Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Suicide Cult by Nick Vandermolen

ASIN #: B0050P38UE
File Size: 231 KB
Copyright: 2011

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Its been called "...The most wildly offensive book of 2011," for its themes and dialogue. Its mere plot summary has been labeled truly "dangerous territory," by fellow authors and sports fans alike.

Nick Vandermolen's Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Suicide Cult will test your boundaries, force self-exploration of accepted racial and cultural taboos, and might even release these tensions with laughter at the absurdity of it all.

From page one of Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Suicide Cult readers are thrust into a strange and grotesque basketball camp for boys. Forget dribbling. Throw lay-ups out the window. The "Monster Dunk Basketball Camp for Kids" teaches young ones only the "fundamentals" of basketball – Slam Dunking. However, it doesn't take long before the true nature of this evil camp is revealed.

When the boys show a lack of star-power because they can't dunk, the camp counselor Darko Milicic takes matters into his own hands. Darko throws the children down a well. His theory is simple; extend a rope ladder down the well and raise it to the exact height of a slam dunk. If the children can jump and reach it, they can also slam dunk. But it is within this imprisonment of inability that we get a fresh look at race, exploitation, and the power of a modern day sports icon; Michael Jordan.

This story examines racism, hero worship and sports in a way most authors are too afraid to tackle. Vandermolen, having worked with disenfranchised youth in the inner city of Chicago for nearly three years, gives us an authentic look at the culture of "street kids," without a chaser. He emulates the rough dialect perfectly, highlighting its uniqueness as well as its vulgarity. To many readers the story's speech and themes may seem crude and off-putting. But this urge to shun what is uncomfortable, and the distillation of such a culture is ultimately what Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Suicide Cult is all about. This modern fable shows the danger of culture as commodity, and the theft of meaning from those who created it.

Mandy's Review:


The iconic portrayal of the infamous Michael Jordan in red and in one of his recognizable slam dunk poses with a noose around his neck is a pretty apt depiction of the title. 

The red, black and white colors of the cover is in reference, I'm sure, to the Chicago Bulls, MJ's previous employer.


Well, the summary was right ... this is one of the most controversial, racist-reading piece of work that I have ever read.  It affected me so strongly that it has taken me a week or two to actually write this review.

I do, however, find it a testament to the author's abilities when a piece of work affects a reader as strongly as this one did.  Thus, the reason I was torn ... The story itself is basically about corporate white men thinking very little of young African-American boys and taking advantage of their young minds.

The lengths the people that run this "camp" go to in order to create superb basketball players is ridiculous, mentally unstable and almost believable.  I can actually picture aspects of this story happening in the ghettos and impoverished neighborhoods.


I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone.  However, if you like controversial subjects or story lines that will affect you deeply and leaving you wondering how in the world you're supposed to feel about the author, then this one is for you.

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