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by Chester Himes

Pinktoes, Chester Himes said, is a term of indulgent affection applied to white women by Negro men, and sometimes conversely by Negro women to white men, but never adversely by either. In this rowdy work of fiction that debunks self-satisfied do-gooders, Himes satirizes social missionaries who preach uplift and promote specious causes. With Rabelaisian zest he portrays Mamie Mason, Harlem's most influential society matron, hosting desegregated sexual orgies, all for the advancement of harmony between the races. Just as eager as Mamie to bask in the favorable light of social justice are liberal whites who wish to be seen amid the right people. Printed in Paris in 1962 because it was perhaps too confrontational for U. S. publishers, this sex farce is regarded as Himes's most daring work of fiction.
Download Pinktoes epub
ISBN: 0850318645
ISBN13: 978-0850318647
Category: Mystery
Author: Chester Himes
Language: English
Publisher: GENERAL DISTRIBUTION* SERVICES; New Ed edition (1989)
Pages: 224 pages
ePUB size: 1691 kb
FB2 size: 1411 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 383
Other Formats: lrf mobi doc mobi

chester himes is a wake-up call at any hour of your life. he's not remembered much, unfortunately, but his works are -- thanks to the movies ("cotton comes to harlem" et al). noir doesn't celebrate him as it should (he's not alone there), and history gives one of its "gee, too bad we were such a bunch of racists while he was here" shrugs and moves on. yet himes, self-taught and self-exiled, endures for those on the hunt for stories and style from the 30s and 40s.

"pinktoes" was sold as pornography 50 years ago when i read it for the first time, seated rigid upright to keep from drooling. what i remember most is it was a hoot and a half every chapter. himes' use of entendre -- single, double, triple and so forth -- turns the book into slapstick slick enough to cover a satire so wicked it might have otherwise been suppressed. these days, some of the entendre is lost to time and the "pornography" is tame, but the satire remains and you'll still laugh the part of your anatomy that you're sitting on off.

if you do, good luck forgetting it.
Reading that I had done and wanted copies that I had lost. Trip down memory lane. Thanks for good memories.
Pinktoes is a book that sounds good in abstract but fails miserably in execution. Written by Chester Himes, a black American author who was living in self-imposed exile in France (where this book was first published in 1961), it purports to be a rollicking, obscene evisceration of racial attitudes in the United States. Given the timing, at the dawn of the 60s and and modern Civil Rights era, it is well positioned for its theme.

However, what emerges is a tedious and cynical portrait of human nature as being little more than the sum of its genitals. The book takes an awkwardly large cast of characters, black and white, in New York and proceeds to pair them up one with another indiscriminately in sexual trysts that assume that people are nothing but apes in heat. I suppose the fact that Himes has characters of both races lusting after each other is a kind of civil rights win, especially in an age when miscegenation laws were still on the books in many states, but it's really just intolerance of another sort masquerading as worldliness.

Nowhere is there a hint that faithfulness, high-mindedness, nobility or genuine love exist. But without a moral center, there's no one to root for, no drama to engage the reader and no relief from what is ultimately a one-note symphony. Yes, Himes gets off some good one-liners (though the run of double entendres got tiresome pretty fast) and some episodes are funnier than others but ultimately this is a penis joke stretched to 200-some pages.

Himes published Pinktoes in the midst of his run of Gravedigger Jones/Coffin Ed Johnson detective novels, all of which are much better than this, if only because they present a much more balanced and mature portrayal of life.

Read those before you read Pinktoes...
I really enjoyed this book. It really made me think. It was also so darned sexy. It mostly dealt with race and sex...Primarily of the interracial variety.
I will never forget Mamie Mason the Hostesss With The Mostest and her Harlem Parties geared towards ending the "Negro Problem" of the Sixties. She felt she could end the "Negro Problem" simply by throwing parties and inviting White folks up to Harlem. Even though the book was written long ago the issues that surfaced in the book are sill very much with us today.
One day I would like to option this book for a movie....
Himes leaves aside his usuall hard boiled crime novel and turns his hand to a farce. He should stay with the crime novels. I got the point, but the book seemed so dated that it often lost my interest. Himes does a great job of weaving social commentary into his crime novels -- see Rage in Harlem in particular -- and falters a bit when he writes a novel dedicated to social commentary through farce.
People familiar only with Himes' cynical, hard-edged crime novels will be surprised by this witty, sexy farce. It's kind of tedious in parts but overall is a lot of fun. Himes must have had a ball writing it.
Received on time and as advertised.
This was the most entertaining and shockingly funny books I have every read. It is so outlandish that it is hard to believe, yet it kept me in stitches laughing out loud. I highly recommend this book.