The Rap

The roiling action of Ernest Brawley’s novel The Rap takes place in and around a penitentiary much like San Quentin. The time is the early 70s, when George Jackson, Angela Davis and others were agitating for prison reform, and the authorities were doing everything they could do to thwart them. A young, sympathetic guard, Arvin Weed, attends night classes at a local college in pursuit of a dream to break away from his worst nightmare: working at the prison forever, like his father. But his reputation as a Vietnam vet rifle marksman draws him unwittingly into a conspiracy to murder revolutionary, black militant leader, William Galliot, who’s just been sent to prison. Arvin’s evil cousin, Wasco Weed, also a recent arrival to the prison, fancies himself a criminal genius, and has, in fact, been directly tapped by conservative political eminences to assassinate Galliot, the revolutionary. Wasco shrewdly manipulates everyone in his orbit, including his voluptuous wife, Moke, an almost supernatural creature given to midnight swims in the ocean and driven by a ferocious craving for money and power; Fast-Walking Miniver, a young guard and the warden’s scapegrace son; Big Arv, Arvin’s loutish father; Lobo Miniver, the urbane and opportunistic warden; and even Wasco’s own mother, Evie, the bawdy proprietress of a whorehouse. Moving from the tragic to the comic, the obscene to the exalted, the real to the surreal, The Rap is the ultimate American saga.

“He was the fastest man in the entire State Slam. Clocked by Arv at true time doing sixteen seconds crossing the Big Yard—a hundred yards—his limber wobbling legs seeming to float in space. Still a young man, only seven or eight years older than Arv, with a handsome face and bright blue eyes and a hawklike curved nose and a high pale brow and straight pretty teeth and a strong forthright jaw like his father's and a thin dry mouth, the mouth of an aristocrat of the Joint, and all of that laid over that tiny head atop that impossible body, Fast-Walking seemed at once as young and old as creation." ~

Synopsis
“He was the fastest man in the entire State Slam. Clocked by Arv at true time doing sixteen seconds crossing the Big Yard—a hundred yards—his limber wobbling legs seeming to float in space. Still a young man, only seven or eight years older than Arv, with a handsome face and bright blue eyes and a hawklike curved nose and a high pale brow and straight pretty teeth and a strong forthright jaw like his father's and a thin dry mouth, the mouth of an aristocrat of the Joint, and all of that laid over that tiny head atop that impossible body, Fast-Walking seemed at once as young and old as creation." ~
A native Californian, I attended San Francisco State University, where I was granted several writing scholarships and a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since then, I have spent my life writing, teaching, and traveling the world. I have taught at the University of Hawaii, Hunter College, New York University, and the Sorbonne. I am a recipient of The Joseph Henry Jackson Award in Literature, and served for several years on the Fiction Award Committee of the National Endowment for The Arts in Washington.

“THE RAP is the best novel I’ve tasted in many seasons.” – Philadelphia Inquirer
“…A first rate novel: tough, fastmoving…Don’t miss it.” – Newsday
“THERE ISN’T A PAGE OF THE RAP THAT WILL LET YOU OFF…IT IS INCREDIBLY CYNICAL, SARCASTIC, PROFANE AND BRUTAL…YOU CAN’T TURN YOUR BACK ON IT. YOU CAN’T FORGET IT. – Chicago Tribune
“It is a bawdy, rowdy and powerful novel – a blockbuster.” – Fort Worth Press
“I like to dig into a fat, juicy novel a couple of times a year and lose myself for a string of nights. Here’s a good one, by a new author, that had me engrossed for all its pages.” – Saturday Review World
“Brawley’s an excellent novelist who combines a raw plot with raunchy characters.” – Worcester Telegram
“An impressive first novel…what a colorful gallery of characters it has. Not to mention enough twists of plots to keep almost everyone happy.” – Publisher’s Weekly