Random Family (Paperback)

Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx

By Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Scribner Book Company, 9780743254434, 432pp.

Publication Date: February 10, 2004

List Price: 18.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This New York Times bestseller intimately depicts urban life in a gripping book that slips behind cold statistics and sensationalism to reveal the true sagas lurking behind the headlines of gangsta glamour.

In her extraordinary bestseller, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc immerses readers in the intricacies of the ghetto, revealing the true sagas lurking behind the headlines of gangsta glamour, gold-drenched drug dealers, and street-corner society. Focusing on two romances--Jessica's dizzying infatuation with a hugely successful young heroin dealer, Boy George, and Coco's first love with Jessica's little brother, Cesar--Random Family is the story of young people trying to outrun their destinies. Jessica and Boy George ride the wild adventure between riches and ruin, while Coco and Cesar stick closer to the street, all four caught in a precarious dance between survival and death. Friends get murdered; the DEA and FBI investigate Boy George; Cesar becomes a fugitive; Jessica and Coco endure homelessness, betrayal, the heartbreaking separation of prison, and, throughout it all, the insidious damage of poverty.

Charting the tumultuous cycle of the generations--as girls become mothers, boys become criminals, and hope struggles against deprivation--LeBlanc slips behind the cold statistics and sensationalism and comes back with a riveting, haunting, and true story.

Praise For Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx

Alex Kotlowitz
author of There Are No Children Here

A remarkable piece of reportage about
a tucked-away corner of America...
It's one compelling read.


A magnificent tour de force...An insider's
narrative that grips from the start.

Janet Maslin
The New York Times

Mesmerizing...The artistry of this frank, enthralling book lies in the utter simplicity -- and careful, subtle selectivity -- with which LeBlanc plainly describes the determining events in what will now be unforgettable lives.


Keenly observed, pitch-perfect...A dense, rich narrative that reads like a novel.

Los Angeles Times

A nonfiction Middlemarch of the underclass...A new benchmark in the field of immersion journalism.