When 17-year-old Willie's civil rights attorney father is killed while defending a tough case in Detroit, his life in Atlanta is upended. Forced to move to Ohio with his uncle, Willie's addiction to prescription pain pills ramps up, adding fuel to the fire of emotions he's desperately trying to suppress.
Trying to get to the bottom of what happened with his father, who in the mob of protestors killed him, leads Willie on a trajectory he never imagined in his otherwise privileged life.
Exploring themes of race, class, and addiction, The Crown Lord is a fresh take on the American Dream.
|Publisher:||Rare Bird Books|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Over the course of his life, William Sirls has experienced both great highs and tremendous lowssome born of chance, some born of choice. Once a senior vice president at a major investment firm, he was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering, where he learned a great deal more than he ever bargained for. Life lessons involving faith, grace, patience, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. He is the father of two and makes his home in southern California.
Read an Excerpt
We are all stuck here for a while, let's try to work it out...
The first time I heard those words was roughly fifteen years before I spent my first night in federal prison, and though Rodney King will always be more remembered for a very important question he asked that same day, being stuck and having a need to work it out played much larger roles in the lives of this privileged white boy white-collar criminal and the black inner-city drug dealer I was bunked with.
“Eric” and I knew we had nothing in common. He was black and I was white and society had already taught us all we really needed to know and that we were at the only place two guys like us would ever meet or spend any meaningful time together.
Fortunately, we had no choice.
Within a week Eric had caught on to my Jolly Rancher addiction and I had caught on to the fact that he was selling slices of what was rumored to be the best homemade pizza in the history of pizzas out of our space. One day he was making one and I asked him how much he charged and he said, “free,” before dropping a piece in the little plastic bowl on top of my locker. I plopped down from my bunk and we each had a piece of pizza. Hell’s bells. We each liked pizza.
Within a month, Eric had also developed a Jolly Rancher addiction, (particularly the apple flavored) and I was eating pizza three or four nights a week in lieu of the mystery meat in the prison cafeteria.
The more we talked and the better we came to know each other, the less color we saw. We told each other jokes and talked about our lives before prison. We talked about how much we each missed our kids and our families. We were just two guys that had made mistakes that couldn’t wait to get home to the people they loved. We were two people that had learned to ignore their differences, those same differences that had previously prevented them from seeing the things they have in common.
I can remember this conversation like it happened ten seconds ago. One night, Eric returned from the TV room and was telling me about something he had watched on BET. I had jokingly asked him why white people don’t have their own entertainment channel, and he looked me straight in the eye and said, “You do…all the ones except BET.” I laughed, but within a matter of seconds, I realized there was a great deal of truth to what he said and it bothered me. That night, I told him the impact his words had on me, and promised him that if I ever made it as a writer I’d try to do a story that put the racial shoe on the other foot. Eric and I were both released from prison and I was blessed to have considerable success with my first two books, The Reason and The Sinners’ Garden. While on probation, former bad guys are prohibited from making contact with each other so Eric and I fell out of touch. One day I decided to look him up, knowing the day was coming where we could hang out and talk about the second chances we had been given to start our lives over. The very first thing that popped up under his name was a brief clip about a man that had been shot and killed during a home invasion. I remembered a promise I had made that man, and that night I started the outline for what ultimately became The Crown Lord. Though it is impossible for a white man to fully understand the oppression black people have experienced, I did my best and I hope you enjoyed the story.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Disturbing, but a must read. I am surprised by how much this book had me thinking, what if? I have never read anything by this author but will certainly be looking into his other books.
This book absolutely blew me away. The race reversal was jarring and the ending was a complete surprise. One of the characters uses quite a bit of profanity, but unfortunately these are words we hear in everyday life. I think this book will cause a great deal of controversy and would make a great movie as well.
"The Crown Lord" is the newest release by William Sirls, in which he attempts to put the racial shoe on the other foot, so to speak. This book found its genesis while Sirls, who is white, was serving time in federal prison with a black roommate. Sirls admitted that their time together helped each of them see less color, and more of humanity. As a result of their time together, Sirls promised his roommate that he would write a book with a storyline that intended to reverse roles as it pertains to race. Quite literally, just about everything in the stortline was reversed.... whites were degraded with a slanderous name, stereotypes of whites liking certain types of food and beverages, social ills and pressures, etc. On the other hand, blacks were in the majority and held the positions of prestige and power, etc. Imagine all the same actors of today's world just with opposite skin colors. Unfortunately, Sirls attempt in this book didn't affect me the way I'm sure he had hoped. I didn't find it inspiring nor truly thought-provoking. Instead, it was simply too cliche for me. Let's be honest, calling whites "pinkies" will never carry with it the same vulgar undertone that the N-word does. I appreciate his efforts at trying to help white people understand the minority situation by putting the proverbial shoe on the other foot, but it just failed to inspire me. Additionally, the storyline itself never captured my attention, and therefore never sustained my attention. I honestly struggled to get through this book. That disappointed me, because I really liked his first release, "The Reason". Another aspect that I didn't like was the especially vulgar language. I'm not opposed to occasional swearing in books or movies, because I know that is real life. But this book was replete with vulgar language, which did nothing for me. Sometimes crude language can enhance a particular mood or thought, but there was so much of it in this book that it detracted from it instead. My promotional copy indicates that the book was to sell for $25.95. Barnes & Noble Cary it for just over $23, and Amazon carries it for roughly $17. Unfortunately, I would be disappointed if I paid more than $5 for this book. I appreciate his efforts, but see above. I give this book just two stars out of five. Disclaimer. I received this book free of charge in exchange for my unbiased review of it. All opinions are mine, and I was not required to provide a positive review.
Unlike this author's previous books, The Crown Lord is a dystopian and gritty representation of race reversal in modern day society. This book may be disturbing for some readers, due to content and language. Original and creative, once I became acclimated to the atypical race reversal, the story captured my attention and continued to keep me in suspense. Characterizations are well done and believable, and there is a continuing crescendo toward a dramatic climax. I find myself still thinking about this book long after completing it.