His plans to be a doctor thwarted, Samson’s fatherthe jive talker referred to in the titlebecomes a hospital administrator in a dysfunctional healthcare system that severely tests his parental abilities and his family’s resources. Nonetheless, he seems to have passed on to his son a creative passion that fuels an overarching artistic ambition. Writer and past Village Voice art critic Gary Indiana opines:
For every reader who’s been bedazzled and disappointed by the pity-me school of autobiographical writing, and every reader who’s been jived to death, this book should be a life-preserver of sanity in an upside down world, a reorientation in how to avoid claptrap, self-pity and boorishness, and have a high, smart time doing it.Kambalu’s playfulness is exhibited in his creed: Holyballism, an expressionist philosophy of life centered on the Holy Ball, a football plastered with the pages of the Bible. Here’s Kambalu’s explanation of The Jive Talker and Holyballism.