The Last Street Novel [NOOK Book]


The Philadelphia-born author, who jumpstarted the urban fiction craze more than a dozen years ago with Flyy Girl, presents the riveting new tale of Shareef Crawford, a celebrated writer of romantic fiction, who leaves his sunny mansion in South Florida and returns to his Harlem roots to pen a true crime book that may just end his life.

Craving more respect for his craft as a writer,...
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The Last Street Novel

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The Philadelphia-born author, who jumpstarted the urban fiction craze more than a dozen years ago with Flyy Girl, presents the riveting new tale of Shareef Crawford, a celebrated writer of romantic fiction, who leaves his sunny mansion in South Florida and returns to his Harlem roots to pen a true crime book that may just end his life.

Craving more respect for his craft as a writer, particularly from his peer group of urban men, Shareef allows an enticing female fan to pitch him a no-holds-barred tell-all about an imprisoned Harlem gangster who admires Shareef's writing. With insane courage and an iron will, Shareef, the street-smart intellectual, finally gets a chance to write something more edgy and noteworthy.

However, the Harlem streets he returns to in 2006 have changed, and the stakes of survival are higher now than they've ever been. Amid the rise of high-priced condominiums, a changing population, young criminals gunning to make names for themselves, and old criminals fighting to become legitimate businessmen, Shareef finds himself caught in a real-life thriller where past foes become friends, and trusted friends become dangerous foes. Nevertheless, the Harlem legend is hell-bent to do anything he can to gain the respect on the streets that his career as a writer of women's fiction has failed to give him.

The Last Street Novel is another urban classic as only Tyree, the self-proclaimed Urban Griot, can write them!
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Beloved bestselling African-American romance author Tyree delivers the gritty story of a beloved African-American romance author who strays from his comfort zone in order to write a gritty street novel. Author and playboy Shareef Crawford returns to Harlem for a book signing to promote his latest romance and is seduced by quick-witted Cynthia Washington. As Shareef soon finds out, Cynthia is tight with Michael Springfield, a legendary drug dealer serving life without parole. He's ready to tell his life story, and he wants Shareef to write it. The proposition is infectious: Shareef quickly falls back in love with the hustle of Harlem, and he agrees to take on the writing project to tell the true story of the streets. But it's not long before word gets around that Springfield is about to open his mouth, and old school gangsters with an interest in keeping the past quiet set out to keep that story from being told. The pacing is fast and the dialogue snappy, but the street lit staples of violence, betrayal and sex are doled out in smaller doses than readers might expect. Regardless, Tyree's latest should fare well and add to his substantial readership. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

While promoting the sale of his latest romance novel, Shareef Crawford becomes interested in writing a true-crime book about the life of an incarcerated Harlem gangster and suddenly finds himself in a world where childhood friends are now enemies and vice versa. Reflecting on the inner-city life of the 20th and 21st centuries, best-selling author Tyree uses realistic ghetto language and violence, plus references to such icons as the Chrysler 3000, Starbucks, Harry Potter, divorce, drugs, Stephen King, and Danielle Steel. Experienced reader Richard Allen is clear, distinct, and accent-free, and he provides a sufficient variety of voices for the listener to differentiate among the various characters. Professionally produced, with no background noise or tape hiss, the audio maintains continuity by repeating the final thought on one disk at the start of the next. Likely to be of interest to public and academic libraries with a demand for African American literature.
—Laurie Selwyn

Kirkus Reviews
Sensational urban crime story set in Harlem. Shareef Crawford was raised on some of Harlem's toughest streets. Instead of joining his crew of friends in a lifetime of illicit pursuits and gangster escapades, Shareef escapes the neighborhood and heads to college. Thanks to perseverance and a heavy dose of ambition, Shareef transforms from a punk into a highly successful African-American writer. Yet despite his career achievements and glorious Florida lifestyle, Shareef is miserable. Escape can't come soon enough for this spoiled playboy, and he gladly leaves his disgruntled wife, needy kids and demanding mistress to promote his books and seek out new conquests. Ever the solipsist, Shareef is wonderful at rationalizing his misanthropic behavior and self-indulgent lifestyle. While on a book tour in New York City, his pleasure cruise hits some rough waters when a gorgeous fan lands in his lap. After he beds her, she plants a book idea in his head, challenging him to write the story of her friend, a major player who's doing time for his crimes. The idea resonates with Shareef. He's been struggling to break out of his tightly cast role as romance author and attract more male readers, and he's in no rush to reconcile with his wife. Shareef sets about working the streets in Harlem and researching the current leaders in the underground scene. But Shareef's poking around lands him in serious trouble. Warring factions don't appreciate his efforts to expose the inner working of their syndicates. Bullets start flying and instead of hunting down a good story, Shareef fights for his life. Tyree (What They Want, 2006, etc.) labors to capture the vernacular of the hip-hop set, and it appear as though heis sweating over each segment of dialogue, resulting in stilted prose and a story that repeatedly stalls. Sloppy writing, misogynistic themes.
From the Publisher
"More than ten years ago, Omar Tyree established a new revolution of urban readership that inspired me to write my first book and spawn my publishing empire. After reading this book, it's obvious Omar still has the gift of pen to capture the emotions, grit, and truths of urban America like the true originator."

— Vicki Stringer, President and CEO of Triple Crown Publications

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416545590
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 7/3/2007
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • File size: 413 KB

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Omar Tyree is the winner of the 2001 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work—Fiction, and the 2006 Phillis Wheatley Literary Award for Body of Work in Urban Fiction. He has published more than twenty books on African-American people and culture, including five New York Times bestselling novels. He is a popular national speaker, and a strong advocate of urban literacy. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Learn more at
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Read an Excerpt

The Last Street Novel

By Omar Tyree
Simon & Schuster
Copyright © 2008 Omar Tyree
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416541929

Harlem, 2006

The smoke from the cigarette rose to the unblemished young face of a Harlem street general. He took another toke, holding the slim white cancer stick to his dark brown lips in between the fingers of his left hand. On his wrist dangled the overpriced timepiece of a pink gold Rolex, face all broken out with diamonds. His eyes squinted from the smoke while he stared forward. And when he spoke he possessed the full confidence of authority.

"I heard you had a whole lot to say about me. What you got to say about me now? You still got a mouthful you wanna spit out?"

He was real easy with his movements, relaxed like a pool shark who knew he'd win. He was twenty-five, but his baby face and wiry frame made him look closer to twenty. He wore a beige tennis shirt and top-grade denim jeans, held up by a leather belt with a chrome belt buckle with the capital letter G.

When he walked forward, a black semiautomatic pistol, elongated by a silencer attachment, tapped against his right leg. The pistol and silencer were firmly secured in his black leather-gloved shooting hand. Several of his trusted soldiers surrounded him in a lineup to his left and right, leading to their prisoner, who sat in the middle. And a dim light slashed in from the top of theblacked-out windows, good enough for them all to see, while no one could see them.

Their prisoner -- a too-late-to-pray victim of disrespectful swagger -- was strapped to a wooden chair with duct tape wrapped around his mouth to muffle his screams. The duct tape also served to stop him from ratting out any more information. That was why the man was in trouble in the first place; he knew too much, and he wasn't afraid to say what he knew.

The young general reached him at the chair and smacked the man upside the head with the hard handle of the gun.


The man dropped his head and whimpered in pain.

One of the soldiers looked on and grinned. "I bet he ain't gon' talk that shit no more."

They were inside a run-down storefront property off Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, north of 125th Street, and away from the foot traffic that flooded their popular neighborhood. They were all in their reckless late teens and young twenties, well groomed, all except for the tattered prisoner. He was in his early thirties and nappy-headed, with his last haircut performed by the barber over a month ago.

"Oh, that's no doubt," the young general stated. He backed away from the prisoner, far enough to aim the extra long barrel at his face.

He then took another puff of his cigarette. He said to no one in particular, "You know what I always wondered about these silencers? I mean, if you can't really hear the bullet when it comes out, then how you know if it hurt or not?"

"A knife don't make no sound, but you know that shit hurt. Especially a military knife that got them jagged edges on them," another one of his soldiers said.

"But that's the wrong answer. The right answer is: you gotta read their eyes. Like it said in Scarface, 'The eyes, they never lie.' So watch this motherfucka eyes when I shoot 'im."

He aimed the gun at the man's forehead and paused for the reaction, but there was none.

"You see that? He try'na play brave now. He don't even wanna blink. But watch his eyes after I shoot 'im in his toes."

He flicked his nearly finished cigarette away and aimed down at the prisoner's shoes, firing without hesitation.

The silent bullet zipped through the front end of the man's left shoe and sent him into a chair-rocking frenzy.

"Grrrrrr!" he growled through the duct tape that was secured around his mouth.

The man's eyes tightened in a flash as if someone had squirted them with lemon juice.

The young general got excited, proving his point. "You see what the fuck I'm talking 'bout? He ain't playing it cool now. Let me see what his eyes look like when I shoot 'im in his arm."

Another silent bullet ripped through the flesh of the prisoner's left arm, which was strapped to the back of the chair. The man shook his matted head and squeezed his eyes shut in excruciating pain.

"This probably how they doin' ma-fuckas in Iraq right now. I'd be a good torturer," the young general joked. "You gotta keep it entertainin' when you do it. Ain't so sense in being mad about it. We got the ma-fucka now. So I could fuck around and shoot 'im in his ear and let him feel his blood dripping down his eardrum."

A few of his soldiers winced.

"You sick, son," a brave one commented, with a shake of his head.

Fortunately, the young general didn't pay him any mind. For the time being, it was kill one mockingbird at a time.

"So what you want it in your head or in your chest, man? You make your choice. I don't mind," he teased the prisoner, who was bleeding from his left foot and left arm.

The unfortunate older man continued to keep his head down, not willing to volunteer anything to the game. That decision forced him to take another bullet, this time to his left earlobe.

"Grrrrrrrr!" he growled and shook his head hysterically.

The young general became angry, like a psychopath. "Nigga, you listen to me when I'm talking to you! You hear me? Or you ain't gon' hear shit else in here."

Nobody laughed or said a word at that point. Their leader was in psycho mode.

"Shit. Now I gotta talk to you in your good ear."

His wry comment broke the tension in the empty room, compelling his soldiers to laugh out loud again.

The young general walked over to the prisoner's right ear and stopped to address his set. "Ay, ain't nuntin' fuckin' funny in here. I'm about tired of this shit now. And you look at me when I'm talking to you, Eugene."

He called the prisoner by his first name and aimed the gun to his forehead again.

Eugene slowly lifted his head and forced himself not to beg for mercy. He realized that his begging would be useless -- it would only add more fuel to an ugly fire.

"Now you got something else to say out your mouth about me on the streets? Hunh? About how I don't know shit. About how I ain't got shit on lock. About who supposed to be pulling my fuckin' strings? You got something else to say now?"

Eugene shook his head and sniffed. Fresh snot ran out of his nose, mixed with tears that ran down his face in a combined slop of terror, while blood painted the side of his neck from the bullet that shot off his earlobe.

The young general snapped, "I thought not." Then he made his whole point of the evening. "Nigga, I'm not no fucking game. So when you hear somebody say Baby G don't take that 'Baby' shit seriously, 'cause I'm a grown-ass man now. And I don't make fuckin' music, but I will make a motherfucka dance. You hear me?"

He was speaking more to his set of soldiers than to Eugene. Eugene was a dead man. He was no more than a human blackboard on which Baby G was writing his message. But instead of chalk, he was using bullets.

"Aw'ight, son, so where you want it -- in your head or in yourchest -- 'cause I got shit to do?"

Eugene stretched his eyes in disbelief. Baby G read it and frowned at him.

"Aw now, I know you don't think you was gon' live in here. What you think, I'ma let you walk around deformed and crippled? What if somebody ask you what happened? What you gon' say, you got caught up in a drive-by? We can't have no drive-bys in Harlem. That shit is way too sloppy. Somebody fuck around and hit Bill Clinton by accident, and these beat walkers'll fuck up the whole neighborhood looking for niggas. They'll turn us into Jews for a new Holocaust."

He said, " 'Cause Harlem is changing now, B. These adventurous-ass white folks is moving in and running up the property value with these new condos and shit. So now we gotta do our shit underground; silencers, leather gloves, and shit like that."

He looked over to his soldiers and said, "Ay, they even shutting down the liquor store game and puttin' up coffee and cake shops on every corner now; fuckin' bagel and Philadelphia Cream Cheese shops and shit."

His set started laughing again.

"Word up, son. That shit is real. Got me drinkin' coffee and shit now," one of his soldiers agreed, while the rest of them nodded in unison.

Baby G looked back at their prisoner of war and said, "I bet you ain't think I knew shit like that, did you, Eugene? You just thought I was another young, dumb-ass criminal, hunh?"

He stopped and eyed Eugene in his face, stooping down to get his point across with the silencer. "Nah, B. I know shit. So I figured I'd educate ya' ass before I kill you."

His soldiers stopped laughing after that. Play time was over. It was killing season.

"So where you want it: in your head or in your chest?" Baby G backed up and repeated. "Come on, son, let's make it happen. Let's get it over with."

When Eugene failed to answer, the young general wiped his hands of the whole scene.

"Fuck it, it's your head then."

He squeezed off two more shots. The silent bullets splattered through the back of the man's skull and left him limp in the chair. Baby G then tossed the gun to one of his soldiers.

"Do something smart with that and burn the glove...or I'ma have to burn you."

"I got it," his soldier assured him calmly.

Baby G nodded. "That's good." He turned and headed toward the back door to make his exit the way they had all entered.

"Yo, somebody give me another cigarette."

When they walked back out into the tranquil night air, bright stars and a half-moon were out. Everything was good. Harlem was an every-night holiday in the summertime. The streets were always flooded with the celebration of life. And there was no other place in the world they would rather have lived.

Baby G continued to nod. A fresh cigarette rose to his lips in between the fingers of his right hand.

"Yo, let's ride in that Mercedes with the top down. I feel like meeting me some new girls tonight. What's going on at Zip Code?"

Somebody answered, "They got that comedy hour goin' on there tonight."

Baby G thought it over. Comedy was good.

"Aw'ight, that's good money. Girls love to laugh. But let's smoke some of that sour diesel first. The laughs come easier with the weed."

"That's what's up," another one of his soldiers agreed. "I'ma go get that."

"And hurry up wit' it, too."

They eased their way down Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard toward the black Mercedes CLK convertible and a Chrysler 300 that were parked a few blocks away.

Copyright © 2007 by Omar Tyree Incorporated


Excerpted from The Last Street Novel by Omar Tyree Copyright © 2008 by Omar Tyree. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2008

    He could have did better

    this book was not all that....omar tyree has done way better.....Shareef should have took his behind home instead of getting all those people killed

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2007

    R. Kelly Has More Compassion

    I understand that Tyree wants to write a book that caters to men. He's been whining and pouting about it for years. Boo hoo. But Tyree, you have really got to man up. Complaining for 50 pages about how women can't handle reality and something revolutionary is not going to make us want to read it anymore. Just get to the point! The first chapter was great. After page 71, I gave up completely and got a refund. If you want to defecate on your readers, you will get quite a smelly outcome.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is by FAR Omar Tyree's BEST BOOK! I couldn't put it down. Since I know of (and have been to many) of the places in Harlem mentioned, this book REALLY hit home for me. Omar, you've outdone yourself. You are THE KING!! Keep on doin' what you're doin'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really enjoying OT

    The first Omar Tyree book i read was "do right man" the way he wrote about Bobby Dallas really made me like his writing style. THIS BOOK KEPT ME ON EDGE WITH ALL THE PLOT TWIST TOWARD THE END. Now im going to start on Cold Blooded or the Pecking Order.

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  • Posted August 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Last Street Novel

    Excellent read. Omar is a gifted storyteller and draws you into the story where you feel a kinship with the characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009


    I expected a little more adventure and excitment!

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

    An Ok Book

    This wasn't one of my favorite Omar Tyree reads. It took way too long to get to the point.

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  • Posted February 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Last Street Novel

    I enjoyed the book tremendously. It was a book of street smarts. I am a Navtive New Yorker, raised in Harlem, therefore, I was able to relate to the plot, and understand the concept of the book. I like the author have left the "hood" and advanced myself while some of my friends became stagnant in Harlem. Furthermore, I am a huge fan of Omar Tyree. He is a great author. I recommend this book and this author whole heartly.

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    Posted November 23, 2008

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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