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The Ballad of Black Tom von Victor LaValle
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The Ballad of Black Tom (2016. Auflage)

von Victor LaValle (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,0185415,469 (3.88)74
"People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn't there. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father's head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping. A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?"--Provided from Amazon.com.… (mehr)
Mitglied:wagnerkim
Titel:The Ballad of Black Tom
Autoren:Victor LaValle (Autor)
Info:Tordotcom (2016), Edition: F First Edition, 160 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:
Tags:to-read

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The Ballad of Black Tom von Victor LaValle

Kürzlich hinzugefügt vonAnnrosenzweig, KaffinatedWitch, JonStevens, kelmeister, mwpp555, anntee, CESantana, private Bibliothek, MiriamPatino, oosala
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A story set during the same time and with some of same characters as the Lovecraft story "The Horror at Red Hook". In this version, an African American character, Charles Thomas Tester, the Tom of the title, is the main character and the main characters from the other story, a police detective named Malone and an occult practitioner named Suydam are secondary characters.
Lovecraft's story has a racist and anti-immigrant tone. This version deals with these themes head on and they play an important part in the motivation and events of the story.
The style was clearer than Lovecraft's own. Short, 149 pages with blank pages between chapters and large margins on the pages. I enjoyed it and wished it would have been longer. ( )
1 abstimmen mgplavin | Oct 3, 2021 |
This is a fun, tense, quick read about strange goings-on in Jazz Age New York City...with a little bit of an explanation for global climate change? ( )
1 abstimmen ImperfectCJ | Oct 2, 2021 |
One of NPR's Best Books of 2016, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, the British Fantasy Award, the This is Horror Award for Novella of the Year, and a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, World Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Awards.

I read this on impulse. This is a horror novel about a black man who has a gig of hustling with his frayed suit and his guitar case (no guitar). What I did not realize is that this book was a rewrite of Lovecraft tale from a black person's perspective.One of Lovecraft's most xenophobic stories "The Horror At Red Hook". The book takes place in 1924 and follows the story of a young black man from Harlem named Tommy Tester as he negotiates racism, police brutality and cosmic terror. ( )
  Kristelh | Sep 30, 2021 |
I read the book in one sitting, all 86 pages of it. It was that good.

Having read Lovecraft Country, I could empathize with Tom and understand his struggle and challenges of living in white America. The humiliation, pain, and powerlessness of having to deal with systemic racism shine through the pages quite well. This quote, in particular, summarizes it well:

His night with Robert Suydam returned to him, all of it, all at once. The breathless terror with which the old man spoke of the Sleeping King. A fear of cosmic indifference suddenly seemed comical, or downright naive. Tester looked back to Malone and Mr. Howard. Beyond them he saw the police forces at the barricades as they muscled the crowd of Negroes back; he saw the decaying facade of his tenement with new eyes; he saw the patrol cars parked in the middle of the road like three great black hounds waiting to pounce on all these gathered sheep. What was indifference compared to malice?

"Indifference would be such a relief," Tommy said.
More than that, it handles the Lovecraftian themes quite well, especially in its vagueness regarding the ancient Ones. I loved how he brought in Cthulhu, especially in how Tom becomes a symbol of vengeance, drawing upon Cthulhu's power to destroy humanity (in due time) that he's come to loathe.

I also loved the idea of the Outside and how simply Lavalle depicted it. I especially liked the integration of Ma Att and the vagueness of the enormity of her power. I loved how Tom transformed into an entity beyond time and space, yet still grounded by his father's razor and music. And finally, I loved how Lovecraft, on whose story this novella is founded on, is integrated into the story.

It's a great, quick read. Highly recommended. ( )
  bdgamer | Sep 10, 2021 |
An excellent addition to the Lovecraftian Old Ones mythos. I enjoyed the hell out of this, and I particularly loved how LaValle took the racism aspect head on.

Just a note on that. Yes, Lovecraft was a racist fuck. He also was, for all intents and purposes, a reasonably shitty writer. But the man had some brilliant ideas.

I think there's a lot of reprehensible writers out there that, if we had insight into their personal beliefs, we likely wouldn't read them. Orson Scott Card comes to mind. And William Peter Blatty was, by all accounts, an asshole and a raging homophobe. But people still read their shit.

Hmmm...Orson Scott Card. William Peter Blatty. Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Maybe we should just stay away from authors going by three names?

I digress. My point here is, even the nastiest author can spin some gold, and it's always fascinating when someone else comes along and turns that gold into treasure, as LaValle has done.

I'll definitely be searching out more of LaValle's stuff. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
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For H. P. Lovecraft, with all my conflicted feelings
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People who move to New York always make the same mistake.
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Mankind didn't make messes, mankind was the mess.
"The seas will rise and our cities will be swallowed by the oceans," Black Tom said. "The air will grow so hot we won't be able to breathe. The world will be remade for Him, and His kind. That white man was afraid of indifference; well, now he's going to find out what it's like."
The smell of age, meaning undifferentiated time, had settled throughout the home, a musty odor, as if the winds of the present never blew through here.
Nobody ever thinks of himself as a villain, does he? Even monsters hold high opinions of themselves.
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"People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn't there. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father's head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping. A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?"--Provided from Amazon.com.

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