. Yet no one can accuse Brigante of being simply aheartless killer. We get to sympathize with his plight; he is undoubtedlythe hero of Torres' tale.

The next installment, titled After Hours(written in 3rd person this time), is actually the setting of the movie,beginning when David Kleinfeld, Carlito's Alan Dershowitzesque attorney,gets Carlito out of prison on a technicality. The David Kleinfeld characteris another reason to read this book after seeing the movie, as things inthe book turn out quite differently for most of the characters affected byKleinfeld's machinations. There's also some additional fleshing out ofcharacters and episodes not included in the movie, including Brigante'strip to Spain, where the brash hombre shows off his bullfighting skills.I'm not giving anything away.

Like the Shawshank Redemption, themovie also highlights the profound changes in American everyday life andculture (and with it the criminal world) during the twentieth century. Thetwo books trace Carlito Brigante's criminal career, from the swinging andcolorful 1940s, when Carlito existed on small-time armed robberies andswitchblades, all the way to the sleazy lava-lamp lit cocaine infested1970s, an appropriate prelude of the Me Decade. Central to the story isthe role New York's Italian Mafia plays in the life of Brigante. Brigante,a Puerto Rican, is eventually admitted to their exclusive innermostcircles, but because he is not a Sicilian is never elevated to the statusof a "Made Guy," which ultimately leads to his downfall. Viasubplots and secondary characters Torres notes the rise and fall of theCosa Nostra's influence in the Big Apple.

I thought that Miller brought alot to the somewhat hapless role of Gail, Carlito's longtime love-interestand confidant. I found it much more believable that Carlito's girlfriendwould be a stripper and aspiring dancer. In the book her character is anelementary school teacher, which makes the idea of Carlito persuading herto go to the Bahamas a bit implausible.

In an interview contemporaneouswith the film's release, Torres said that his novels were inspired by hisexposure to countless Carlito Brigantes who had walked through hiscourtroom throughout his career on the bench. Torres also includes avocabulary of Hispanic street slang and underworld terms.

An extremelycapable writer of prose, Torres pens a stimulating, readable, andbelievable portrait of life in the Barrio. Barrio is Spanish for jungle, inthis context the urban jungle-ghetto that wickedly and unknowingly nurturesthe self-destructive psyche of a career criminal who knows nothing but alife of violence and self-preservation.

Splendid! ... Read more

3. Panther: Illustrated History of the Black Panther Movement and the Story Behind the Film
by Mario Van Peebles, etc.
 Paperback: 192 Pages (1995-10-01)

Isbn: 0859652386
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice Book
After seeing the movie, I decided to get the book.I really like it, good reading. ... Read more

4. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song: A Guerilla Filmmaking Manifesto
by Melvin van Peebles
Kindle Edition: 176 Pages (2004-08-24)
list price: US$13.95
Asin: B001EYT9Z8
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In 1971, Melvin Van Peebles’s independently produced film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song became the top-grossing independent film of that year, helped usher in the blaxploitation genre, and served as the flag-bearer for independent filmmakers. Melvin’s original diary of his struggles to conceptualize, finance, film, and distribute Sweetback will become an indispensable guide for aspiring filmmakers. Melvin is the authentic pioneer, and his achievement—and the determination he displayed—are eye-opening and inspiring. As son Mario Van Peebles (who made his debut in Sweetback) recalls in his Introduction,"[Melvin] was forced to self-finance, constantly on the brink of ruin, his crew got arrested and jailed, death threats, and yet [at first] he refused to submit his film to the all-white MPAA ratings board for approval. The film then received an X rating. My dad, true to form, printed t-shirts that read ‘Rated X ... by an all white jury’ and made it part of his marketing campaign." Mario reflects on his father’s example and contrasts Melvin’s guerrilla filmmaking with the possibilities—technological, economic, and cultural—open to filmmakers, especially black filmmakers, today. Photographs are included in this incredible filmmaking manifesto. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars book
The merchandise came in when promised in excellent condition.I would definitely do business with this seller again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Innovator
Melvin Van Peebles is a true innovator and produced the first successful independent film in America. He ushered in the genre of Blaxploitation films. He made a cool 10 million dollars and most of it way pure profit.He had no investors, because know one would contribute.Though the images may have been somewhat sterotypical, the black folks were starved to see images of themselves.The way he got the movie made, with unknown actors, was incredible. Of course once the movie was made, distribution was a problem. So what did he do?He took the movie to be shown where the folks were.

... Read more

5. Panther: A Pictorial History of the Black Panthers and the Story Behind the Film
by Mario Van Peebles, Ula Y. Taylor, J. Tarika Lewis
Paperback: 192 Pages (1995-04-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$7.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557042276
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The most inclusive pictorial history of the Black Panther party, with more than 150 historical photos and drawings from personal archives. Taylor is chief his-torian of the African-American Studies department at Berkeley; Lewis, the first female Black Panther. 200 illustrations, 50 in color, chronology, bibliography, index. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly in-depth and the pictures are classic...
I purchased this book expecting largly a pictoral history and a few words dedicated to the making of the film...what I got was a surprisingly in-depth history of the BPP magnificently supplemented with many pictures! This really should be the first book a person reads to get a general history of the movement. Generally biased towards the Panther founders (...they could do no wrong in the early days of the movement), it offers a much more balanced account of the late days and subsequent downfall of the Party. The section dealing with the making of the film was interesting, but a little long-winded in describing each detail. Overall, an excellent and surprising book that I'd highly recommend. ... Read more

6. Mario Van Peebles
Paperback: 90 Pages (2010-09-12)
list price: US$43.00 -- used & new: US$41.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 613280031X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Mario"Chip" Cain Van Peebles (born January 15, 1957)is an American director and actor who has appeared in numerous films. Van Peebles was born in Mexico City,Mexico, the son of writer, director and actor MelvinVan Peebles and German actress and photographer Maria Marx. He graduated fromSaint Thomas More School in Connecticut in 1974 and from Columbia University in 1978 with a bachelor'sdegree in economics. ... Read more

7. New Jack City
 Hardcover: 101 Pages (1991-01)
list price: US$9.00 -- used & new: US$11.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0790705753
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8. Panther; A Pictorial History of the Black Panthers and the Story
by Mario, et al. VAN PEEBLES
 Hardcover: Pages (1995)

Asin: B000UCYQD0
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

9. No Identity Crisis
by Melvin and Mario Van Peebles
 Paperback: Pages (1990-01-01)

Asin: B002JHKZFC
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