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The Moanin' After [Paperback]

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Item description for The Moanin' After by L. M. Ross...

When the AIDS epidemic hits New York City, and his best friend dies, David Richmond finds his days of partying, dancing, and meaningless sexual encounters over as he struggles to reclaim his life and become the man he was always meant to be. Original.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   340
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.72 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2008
Publisher   Urban Books
ISBN  1933967358  
ISBN13  9781933967356  

Availability  0 units.

More About L. M. Ross

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! L. M. Ross currently resides in Port Chester, in the state of New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > United States
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > African American > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Moanin' After?

The Moanin' After Shines!  Jun 10, 2008
I like to think that LM Ross writes books just for me. They always seem to land on my desk at just the right moment. They always seem to speak exactly to what I am experiencing. I can wrap myself up in them like blankets and feel related to, understood...and the things that I don't understand are explained to me.

A sequel to a book as great as Manhood: The Longest Moan had to have been a scary task to tackle. It was a grand work of poetic fiction that conjured the greats: James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange. What makes the sequel as equally brilliant, is Ross' resolve to not duplicate the voice of the first novel.

The Moanin' After speaks with a new timbre. The story of David, Tyrone, Brownie and Face continues, even beyond the grave for two of the characters. David's voice is more primary in this work, and the tone is deeply spiritual, ethereal and esoteric this time around. I don't want to give the storyline away, but I must say that the story centers around the awakening of David, there is a riveting return of Bliss Santana, and a surprising twist involving Tyrone that should tweak the interest of anyone who read the first book. If you haven't, then you must begin with Manhood and continue with Moanin'.

The feelings of grief, heartache, friendship, love, connection, resolution and salvation are palpable in every word. These characters live, breathe and dance through Ross' brilliant storytelling until they are palpable. This is the kind of writing contemporary fiction writers are incapable of...and Ross truly has no contemporaries. He is head and shoulders above the rest.
He's done it again!  May 29, 2008
I just finished L.M. Ross' latest gift to the world. Once again, Mr. Ross has given us a profound gift and another taste of his genius. I LOVED The Moanin' After. Far too often these days, African-American authors of "gay" material or otherwise, tend to write for (what seems to be) readers with a 7th grade education, at best. Not this writer! He really takes you on an emotional journey, in which maturity and intelligence is a must; as well as some experience in that indefinable condition known as the human heart. As with his brilliant work before this - Manhood, The Longest Moan - again, Mr. Ross made me think..and not just coast along, when reading. How refreshing. How challenging. How adult. How REAL! He made me use my brain, and more importantly - my heart! Congratulations, Mr. Ross. You deserve KUDOS! If you crave intelligent, adult reading with raw and heartfelt emotion - this one's for you! We need more from you, Mr. Ross! Thus, we wait.
Of Choices and Word Paintings  May 18, 2008
L.M. Ross's The Moanin' After is a book about choices--choosing to live, choosing to die, and choosing to forgive. In this, Ross's second novel, we follow his protagonist David on his harrowing journey through grief. Ross beautifully shows us that grief is not a solitary process. David touches lives in his quest to understand and accept the deaths of his friends Face Depina and, most importantly, Tyrone Hunter.

And author Ross also makes choices. Ross has grown as a writer since his first novel. In it, Manhood The Longest Moan, Ross used his gloriously beautiful figures of speech to excess. He created six or eight metaphors, similes, etc., and strung them together. In The Moanin' After, Ross wisely chooses the two or three best of his creations to make his points. And he makes them amazingly. The reader can revel in his descriptions. A poet at heart, Ross knows his subjects: jazz, New York City, gay life, and what it means to be a Black man. His word portraits rapturously evoke, sometimes bringing chills down the spine.

If anyone deserves a deal with a major publisher, it is Ross. An editor at Little Brown, Simon and Schuster, Clarion, or any of the other "big" publishers could work with Ross and turn him from a very good writer into a great one. The man knows how to use words in a commanding and beautiful way. He truly deserves better than his present editor and publisher.

His current publisher apparently is dedicated to bringing African-American writers to the marketplace. What a fine and noble goal! But when every page has five to fifteen errors, how can this publisher be taken seriously? The reader is forced to wade through sentences filled with repeated words and words left out. Time and time again, verbs of two different tenses (think "was"/ "were") are both given, as if the reader might want a choice in the sentence. Or could it be the editor or proofreader couldn't make the choice him or herself? And the commas! My lord, my lord...they are just thrown in willy-nilly. Someone needs to send this editor a grammar book--STAT!

L.M. Ross needs to be read, not decoded. If there is a publishing god out there, please let Her send an angel to plop Ross's next manuscript on the desk of an editor familiar with the English language.

Ross serves the gay community, the Black community, and the community at large with his humanity and his word paintings. Read The Moanin' After--it has power and grace. And after you read it, pass your copy on to your publisher know, the one who sits in an ivory tower office in Manhattan, waiting for the next great African-American author.
Ross rises above the sophomore curse with "The Moanin' After"  Apr 21, 2008
Following the buzz and nominal success of his first title "Manhood: The Longest Moan," I am certain poet/author L.M. Ross experienced a level of anxiety or fear involving the "sophomore curse" as he prepared its sequel. Audiences typically do not like sequels, always measuring them against the original work. Remember Rocky and its 5 sequels?

For the average person, the sophomore curse may be considered superstition, but for every artist, musician, actor, writer, entertainer, it is a true mental threat and represents the possibility our initial success was a mistake, or worse, a fluke.

Fellow artist/singer Erykah Badu hit the nail right on the head at the beginning of her cult classic tune "Tyrone," where she proclaims: "Ima test this out, right quick on yall,
now keep in mind that I'm an artist, and I'm sensitive about my s***. So yall be nice about it, alright?"

Ross successfully rises above the sophomore curse and delivers an artistic KNOCKOUT with "The Moanin' After," which is both emotionally draining and life-affirming. In "Manhood," Ross was successful in making readers walk a mile or two in his characters' shoes. In "The Moanin' After," Ross places us in his characters' heads as we go through a mentally intense, yet necessary purging and cleansing with them.

The ability of an author to completely flesh out predictable or perhaps less interesting characters from a prior work and give them depth is a challenge, with a number of authors incapable of doing so. "The Moanin' After," confirms what I have said from the beginning: L.M. Ross is a gifted and profound writer in the same league as his contemporaries E. Lynn Harris and James Earl Hardy, and sure to join the ranks of the great African-American male writers who came before him.

In the shadow of the deaths of Tyrone Hunter and Pascal "Face" Depina, David Richmond and Faison "Browny" Brown are given center stage. In my opinion, when reflecting on the original quartet, David and Browny were the least interesting, taking a back seat to Tyrone and Face. At best, these two could be viewed as `friendly-adversaries' and were the least likely to have any type of significant connection. But Ross makes it work in "The Moanin' After" and work incredibly.

Facing the world with HIV and without the support of his best friend Tyrone, David manages to navigate life with the assistance of an inheritance from Ty, his psychiatrist, and "apparitions." The way David views relationships, both platonic and intimate, is also explored in this book which I applaud Ross for addressing. As a former health educator, I have observed the process David goes through with my clients, each trying to understand what love is and if they are capable of accepting it into their life in light of their health status.

Browny on the other hand is married to Juanita, his rock in the time of his many storms and still trying to snatch 15 more minutes of his original high school fame. In the first installment, I wrote Browny off and labeling him as one of those artists that don't seem to realize it's not always about them. Share the spotlight sometimes, will you? Then in several pivotal scenes, Ross did the impossible and made me see Browny and I were one in the same: two artists in desperate need of love, attention, and validation.

Another character Ross resurrected in this new work was Bliss Santana, the award-winning actress now a single mom living with HIV. While Ross did a great job exploring the challenges Bliss has raising her daughter and trying to manage her career, I would liked to have seen more depth, particularly with how Bliss works to reconciling her undying love and at times hatred for Face. Despite Ross' denials to the contrary, perhaps this is a sign that a third and final chapter to a well-deserved trilogy is imminent.

The Moanin' After
'No book, no story, no plot, just a journey through Love.'  Apr 18, 2008
LM Ross continues the story of his highly successful novel MANHOOD with this sequel THE MOANIN' AFTER and in every way it is the equal to his first foray into the lives of four African American men, friends since childhood, but disseminated by fate, fortunes, and lessons in life. Ross' skill at joining street talk with descriptive elegant prose is very much present here. Few authors can handle colloquialisms and slang with such fierce rhythm while keeping the descriptive portions of the writing so rich in poetic color and so liquid in flow. It is a gift that serves Ross well in creating a novel that moves briskly through the lives past and present of his four main characters and allows him the ability to seamlessly introduce (or re-surface) other characters in this well-paced novel. Reading LM Ross recalls two music forms: the atmosphere and narration of the story are definitely from the Blues mold, while the technique Ross embraces in telling his tale is pure Jazz - themes, riffs, solo runs, scat, and the magic of having the ensemble come together in a climactic end.

Knowing that every reader may not have read MANHOOD, Ross adroitly references the beginnings of the four lead characters: David Donatello Richmond (dancer), Pascal 'Face' Depina (model), Tyrone Hunter (writer), and Faison 'Browny' Brown (singer) joined forces as a music group 'Da Elixir' in high school and had a short success with a hit song. The four become men, some fall in love with each other while others fall in love with fame and money and drugs and addiction, some go their separate ways, some die in the AIDS scourge, some marry and some have children almost accidentally, and as the four men diminish one is left as the narrator of the spent lives - David tells this story in both active time as he is wasting from AIDS and from reflections after his closet friend of the four (Tyrone) dies and leaves his inheritance to David. The loves and losses of each of the four men are explored by David's experiences with his Psychiatrist, with women bonded to each of the men, with gay lovers and fleeting forays, and with the ever present challenges of living in New York City. As David states, 'When you're a dancer, you're also a body actor. You had to be observant - and you keep observing until it becomes a reliable muscle....I became the most observant student of the others.'

The central Blues theme of the book is David's coping with the loss of Tyrone, a man whose life and spirit continue to haunt him after Tyrone's death. David seeks advice not only from his doctor but also from a spiritualist, he sees Tyrone's 'ghost', discovers secrets about all of his acquaintances from Tyrone's journals, and finally decides he cannot exit life without returning to this first love - the stage - and there he unveils the realities of being a black gay queen in a public confessional ('From Fag to Man, The Journey') that draws the story toward its conclusion. 'Love is a verb' is a phrase David often repeats and it serves as a signpost for his dealing with every situation, good and bad, that he encounters. Through some terrifying sequences and many sensuously beautiful love scenes Ross paints the lives of unforgettable characters like a fine jazz session, all the while peppering his pages with 'scat-like' idiomatic dialog. Stepping back from THE MOANIN' AFTER the reader realizes that the book is packed with a wide variety of characters, and yet each of them is so well developed (even in a mere few pages at times) that every character is an integral part to the story.

It would not be fair to ignore the fact that this novel has many editorial mishaps: words are inadvertently repeated, pronoun references are misplaced, punctuation errors stop the eye from smooth reading, etc. - all minor flaws but ones that should have been addressed by careful editing and proofreading. Ross' book deserves better. With this novel LM Ross confirms his status as one of our important novelists. His work 'snatches joy!' Grady Harp, April 08

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