King by Treymane “G” Johnson
King by Treymane “GS” Johnson
Reviewed by Pathfinder
If you’re a lover of stories about the gritty streets of the inner city, then “King”, a fast paced action filled novel by Tremayne ‘GS’ Johnson might be to your likening. It tells the story of a young immigrant Deon “King” Toure, who arrives from the South American country of Guyana, with his mother after his father, a corrupt general, drug trafficker, and murderer goes on the run.
Upon his arrival to his new country, Deon is quickly greeted and looked upon by his peers as an outsider in his Brooklyn neighborhood. It wasn’t long before he’s befriended by an elementary schoolmate, Jayson aka Jay-Roc. Taking him under his tutelage, Jay-Roc introduces his young prodigy to the hard knock reality of the gritty underworld of their Bed-Stuy neighborhood, where drugs, guns, fast money, sex, death, loyalty, betrayal and respect ruled. Deon now acclimated to the ins and outs of the drug game, along with his mentor Jay-Roc, set up a crew that would wreak havoc on their rivals and anyone who gets in their way as they seek their fame and fortune.
I lived for some time in the same Brooklyn neighborhood where the story takes place; and I must say, the author did a wonderful job of taking me back to my Halsey Street, Ralph Avenue, Broadway and Putnam Avenue neighborhood. If you’re from Bed-Stuy, you will certainly love the trip down memory lane. The believability of some of the events that took place while Deon and Jay-Roc were in elementary school was difficult for me to digest. Perhaps if the events and lifestyle they had led up to that point had taken place in high school, it would have been more believable. But I just couldn’t relate to it, nonetheless, there were moments when I was totally engrossed in the book.
Posturing, pretense and self-importance comes into play as Deon, Jay-Roc and their associate’s end up becoming victims in the gritty concrete jungle called Bed Stuy. A plethora of issues derails and grips their lives, as friends become rivals, and the women in their lives are no different; as distrust, loyalty, forgiveness, cheating, love, money, and respect couldn’t prevent the inevitable.
In spite of the fast paced action, which I liked, “King” was a quick read. Yet there were moments where certain events and situations would appear without a clear indication of why it occurred. A good editor would have made a huge difference. The narrative could have been much clearer. At times the sentences needed continuity, but instead are cut short in order to begin a new one, thus disrupting the story’s flow. Also, the narrative at times clearly should have been a part of the dialogue, but that wasn’t the case. Nevertheless, it was an exciting read and I enjoyed it. If Mr. Johnson can find himself an editor, it would be a great asset.