In the Heat of the Night

In the Heat of the Night❴Reading❵ ➺ In the Heat of the Night Author John Dudley Ball – It's the 1960s A hot August night lies heavy over the Carolinas The corpse legs sprawled stomach down on the concrete pavement arms above the head brings the patrol car to a halt The local police pick It's the s A Heat of PDF ↠ hot August night lies heavy over the Carolinas The corpse legs sprawled stomach down on the concrete pavement arms above the head brings the patrol car to a halt The local police pick up a black stranger named Virgil Tibbs only to discover that their most In the PDF or likely suspect is a homicide detective from California and the racially tense community's single hope in solving a brutal murder that turns up no witnesses no motives no clues. This is the novel upon which the movie In the Heat of the Night was based Set in a small town in South Carolina in the early 1960s the book opens with the discovery of a body lying in the highway late one night The victim is a prominent musician who had been active in organizing a music festival which many hoped would revive the fading fortunes of the town His death is thus a blow to the hopes of the entire communityThe police chief a man named Gillespie is new to the job Previously a jailer in Texas he was hired by the town council basically because they could hire him cheap He's never been a police officer before and has no experience as a homicide investigator so he's basically clueless here Not knowing what else to do he orders his principal deputy to look for anyone attempting to leave town In checking the train station the deputy discovers a black man waiting for the next train The deputy puts the man up against the wall frisks him and discovers a wallet full of moneyLooking no further the deputy takes the man to the station and presents him to the chief as the logical murderer The chief joins in the assumption principally because he believes that no black man could have ever honestly earned the amount of money in the wallet But then it turns out that the suspect Virgil Tibbs is in fact a police officer from Pasadena California He's on his way home after visiting his motherThe chief calls his counterpart in Pasadena and discovers that Tibbs is not only a police officer but a skilled homicide investigator The Pasadena chief offers to loan Virgil's services to Gillespie if he can be of any help The notion that he might accept help from a black man is clearly anathema to Gillespie but he has no idea how to solve this crime on his own and given the high profile of the victim Gillespie knows that if the murder is not solved he will most likely be out of a job Accordingly he swallows his pride and allows that Virgil might assist him in his investigationVirgil himself is torn At one level he simply wants to get out of town as uickly as possible and get back to Pasadena where he doesn't face the kind of prejudice and discrimination that confronts him in South Carolina On the other hand though he's obviously tempted to show up these racists and solve the crime when they will never be able to do so In the end he agrees to stay long enough to see the case through and this book winds up being not nearly as much of a murder mystery as it is an examination of the implications of race in the deep South in the early 1960s Virgil will suffer repeated insults and will face grave physical danger because of his race but the dignity and intelligence with which he responds is really a timeless example for people of any raceInevitably the movie takes some liberties with the book but overall it's a very good adaptation Sidney Poitier is brilliant in the role of Virgil Tibbs but plays the character with a bit of an edge than the Tibbs of the novel Rod Steiger is also perfect as Gillespie and reading the book after seeing the film it's impossible not to see the two actors when thinking of the characters Both the book and the movie move swiftly with no wasted time or space but one wonders whether it would be possible to publish this book or make this movie in the present day Would audiences be willing to accept a black character who responds as calmly as Tibbs does to the discrimination that confronts him? Would they not insist that he react much forcefully against it? Whatever the case both the book and the movie have held up very well and are still as entertaining and as instructive as they were in the middle 1960s I give 45 stars to John Dudley Ball's In the Heat of the Night which later became a movie starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger and also a tv series Additionally this short classic detective book lead Ball to write a series of cases featuring lead homicide investigator Virgil Tibbs This original book is highly regarded On his usual nightly patrolling officer Sam Wood discovers a body in the middle of the highway in the heat of the night Upon calling the case into chief Bill Gillespie Wood is tasked with finding the murderer and immediately checks the railway depot where he spots Tibbs Wood arrests Tibbs because Tibbs is colored yet Tibbs turns out to be a ten year veteran of the Pasadena homicide team Because rural Wells South Carolina's police force is largely inexperienced the wealthy friends and family of victim Maestro Enrico Mantoli insist that Tibbs stay and assist Wood and Gillepsie in solving the case Despite the cops' misgivings they allow Tibbs to stay The book wasn't so much about the case itself although I've read many mysteries and this one was excellent This classic was about Ball's rap on race in the south immediately post Jim Crow From the outset it is obvious that Tibbs is a far superior cop than Wood or Gillepsie yet he is regarded as a lesser individual because of the color of his skin Even when he made a name for himself with respected individuals in the town he is not allowed to eat in a diner use the same restrooms or sit on the same benches as his white colleagues Anonymous members of the city council even send Gillepsie a threatening letter that if Tibbs isn't sent out of town immediately he will pay for it Despite the prejudice Tibbs' cool head prevails I would hope that Tibbs' insistence on being called Mr Tibbs from the outset and his professional demeanor in solving the case would enlighten the citizens of Wells about their views on race Unfortunately this was not to be as Gillepsie couldn't be brought to shake Tibbs' hand at the book's conclusion Ball wrote an entire series featuring Tibbs but the remaining books took place in California rather than South Carolina where Tibbs points out that he is free to walk down the street Thus it appears from this book that even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act that many southern communities remained antiuated in their ideas I thoroughly enjoyed In the Heat of the Night both as an intriguing detective case and as a period piece I only deducted it from a full five star rating because it is under 200 pages in length and I was left wanting of Ball's writing I am looking forward to reading of Tibbs' cases as well as watching the film version of In the Heat of the Night A classic detective story I recommended to all mystery aficionados One steamy night in 1960's South Carolina a man is arrested for the crime of sitting and reading while black though the official charge is suspicion of murder Turns out the suspect is actually a police officer who's been visiting his mother and is now headed back to the far off land of Pasadena California a magical place where Negroes are treated like human beings and not animals it may be hard for you to believe but there are places in this country where a colored man to use your words for it is simply a human being like everybody else Not everybody feels that way but enough do so that at home I can go weeks at a time without anybody reminding me that I'm a Negro Here I can't go fifteen minutes Virgil Tibbs would like nothing than to get the hell out of that stinking town with its shameful attitudes and prejudices but when his superior suggests he stay and help with the investigation he has no choice but to put his keen mind to the task What are you supposed to be doing? They had a murder here this morning They don't know what to do about it so they're using me for a fall guy A look of heavy suspicion crossed Jess's round black face How you gonna protect yourself? he asked By catching the murderer Tibbs answered This of course does not go over well with the local police department particularly the newly appointed and vastly inexperienced chief who's not thrilled to be shown up by someone he considers to be subhuman There are others in town as well who aren't happy to have a black man involved in local law enforcement and they're making their objections known Soon the uestion becomes not only who murdered the victim but will Tibbs live long enough to solve the case It's hard not to like Mr Tibbs He's clever careful with his words and calm in the face of adversity though at that time and that place any other attitude would have gotten him killed The murder mystery itself is fairly run of the mill but by using this character in this particular setting Ball has crafted a uniue and memorable crime novel I'm definitely tempted to read in the series My job right now Tibbs answered evenly is to protect him from his own mistakes After I do that I will deliver the person who caused all this to him in such a manner that even he will finally know the truth Then I'm going home where I have the right to walk down the sidewalk Penguin released a 50th Anniversary Edition of the police procedural In the Heat of the Night last year It's a good mystery but it's even better known for its social criticism in a time of racial unrest following the 1964 Civil Rights ActA police officer Sam Woods finds a body in the road when he's on night patrol in Wells South Carolina The new police chief Bill Gillespie sends Sam out to find the perpetrator of the crime He arrests Virgil Tibbs at the train station because he's a black man with a wallet full of cash Virgil tells the police that he's a police officer a homicide investigator from Pacadena just waiting for a train His credentials are checked out and the Pasadena chief offers Virgil's services to help solve the crime The mayor and police chief accept the offer figuring that Virgil can be the scapegoat if the crime is not solvedVirgil is smart and educated in contrast to the poorly trained officers in the small South Carolina town Wells is segregated with special benches at the train station for blacks The black restroom at the police station has no soap or towels The police officers are racist but they respect Virgil's intelligence Smartest black I ever saw Pete concluded; then he added a remarkable tribute He oughta been a white manVirgil has amazing self control in the racist atmosphere and gives the white officers credit than they deserve as he solves the crime Virgil wins the respect of the police chief but Bill does not offer him a handshake as he drops him off at the train station Although Virgil is depicted as almost too flawless intelligent educated organized polite and handsome the chief does not want physical contact with a man with dark skin A movie starring Sidney Poitier was based on this book and won an Academy Award Flashback to 1960 and the horrible reality of Jim Crow The dignity of Mr Tibbs and the way he handles the slurs and injustice are at the heart of this novel and Ball makes Tibbs the most intelligent and able character in the book He goes a little overboard in drawing the distinctions between the Southern characters and Virgil Tibbs but he has an important point to make and he makes it If you are ever doubting that race relations have made enormous progress in the last 50 years read this book and feel the knot in your stomach when Mr Tibbs comes into a diner and is denied a glass of milk It is difficult to even imagine people actually feeling this way and yet so many did It is painful to read this book now but it matters to remember that it was a small book that made a big difference It exposed us to ourselves without any place to run and hide I vaguely remember the furor when Sidney Poitier made Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner People were outraged It is the outrage that outrages us now It is easy to carry the image of Mr Poitier in my head while readingwho else could be Mr Tibbs?It has been decades since I saw the movie and reading the book has made me want to see it again This was an interesting voyage into the past a place we wax nostalgic for but in some ways a place we would never want to occupy again They call me Mr Tibbs Virgil TibbsIn the celebrated film version the line is delivered with an exclamation point but in the book Tibbs is less fiery matter of fact with keenly developed intellect and we suspect a wry sense of humor Outwitting redneck lawmen and bigoted citizens in 1960s South Carolina isn't enough for Tibbs; he calmly resets racial expectations and attitudes on both sides of the tracks The mystery plays out differently in the book than in the film but in both cases it takes a back seat to smartly delivered observations on race relations in the deep South during the Civil Rights era I've seen several less than positive reviews of this book written by those who were disappointed in the character of Virgil Tibbs after having seen the film Like my review of the The Choirboys I'll make comparisons between the two towards the endThis is a great crime novel than a crime novel but a study of human relations in the context of race an aspect that is handled with poignant delicacy Unlike the movie the relationship between African American detective Tibbs and southern white cop Sam Woods is the primary focus and that with Sheriff Gillespie is secondary The novel shows not tells about the fruitlessness of racial prejudice A notable feature is the way various points of view are presented in the novel hard to express in a film The points of view of the white men in the story are handled with a logical and even handed manner detached from prompt condemnation In this way it is easy to see how the racist beliefs of the characters in the novel arise in the minds of uneducated men to the point that we pardon them rather than loath them uite an achievement for an African American author Some of their beliefs are so idiotic we even feel sorry for them like when Sam says They don't feel it when they get hit the way you or I would he explained They haven't got the same nervous systemthat's how they win fights why they're not afraid to get into the ringAnother memorable uote by a minor character called Pete is chock full of irony and demonstrates Mr Ball's style in dealing with prejudice Smartest black I ever saw Pete concluded; He added a remarkable tribute He oughta been a white man Some differences with the movieIn the film Sheriff Gillespie is portrayed as a fairly competent man surrounded by buffoons including Sam In the novel Gillespie is an insecure man with no police experience prior to taking the job he was a prison guard before This adds psychological and political elements to the plotTibbs is not a volatile man not struggling to restrain his near bursting resentment toward ignorant crackers as in the film but rather a calm methodical patient person who is well aware of the hostile environment he finds himself in If a white man had slapped him which happens in the film but not in the book he would not have slapped him back but turn the other cheek and shame the offender for his loss of control This adds credence to his reputation as an efficient analytical homicide detectiveUnlike the film Tibbs is not always the center of attention In fact there are parts of the book where we don't know where he is or what he is doing other than investigating This adds an air of mystery to the characterDon't get me wrong I loved the film with the riveting performances of Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger it's one of my all time favorites But compared to the novel it is a different animal altogether The 1967 film version of In The Heat Of The Night has long been a favourite of mine It spawned two disappointing seuels but that's often the way with films There are noticeable differences between the book the film but both are eually compelling storiesJohn Ball's 1967 novel starts brilliantly never lets up It's not only a fine crime story it says a lot about bigotry racism in America in the 1960s There's great dialogue excellent characterisation throughout At only 158 pages it shows that you don't need to write a long novel to write a great oneI was pleasantly surprised to see that Ball had written further novels featuring detective Virgil Tibbs so my next step is to track some of those down To my mind the Virgil Tibbs in the novel didn't have uite the same presence or weight of Sidney Poitier in the movie Virgil Tibbs in the novel seemed to be a subdued presence I was expecting fire from his characterHave wanted to read this novel for ages and have to admit being a shade disappointed because I had such high expectations It is well written and the mystery component well delivered but it is the finely wrought characterisation between the amateur Chief of Police Gillespie and the professional Virgil Tibbs that draws the reader in A novel of prejudice and racial discrimination 35A classic detective story from the 60's in South US with the slight twist that the hero is a black man dealing with horrible racism both from his peers and suspects involved A light and uick read that I'd recommend to any crime fanAs someone who loves detective stories I really enjoyed this classical noir type The blatant racism is very annoying but it's exactly how it happened back then unfortunately

In the Heat of the Night Kindle ☆ In the  PDF or
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  • 185 pages
  • In the Heat of the Night
  • John Dudley Ball
  • English
  • 11 September 2016
  • 9780786708833