Them Author:Nathan McCall Former Washington Post reporter Nathan McCalls previous work includes a memoir and a collection of essays. Like the characters in this debut novel, reviewers agreed that the ground covered in Them is valuable, but they disagreed over how it should be treated. While all critics thought that Barlowe is a complex protagonist and a fascinating... more » black voice, many thought that McCalls white characters are little more than stereotypes. Some reviewers interpreted these characters lack of depth as satire; others saw it as a realistic portrayal of how some people behave in a racially charged environment. The novels subject matter, gentrification, is a problem that few in America, white or black, have really figured out how to solve. As a result, most critics were willing to forgive the works shortcomings in the hope that its readers will learn to forgive as well.« less
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As someone who is born and raised inner-city, reading a fictional story about gentrification was hard for me at times. Some parts hit close to home, others I kind of rolled my eyes at the outrageousness of certain scenarios. Nonetheless, I have always enjoyed Nathan McCall as a story-teller. I wouldn't reference this story as a way of saying that this is typically how neighborhoods become integrated, but it was a good story of what happened to these particular people.