A Rage in Harlem : Grave Digger and Coffin Ed

  • by Chester Himes
  • Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
  • Series: Grave Digger and Coffin Ed
  • 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Fiction, 2013
Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Star Wars films), fresh off the success of his uproarious, Audie-nominated performance of the mock children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep, delivers a swaggering, darkly-humored rendering of Chester Himes’ classic first novel.
Himes, described by The Sunday Times as “the greatest find in American crime fiction since Raymond Chandler”, was no stranger to the world of crime: in his late teens and early 20s, he served 7 years in the Ohio State Penitentiary for armed robbery, the confession to which was beaten out of him by the police. He delivers the tale of his hopelessly naïve hero suddenly finding himself on the run from a hypocritical and far-from-heroic police force with lurid violence and brutal humor. There is no voice better than Mr. Jackson’s to narrate this hardboiled story of love and crime, set in a richly imagined, mid-20th century Harlem.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Visit to Another Era

An astonishing experience for a suburban white woman, to be transported to Harlem in the 1950s, and Himes (whom I'd heard of, but never read before) made it an unforgettable trip. The story is deliciously convoluted and the characters are perfectly presented, universal figures, yet each utterly one of a kind.

I was a little confused at first, because the lead characters in the series appear more than halfway through the story, and appear as secondary characters. This was Himes's first in the series, so perhaps he didn't realize he would use them again at the time he wrote it.

What set the whole thing sizzling was Samuel L. Jackson's extraordinary, sharp and loving performance, making each character uniquely memorable. I can't say enough about how much his power and enthusiasm got me sucked into the story completely.
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- Kitty

Excellent Reading!

Would you consider the audio edition of A Rage in Harlem to be better than the print version?


What does Samuel L. Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Samuel L. Jackson brings the characters alive with the many voices he affects for the different characters. My favorite voice was the character of Goldie. The reading really painted the story in my mind as I listened to it.

Any additional comments?

The story itself is full of crazy action, from start to finish. Some of the action just gets ridiculous in places, although for the time period the story was set in perhaps the action is all appropriate. It is not possible to be more specific without handing out spoilers. Hence only giving the story a 4 stars, since some of the "ridiculous" bordered on "unbeleiveable". Samuel L. Jackson lent an authenticity to the narration, in both voicing and accent, that brought the text and characters to life.

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- Rebecca R.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-08-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios