Bingo’s Run

James A. Levine. Random/Spiegel & Grau, $24 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6883-8
Bingo Mwolo, the charismatic narrator of the second novel from Levine (The Blue Notebook), will proudly tell you he’s the best drug runner in all Kibera. His youthful appearance—Bingo is 15 but looks 10—helps him travel below the radar of the corrupt local police force, as he cons his way through Nairobi’s potholed streets, trafficking “white” to residents and tourists alike. But when Bingo is the sole witness to the killing of Boss Jonni, the area’s biggest cocaine supplier, Bingo’s already-dangerous life becomes even more harrowing. Caught in the center of a drug world power grab, Bingo must also contend with Father Matthew, head of the local orphanage, who’s selling more than the word of God, and Chief Gihilihili, the peg-legged police chief with a horror film’s sense of justice. And then there’s Thomas Hunsa, drug client and local painter. Hunsa just might be Bingo’s ticket to riches—if only the young con man can convince everyone he’s not just the best runner, but also the best art dealer in Nairobi. Levine sets much of his latest in Kibera’s back allies and slums, but he doesn’t dwell there. By telling the novel from the perspective of this charming teen grifter, Levine makes his story feel substantial while also quite fun, significant even as the pages turn themselves. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 01/07/2014
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-5044-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4829-6293-2
Open Ebook - 187 pages - 978-1-58836-947-5
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