Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 10, 2004 - Social Science - 409 pages
32 Reviews
This New York Times bestseller intimately depicts urban life in a gripping book that slips behind cold statistics and sensationalism to reveal the true sagas lurking behind the headlines of gangsta glamour.

In her extraordinary bestseller, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc immerses readers in the intricacies of the ghetto, revealing the true sagas lurking behind the headlines of gangsta glamour, gold-drenched drug dealers, and street-corner society. Focusing on two romances—Jessica’s dizzying infatuation with a hugely successful young heroin dealer, Boy George, and Coco’s first love with Jessica's little brother, Cesar—Random Family is the story of young people trying to outrun their destinies. Jessica and Boy George ride the wild adventure between riches and ruin, while Coco and Cesar stick closer to the street, all four caught in a precarious dance between survival and death. Friends get murdered; the DEA and FBI investigate Boy George; Cesar becomes a fugitive; Jessica and Coco endure homelessness, betrayal, the heartbreaking separation of prison, and, throughout it all, the insidious damage of poverty.

Charting the tumultuous cycle of the generations—as girls become mothers, boys become criminals, and hope struggles against deprivation—LeBlanc slips behind the cold statistics and sensationalism and comes back with a riveting, haunting, and true story.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jasonli - LibraryThing

A surprisingly-thrilling and superbly-researched real-life story about a family, struggling to grow, struggling to get by in the roughest parts of New York during the 80s and 90s. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookwormteri - LibraryThing

Heartbreaking and fascinating. How much drug culture pervades some inner cities and affects every aspect of life. I can't believe that these girls have so many kids and so young and so little education to be prepared for anything. It's just sad. But a great read. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
19
Section 3
24
Section 4
38
Section 5
60
Section 6
70
Section 7
76
Section 8
92
Section 22
241
Section 23
258
Section 24
264
Section 25
279
Section 26
284
Section 27
299
Section 28
306
Section 29
311

Section 9
103
Section 10
112
Section 11
123
Section 12
130
Section 13
139
Section 14
149
Section 15
170
Section 16
182
Section 17
188
Section 18
200
Section 19
204
Section 20
215
Section 21
232
Section 30
317
Section 31
329
Section 32
336
Section 33
343
Section 34
351
Section 35
361
Section 36
372
Section 37
386
Section 38
394
Section 39
407
Section 40
411
Section 41
413
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and other publications. She has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Bunting fellowship from Radcliffe, a MacDowell Colony residency, and a Soros Media Fellowship. She lives in Manhattan. Random Family, which was short-listed for the international Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage, is her first book.

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