Getting Out the Game by Omar PowellGetting Out The Game
by Omar Powell
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Reviewed by: QB Wells
January 2009


The Streets. Money. Football. Jail.

Getting out the Game author, Omar Powell, delivers a non-riveting novel that leaves the reader with little to remember outside the poor cover design. The novel is based on true events and reads like a journal that spans from childhood till college, excluding few details in between. While his father is on his deathbed, the protagonist, Javon Taylor, gets a detailed letter documenting his father's addictions to drugs, alcohol and his eventual demise. Javon rebels in his own life and throughout high school after learning the information. He gets into several fights and commits some acts of larceny while going through periods of transition.

After moving a few times and adjusting to a new neighborhood, Javon, or J as he is later called, excels on the football field but is hindered by friends that were involved in the game. Football and positive coaches help motivate the protagonist to pursue and be accepted into college. Later J is persuaded to transfer to a black college and finish his career. All of J's friends either go to jail or get out the game.

Overall, Getting out the Game was a laborious read. It is presented like a novel but reads as a journal, including reference to too many friends, too many family members and too many memories of Javon. Due to the host of characters, lack of character development and plot development, the story reads at a snail pace, and leaves little room for personal attachment or space to experience the story and life of the characters.

What did I like about the story?
I liked that the story was a passionate effort. I could tell that the author really wanted to tell his story, the coming of age of a young black male.

What did I not like about the story?
I didn't like that the book was a novel based on true events. I was confused whether the book was true or fiction.

What can the author do to improve the story?
The author could have spent more time showing and not telling. The construction of scenes would allow the reader to appreciate some of the details that could have been captive.


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