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Three-Fifths Reviews

Three-Fifths by John Vercher


John Vercher

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Pushkin Press
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication date: 1 Oct 2020
ISBN: 9781782276616
4 stars out of 5
Laura Wilson
23 Oct 2020

"Despite an over-reliance on coincidences, Three-Fifths is compelling and powerfully moving"

Aaron, who forbade Bobby’s visits, now sports Aryan Brotherhood tattoos, a shaven head and a pumped-up physique; after a hostile encounter in a fast food outlet, he beats a young black man unconscious with a brick. Bobby, whose conflicted loyalties are exacerbated by the fact that he keeps his mixed-race identity secret, is further confused when he meets the father he’d been told was dead, but who turns out to be treating Aaron’s victim. 


4 stars out of 5
Joan Smith
11 Oct 2020

"The novel is infused with dread from the outset"

The novel is infused with dread from the outset, when Bobby finishes his shift in a diner and finds a menacing figure waiting for him. He doesn’t immediately recognise his best friend, Aaron, who has just been released from prison. Aaron has undergone a physical transformation, becoming more muscular, while new tattoos expose his affiliation to a white supremacist organisation, the Aryan Brotherhood.

4 stars out of 5
Sarah Gilmartin
10 Oct 2020

"John Vercher’s debut is a deft exploration of the great racial divide"

The dialogue is also notable, realistic and vibrant, with conversations that take unlikely turns. Any world Vercher turns his hand to – the service industry, a hospital, the break-up of a marriage, racist America – comes alive on the page. The novel’s title might deal in fractions but Three-Fifths delivers as a whole.