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Crabs in a Barrel [Paperback]

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Item description for Crabs in a Barrel by Byron Harmon...

"Harmon's witty writing style is engaging"-Zane

"A rising literary talent."-Carl Weber

In the tradition of Jill Nelson's Sexual Healing, Crabs in a Barrel is a frank, no-holds-barred comedy with a sharp satirical edge.

When a yachtful of party-goers headed for the Bahamas are shipwrecked and wash up on a remote island, the diverse group-most but not all African-Americans, from a wide range of different backgrounds-are left with the usual survivor struggles: to find food, shelter themselves, and try to figure out how to get back to civilization. But in their case, they also have to try not to kill each other in the effort. The isolation and extreme circumstances combine to aggravate the social differences that already separate the group, and tensions rise and flare immediately. Before long, the different castaways-including a beautiful waitress/med student, a wealthy lawyer, a Brooklyn thug, a Black Muslim, and two gold-digging cousins-square off and start firing about their differences, their grievances, and their opinions in exchanges that are as funny as they are explosive.

Author Byron Harmon, already acclaimed for his two earlier novels, uses this Gilligan's Island meets Survivor set-up to create a story that airs out the truth about how black people feel about themselves, each other, and most everyone else in this breakout novel sure to bring him even greater commercial and critical success.

Byron Harmon is the author of two earlier novels, All The Women I've Loved (Pocket, 2002) and Mistakes Men Make (Pocket, 2005). He is the executive producer for the WCBS TV Early Morning News in New York City.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.7" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2006
Publisher   Agate
ISBN  1932841210  
ISBN13  9781932841213  

Availability  0 units.

More About Byron Harmon

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Byron Harmon, a five-time Emmy Award-winning executive producer at CBS Television in New York, is the author of "All the Women I've Loved" and "Crabs in a Barrel." A decorated U.S. Army combat veteran of Desert Storm, he lives in New York City. Visit his website at

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Comic
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary

Reviews - What do customers think about Crabs in a Barrel?

An Entertaining Read  Oct 5, 2007
I was hesistant on buying this book, but took the plunge. If for nothing else, it kept me laughing!! The gentleman who wrote it must have a great sense of humor. I liked the story, some of the characters and it was very well written. The way the book ended lends me to believe there will be a sequel (or at least I hope there will be). I'd like to see what happens between Sahara and Jean-Paul.
Escape to Fantasy Island  Jul 28, 2007
Not great, but good. I enjoyed reading 'Crabs in a Barrel'. The premise of the book is somewhat innovative, probably inspired by all of the reality tv shows out there. The reading is light and the book is not very long. In addition, the chapters are short, and this makes for a swift read. There were errors that editing did not catch and the cover is not suited well for the content of the book. Nonetheless, it was a fun story. There was a blend of humor, suspense, and even some philosophizing.
(RAW Rating: 4.5) - A quick and funny, yet thoughtful read...  May 1, 2007
Byron Harmon is back with a quick and funny, yet thoughtful read which will make you think far beyond the words on the page. Reminiscent of television favorites Gilligan's Island and Survivor, CRABS IN A BARREL introduces the reader to a mismatched group of individuals sailing on a luxury yacht enroute to the Bahamas for a birthday party. When they end up lost on a remote island, the fear of never being discovered mixes with the various personalities, setting the stage for endless moments of tension, debate, laughter, and most importantly, thoughts of survival. The cast of characters is African-American, with the exception of the captain, and includes a medical student, who is working on the boat as a waitress, a drug dealer, a sell-out lawyer, a Muslim and his Christian mistress, a wannabe comedian, and two gold-digging cousins. As imagined, they quickly size each other up, pick sides, and do their best to survive. However, with so many different opinions and mistrust settling in, it's not quite clear if they'll ever make it off the island.

What I really enjoyed about CRABS IN A BARREL is how Harmon uses humor to bring up some very serious topics revolving around race, religion, and social classes. It is an engaging read which truly depicts the "crabs in a barrel" mentality. It brings home many messages about stereotypes within our community and other ethnic groups. Harmon's writing pulls in the reader and the dialogue lends for a great discussion. Most importantly for me, the ending of the book is believable and will please even the worst critic. CRABS IN A BARREL is a realistic portrayal of life as we know it and comes highly recommended.

Reviewed by Tee C. Royal
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
Very good story......  Apr 5, 2007
This was a very funny, explosive and thought provoking story. I agree with the previous reviews that it was a short story. The author wrote a detailed book until the last few chapters. It seemed rushed and could have been explored more. We never found out exactly why Nigel was searching for Wolf. What and why Nigel hid something in the Bahamas out island? What happened when Jean Paul was reunited with his friend and father? What happened when he revealed that he didn't want to marry Nikki? Did he ever become a writer? THERE WERE SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS!!!!!
Almost short story is a GOOD story  Nov 14, 2006
I loved the premise of this book. Black people from different backgrounds stranded on a deserted island. I really did like this book and the conversations that characters had. Of course, they get into arguments about White vs. Black, Black vs. Black, and Black vs. "Almost Black". Unfortunately I've heard these conversations before so that was a slight let down.

The story, however, was fast, sometimes brutal, funny, and I didn't expect some of the things to happen that actually did happen. This is a very short story and I wish it was longer because the story was so good.

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