2006-06-30 / Community

Rockaway Author Pens Story Of Street Where Uzis Rule

A Wave Review
By: Patricia Hannan

Rockaway author Sylvester Jones doesn't sugar coat anything in his latest book, For the Love of Money, a fictional account of life on the streets set in an area that could easily be mistaken for the Rockaways. He doesn't need embellishment to transport readers to the hardscrabble Tilden projects.

Instead, his novel proves that behind curse words lies a reality bigger than any word in the dictionary, and where street politics and Uzis rule over intellect every day. The story is said to be fictional, but the content will leave readers wondering which parts are fact and which are fantasy.

For The Love Of Money picks up pace quickly, opening with a description of what life is like for three main characters, Ron, Ant, and Lisa. Whether or not readers can relate well to them doesn't matter; Jones captivates his audience within the first two pages with references to several different local spots in the New York City area. Jones' characters are mentioned hanging out near Sutter and Power Avenues, taking the train past Nevins and Utica Avenues to the Brooklyn Bridge, and even walking our very own Rockaway train station. In addition, locals are guaranteed to find themselves drawn to the nicknames for two characters called "the twin towers." These references are scattered throughout the book and are a sure attention-getter to lure in his readers.

The title, For The Love Of Money , is self-explanatory, but it can be traced to the first chapter where the narrator states plainly, "We all were real cool, we all were making money and that's all that counted." The rest of the story proceeds with detailed accounts of the stick-up kids and their adventures. In between the intensifying drug war and all too common shoot-outs, there isn't much else to the plot besides money, sex, booze, profanity, and chillin' with friends in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.

Speaking of the good old friendship theme, there is a crucial lesson to be learned if one reads between the lines. That is, when money and greed become a priority above loyalty, even lifelong friendships can be destroyed in mere seconds. The only difference is that in Jones' novel, this theme manifests itself in the hardcore, eye-for-an-eye, gangster mentality, leaving countless dead bodies lying cold in the street.

Jones also addresses loyalty on the streets when a paramedic asks Ron regarding his friend, the latest victim of a nine-millimeter gun, "Are you going to the hospital with him?" Ironically, Ron replies, "No, that girl at the back door is," obviously because he has to go retaliate for what was done to his friend.

It's easy to get distracted by the gruesome details of the murders that just keep coming, but by the end of the 112 pages, readers will be in for a surprise ending. While the never-ending circle of crime and corruption may still be a reality, the last page of For The Love Of Money will remind readers that sometimes flowery words are not necessary to tell a juicy story. In this respect, Jones has succeeded.

When asked if the story is about his native Rockaway, Jones insisted that it is about Brooklyn, as highlighted in the text.

For The Love Of Money by Sylvester Jones can be purchased at www.buybooksontheweb.com or by calling toll free (877) BUY-BOOK.

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