Reminiscent of the classic Random Family and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace but told by the man who lived it, The Cook Up is a riveting look inside the Baltimore drug trade portrayed in The Wire and an incredible story of redemption.
The smartest kid on his block in East Baltimore, D. was certain he would escape the life of drugs, decadence, and violence that had surrounded him since birth. But when his brother, Devin, is shot - only days after D. receives notice that he's been accepted into Georgetown University - the plans for his life are exploded, and he takes up the mantle of his brother's crack empire. D. succeeds in cultivating the family business, but when he meets a woman unlike any he's known before, his priorities are once more put into question.
Equally terrifying and hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking, D.'s story offers a rare glimpse into the mentality of a person who has escaped many hells.
"The Cook Up is classic and cinematic, told with an observational acuity that hits you where it hurts." (Frannie Kelley, host of NPR's Microphone Check)
"D. Watkins is his generation's David Simon. Another brilliant storyteller who takes you into the heart of East Baltimore and never flinches as he shows you the real." (Touré, author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now)
"The Cook Up is an important story for both black and white America, as well as this country's political leadership, to read, if we're truly going to tackle the challenges that are facing our communities all across the country." (Chuck Todd, correspondent on NBC's Meet the Press)
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- Dr. Jeffrey Shnall