The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard

Into the Wild

Read The Talented Ribkins Online Free - At seventy-two, Johnny Ribkins shouldn’t have such problems: He’s got one week to come up with the money he stole from his mobster boss or it’s curtains.

What may or may not be useful to Johnny as he flees is that he comes from an African-American family that has been gifted with super powers that are a bit, well, odd. Okay, very odd. For example, Johnny's father could see colors no one else could see. His brother could scale perfectly flat walls. His cousin belches fire. And Johnny himself can make precise maps of any space you name, whether he's been there or not.

In the old days, the Ribkins family tried to apply their gifts to the civil rights effort, calling themselves The Justice Committee. But when their, eh, superpowers proved insufficient, the group fell apart. Out of frustration Johnny and his brother used their talents to stage a series of burglaries, each more daring than the last.

Fast forward a couple decades and Johnny’s on a race against the clock to dig up loot he's stashed all over Florida. His brother is gone, but he has an unexpected sidekick: his brother's daughter, Eloise, who has a special superpower of her own.

Inspired by W. E. B. Du Bois’s famous essay “The Talented Tenth” and fuelled by Ladee Hubbard’s marvelously original imagination, The Talented Ribkins is a big-hearted debut novel about race, class, politics, and the unique gifts that, while they may cause some problems from time to time, bind a family together.

A big-hearted novel about a family with special gifts who sometimes stumble in their efforts to succeed in life, The Talented Ribkins draws on such novels as Toni Morrison’s SulaThe Intuitionist to weave themes of race, class, and politics into a wonderfully accomplished and engaging novel.

Title : The Talented Ribkins
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1612196365
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 292 pages


Taryn rated it ★★★★☆

September 20, 2017

This is the story of a loving but fractured family with a hefty dose of magical realism thrown in. Johnny Ribkins is in his 70s now, but in his younger years, he was a part of the Justice Committee, a group that used their special talents to bolster the Civil Rights movement. Johnny can draw maps...

DJ rated it ★★★★☆

August 19, 2017

My Rating: 4.5 Favorite Quotes: The Judge’s face would appear in his mind, shaking his head as he told Johnny that the shame was not in asking for help but in needing it in the first place. People judge you on what you show the world. Stop showing your ass… All that work we did just to get this far, s...

Chris rated it ★★★★☆

August 31, 2017

An enjoyable, well-written story that I easily sank into and looked forward to getting back to when I had reading time. A strong debut from an imaginative writer who gracefully incorporates big issues such as race, class, gender, family and more. The protagonist of this strong debut novel is Johnn...

Marlene rated it ★★★★☆

August 31, 2017

Originally published at Reading Reality The Talented Ribkins is a lovely novel that surprises its readers in the end, in a way that leaves you shaking your head and re-thinking everything that went before. And then shaking your head again. The blurb for the book talks about the “superpowers” that a...

Deb rated it ★★★★☆

September 01, 2017

4.5 Stars I was immediately caught up in The Talented Ribkins, liking what at first seemed to be almost like a comic book come to life with the family's unusual "super powers" or talents which included things like being able talk to fish, the ability to nimbly scale walls, catching objects at a h...

Patty rated it ★★★★★

August 24, 2017

What a fantastic book. I will admit right up front that I think I need to read it at least once more to fully understand it and I believe it deserves a second reading because there is so much going on. It’s one of those books where you focus in one are and totally miss some fine points in another...

Arlene rated it ★★★☆☆

September 13, 2017

3.25-3.5 stars Not whatI thought it was gong to be, but still enjoyable. More thought in my monthly wrap up.

Ted rated it ★★★★★

August 24, 2017

The Talented Ribkins “He only came back because Melvin said he would kill him if he didn't pay off his debt by the end of the week.” So begins Ladee Hubbard's intriguing and enjoyable picaresque allegory,The Talented Ribkins (Penguin Random House, 2017, 304 pp. $17.41/19.99) Johnny Ribkins digs in...

Erica rated it ★★★★☆

September 13, 2017

The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard is a slow, but very intriguing story about a man on a mission, his niece (whom he just found out existed), and a long family history of "peculiarities". I absolutely loved all of the characters in this book! Each and every one of them was so complex and I lov...

Toni rated it ★★★★☆

September 12, 2017

This is a most unusual novel about a most unusual family, a family that may look outwardly different but underneath is the same as any other. Struggling to amass the money to pay off that he's embezzled from his gangster boss, an old man finds himself babysitting the niece he never knew and discov...

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