58 pages 1 hour read

Chester Himes

If He Hollers Let Him Go

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1945

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Before You Read

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Super Short Summary

If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes follows four days in the life of Robert “Bob” Jones, a Black leaderman in a World War II Los Angeles shipyard, as he navigates systemic racism, workplace hostility, and personal turmoil. The fast-paced narrative highlights Bob’s struggles against racial antagonism, false accusations, and his fight to maintain his dignity and hope for a better future. The book depicts instances of false sexual accusations, violence, and racial discrimination.

Reviews & Readership

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Review Roundup

If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes is widely praised for its raw, unflinching exploration of race and identity in 1940s America, offering a powerful narrative that still resonates today. Critics commend Himes' gripping prose and vivid characterizations. However, some find its intensity overwhelming and the pacing uneven at times. Overall, it remains a compelling, thought-provoking read.

Who should read this

Who Should Read If He Hollers Let Him Go?

Readers who relish intense, thought-provoking narratives about racial tensions in mid-20th century America, akin to Richard Wright’s Native Son, will find Chester Himes’s If He Hollers Let Him Go compelling. This novel suits those who appreciate gritty realism and a profound exploration of societal oppression and individual identity.

RecommendedReading Age


Book Details


Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger