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Driving the King

Driving the King

by Ravi Howard

Narrated by Adam Lazarre-White

Unabridged — 7 hours, 23 minutes

Ravi Howard

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Overview

An indelible portrait of prejudice and promise, friendship and loyalty, Driving the King is a daring look at race and class in pre-Civil Rights America, played out in the lives of two remarkable men.

A daring and brilliant new novel that explores race and class in in 1950s America.

The war is over, the soldiers are returning, and Nat King Cole is back in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, for a rare performance. His childhood friend, Nat Weary, plans to propose to his sweetheart, and the singer will honor their moment with a special song. But while the world has changed, segregated Jim Crow Montgomery remains the same. When a white man attacks Cole with a pipe, Weary leaps from the audience to defend him an act that will lead to a 10-year prison sentence. 

But the singer will not forget his friend and the sacrifice he made. Six months before Weary is released, he receives a remarkable offer: he will be Nat King Coles driver and bodyguard. It is the promise of a new life removed from the terror, violence, and degradation of Jim Crow Alabama.

Weary discovers that, while Los Angeles is far different from the deep South, it is a place of discrimination, mistrust, and intolerance where a black man even one as talented and popular as Nat King Cole is not wholly welcome.


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Ravi Howard tells a thoroughly convincing story about the singing star Nat King Cole’s best friend…. [A] warmly enveloping book…. Appealing.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times

“A moving tale about bigotry and the power of friendship.” — People

“Excellent…moving….Weary is a marvelous character…. Readers who appreciate beautifully written, compelling novels with great depth and humanity will be more than pleased.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

“ Heartbreaking…. A bold reimagining of [the] civil rights era…. Howard’s choices…are daring.” — Los Angeles Times

“By following Howard’s characters, we are allowed a sidelong but penetrating glimpse into one of the most important events in American history…. Howard bends history…proving that the past can be best felt through refracted light rather than under the harsh glare of historical fact.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune

“In an easygoing style, with Weary as his guide, Howard pokes into under-viewed corners of the fight while never losing sight of the humanity of both the cause and its effects.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Howard brings readers back in time to postwar Alabama, in this velvety smooth fictional memoir. . . . [His] prose goes down like the top-shelf whiskey that Weary favors, making for a heady reading experience.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Gifted novelist Howard...takes readers of all races, ages and classes into the world of pre-civil rights era black people, offering insight on and understanding of one of our country’s most tumultuous periods.” — BookPage

“Alternating between the cities and Weary’s past and present, Howard explores race relations in the pre-civil rights era and the strong ties forged between two extraordinary men.” — Booklist

“Powerful…. A personal, poignant portrayal of how the lives of African Americans could be so easily derailed by racial inequality.” — Library Journal (starred review)

|Los Angeles Times

Heartbreaking…. A bold reimagining of [the] civil rights era…. Howard’s choices…are daring.

People

A moving tale about bigotry and the power of friendship.

BookPage

Gifted novelist Howard...takes readers of all races, ages and classes into the world of pre-civil rights era black people, offering insight on and understanding of one of our country’s most tumultuous periods.

Janet Maslin

Ravi Howard tells a thoroughly convincing story about the singing star Nat King Cole’s best friend…. [A] warmly enveloping book…. Appealing.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Excellent…moving….Weary is a marvelous character…. Readers who appreciate beautifully written, compelling novels with great depth and humanity will be more than pleased.

Minneapolis Star Tribune

By following Howard’s characters, we are allowed a sidelong but penetrating glimpse into one of the most important events in American history…. Howard bends history…proving that the past can be best felt through refracted light rather than under the harsh glare of historical fact.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In an easygoing style, with Weary as his guide, Howard pokes into under-viewed corners of the fight while never losing sight of the humanity of both the cause and its effects.

Booklist

Alternating between the cities and Weary’s past and present, Howard explores race relations in the pre-civil rights era and the strong ties forged between two extraordinary men.

Los Angeles Times

Heartbreaking…. A bold reimagining of [the] civil rights era…. Howard’s choices…are daring.

Booklist

Alternating between the cities and Weary’s past and present, Howard explores race relations in the pre-civil rights era and the strong ties forged between two extraordinary men.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940170041589
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Publication date: 11/15/2019
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews