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Author Biography: C. Kelly Robinson is a graduate of Howard University. He and his wife live in Dayton, Ohio, where he is currently working on his second novel.
"C. Kelly Robinson has written an insightful, well-written novel that guides the reader through the twists and turns of the hearts of men. I highly recommend it."
—Timmothy McCann, author of Forever
Excerpted from Between Brothers by C. Kelly Robinson Copyright © 2008 by C. Kelly Robinson. Excerpted by permission.
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1. In some ways Monica is Brandon’s forbidden fantasy - beautiful, alluring, and experienced. But after he gets to know her Brandon finds his assumptions about Monica weren’t always right. How was the Monica of his dreams different from the reality? Was Brandon attracted to her because of her reputation or in spite of it?
2. After Keesa attacks O. J. he doesn’t reveal her identity immediately. Why does he turn Keesa in? How much responsibility does he have for her actions?
3. In the process of defending the Ellis Center Terence, O. J., Brandon and Larry are forced to re-evaluate their priorities and make decisions about the truly important things in their lives. Discuss how each of the men changes and what decisions they make. What would have happened if they had not been involved with the Ellis Center?
4. Faith plays a large part in the lives of Brandon’s and O. J.; only Brandon’s faith has supported him while O. J. feels it has betrayed him. By the end, however, O. J. has reclaimed his faith and Brandon begins to question his. How does this happen? What do each of the men realize about their faith?
5. In order to derail the Highland students’ plans to save the Ellis Center Nico Lane exploits their vulnerabilities through sabotage. Without O. J.’s, Larry’s or Terence’s weaknesses Nico and Eldridge’s plan to close the Ellis Center could not have come so close to success. What were these weak points? Nico and Eldridge manipulated others into doing their dirty work, who is more responsible: the person who suggests an idea or the person who carries it out? Do we see this with Keesa? Rolly Orange?
6. The Ellis Center plays an important role in the community but could not save a man like Nico from returning to the streets. What will make the difference to children like Pooh? How essential is the involvement of the Highland students and others from outside the neighborhood?
7. Larry lives in the shadow of his father’s achievements and is following in his footsteps by running for student body president and choosing the “right” girlfriend. How does Larry deal with his father’s legacy in the end? Explain his decisions to drop out of the election, leave Ashley and work at his father’s firm for the summer.
8. In some ways Terence, Brandon, O. J. and Larry have formed a bond greater than just housemates; their relationships with each other are brotherly in a I-don’t-always-agree-with-you-but-I-got-your-back kind of way. Discuss the differences between each of the men. Are they like a family? Is it their different strengths and weaknesses that allow them to save the Ellis Center?
9. For much of his time at Highland, Terence faced an uphill battle to stay in school; of the four housemates he has the most to lose from Nico’s attempts to close the center. Why did he feel he couldn’t tell his friends about Nico’s threats? How does Terence’s relationship with Lisa affect him?
10. Sheryl is the heart of the Ellis Center and without her commitment the center would have likely failed. But she isn’t able to see through Rolly Orange and his financial mismanagement until the end. Why cant’ she see how wrong things are going? Why do you think students from Highland University step in to save the center and not the board members?
11. Which character do you think had the most "issues"? If you met them in the first chapter, how would you help them mature into the type of man you prefer?
12. Are the days of judging fellow African-Americans by their skin color, hair length, or facial features over? Or do you know more than a few people like Larry and Ashley? Why do some still fall into this trap?
13. Are women who complain about "Dogs" or "Players" and then reject "Choirboys" like Brandon hypocritical, confused, or just holding out for the perfect "reformed" Dog?
Posted July 26, 2004
This was a magnificent painted picture of the coming of manhood for African-American men. Robinson delicately but masterfully takes us through the different dynamical experiences of college students at a historical black college. It shows how it is not always an easy road to travel when trying to obtain success. Each character reached out to me personally because eventhough they were different in their own way, they were each someone that I could relate to. Robinson touched on major issues facing college students: dealing with sex, stabilizing finances, maintaining your morals and finding your own way. Thank you Mr. Robinson for finely creating outstanding images of African-American men aside from the stereo-typical images that are often depicted.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2004
WHAT A JOY TO READ. THIS BOOK WAS EXCELLENT. I LOVE HOW THE STRONG BOND OF FRIENDSHIP WAS WEAVED IN THIS BOOK. EVEN WHEN PUT THROUGH THE FIRE TRUE FRIENDSHIP WILL ALWAYS SURVIVE. THIS IS DEFINETLY A MUST READ.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2003
Whoever said in their ratings that it takes awhile to get into this book was dead-on! I can't even finish it. Eighty pages into the story and the author still hasn't gotten into the plot. All he's doing is describing how rich they are and what material things they have and their opinions on women, blahzay blah. I think the idea for this story is great but there are so many flaws in this novel, that it's driving me crazy. #1 The dialogue goes from broken English, to hoodrich, to cocktail conversation all within the same person. Make up your mind! #2 The author spends entirely too much time talking about one guy's campaign...was one of his degrees in Political Science because if it wasn't, it should have been!!! #3 If I hear about one more person's car or clothes or money, I'm going to start thinking Cash Money is friends with C. Kelly Robinson. This book is a complete disappointment but because I didn't finish it, I'll be fair and give it two stars. I tried reading 'No More Mr. Nice Guy' and ran into the same problems.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 29, 2011
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