The Cook Up

  • by D. Watkins
  • Narrated by D. Watkins
  • 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very worthwhile

Interesting inspiring story. Well worth the listen.
An first hand, inside look at the life and struggles facing black youth and black society in Baltimore. I heard the author being interviewed on US public radio and knew I wanted to hear his compelling story. I wish the author well.
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- Dr. Jeffrey Shnall


This is a real look at life in the projects. You feel as if you are right there in the action.
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- Lynda

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-11-2016
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio