Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down

Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down

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By Ishmael Reed

ISBN: 9781628973877

Publication Date: 7/19/2022

Ishmael Reed's classic Neo-HooDoo Western, a classic from the Dalkey catalog, is presented here in a long-awaited republication with a new introduction.

"Folks. This here is the story of the Loop Garoo Kid. A cowboy so bad he made a working posse of spells phone in sick. A bullwhacker so unfeeling he left the print of winged mice on hides of crawling women. A desperado so onery he made the Pope cry and the most powerful of cattlemen shed his head to the Executioner's swine."

And so begins the HooDoo Western by Ishmael Reed, author of Mumbo Jumbo and one of America's most innovative and celebrated writers. Reed demolishes white American history and folklore as well as Christian myth in this masterful satire of contemporary American life. In addition to the black, satanic Loop Garoo Kid, Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down features Drag Gibson (a rich, slovenly cattleman), Mustache Sal (his nymphomaniac mail-order bride), Thomas Jefferson, and many others in a hilarious parody of the old Western.


"Swings with the poetry of slang, bop talk and a solo scat singer traversing 47 miles of barbed wire with a cobra snake for a necktie." Rolling Stone

“Ishmael Reed is a most talented humorist and possessor of a powerfully antic and lyric imagination. . . . Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down should be read as hard evidence of Reed’s uncommon talent.” The New Yorker

Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down is a full blown 'horse opera,’ a surrealistic spoof of the Western with Indian chiefs aboard helicopters, stagecoaches and closed circuit TVs, cavalry charges of taxis.” New York Review of Books

Biographical Information

Ishmael Reed is the author of over twenty-five books including Mumbo Jumbo, The Last Days of Louisiana Red, Conjugating Hindi, and Juice!. He is also a publisher, television producer, songwriter, radio and television commentator, lecturer, and has long been devoted to exploring an alternative black aesthetic: the trickster tradition, or Neo-Hoodooism as he calls it. Founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley for over thirty years, retiring in 2005. In 2003, he received the coveted Otto Award for political theater.