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The Changeling

von Victor LaValle

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
8776219,004 (3.81)40
"The wildly imaginative story of one man's thrilling odyssey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after having seemingly committed an unforgivable act of violence, from the award-winning author of The Devil in Silver and Big Machine"-- "Apollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood. An antiquarian book dealer with a business called Improbabilia, he is just beginning to settle into his new life as a committed and involved father, unlike his own father who abandoned him, when his wife Emma begins acting strange. Disconnected and uninterested in their new baby boy, Emma at first seems to be exhibiting all the signs of post-partum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go far beyond that. Before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act--beyond any parent's comprehension--and vanishes, seemingly into thin air. Thus begins Apollo's odyssey through a world he only thought he understood to find a wife and child who are nothing like he'd imagined. His quest begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma's whereabouts. Apollo then begins a journey that takes him to a forgotten island in the East River of New York City, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest in Queens where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever. This dizzying tale is ultimately a story about family and the unfathomable secrets of the people we love"--… (mehr)
  1. 00
    Mexican Gothic von Silvia Moreno-Garcia (TooBusyReading)
    TooBusyReading: Both involve some horror and creepiness, but I like The Changeling more than I liked Mexican Gothic.
  2. 00
    The Ballad of Black Tom von Victor LaValle (sturlington)
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Wish I could give half stars. The first half of the book is great! The last half dragged, especially when we meet a character who literally sits down and explains every single thing that’s been going on. In a book filled with plenty of creepy action up till then - that just brought everything to a grinding halt for me. 3.5, wishing it was 4. ( )
  jlabarge | Aug 18, 2021 |
My Burgoine Review: I think this is a book you'll either love or hate within seconds. I loved it. If you're an urban-fantasy fancier, and are an admirer of [Lovecraft Country] or [Ring Shout], this novel will give you another excellent experience. Much as I'd like to tell you a lot more, it's best experienced without prior knowledge.

Look at these quotes pulled from the book. I think they're going to give you a great idea of what it's about and why I loved it without spoilering anything. ( )
  richardderus | Aug 14, 2021 |
I was sucked deep into this book until about 2/3 of the way when the troll arrived. I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t that. The writing was fantastic and Emma & Apollo sympathetic. Just... not my style. ( )
  SkeezixReviewsBooks | Jul 20, 2021 |
I think I might have liked this better if I’d read it on hard copy rather than listening to the audio book, which was read by the author, merely adequately. I really disliked the ending. That exhumed body, and that baby, are gonna be really hard to explain. Poor baby Bryan might have been better off with a troll to raise him than with both his parents in prison for murder. But I give it points for being an interesting modern take on a classic trope of old fairy tales of the currently less fashionable kind. ( )
  Charon07 | Jul 16, 2021 |
4.5*

I always say that I'm no fan of magical realism; that I like my realist fiction to be realist, my magic definitely, clearly supernatural. But perhaps it's the term "magical realism" which I don't really care for, not the genre itself, and I'd be openminded enough to enjoy it if branded as "fantasy" or "horror" fiction.

Take Victor LaValle's "The Changeling". It starts off as an ultra-realist depiction of a young, black family in New York. The relationship between book-dealer Apollo Kagwa and librarian Emma Valentine is tenderly depicted, from their tentative courtship, to their marriage, to the birth of their son Brian, named after Apollo's estranged father. We sense Apollo's enthusiasm at being a new dad and LaValle's observations about "New Dads", 21st Century father sharings family duties with their wives, are wry but spot-on. Can realist fiction get more real than this?

Unexpectedly, the novel changes gears. The blurb speaks of an "unspeakable act of violence", which I will not reveal so as not to spoil its gut-wrenching effect. Even such a horrific crime, however, remains, unfortunately, within the realm of the possible, as watching the 8'o clock news will reveal. It is the justification of the act which propels us into the mythical. What follows is a Gaiman-esque, mind-bending journey into an alternative and unlikely New York, peopled by characters, creatures and plot-tropes which would not have been out of place in a Scandinavian epic. And there is, indeed, the feel of a medieval Northern saga in Apollo Kagwa's journey into the heart of the tragedy which has struck his family.

Surprisingly, the more fantastic the story becomes, the more it becomes rooted in the present. The realities of contemporary urban living, including our fixation on social media, not only feature in the novel, but are an intrinsic aspect of the plot.

The Changeling had me hooked and, like a olden-day bard, LaValle keeps us hanging onto his words. What this novel certainly shows is that myths are just a different way of portraying the world, a magical depiction of the everyday. Isn't that what magical realism is all about?

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2019/11/The-Changeling-by-Victor-LaValle.html ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Mar 5, 2021 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Victor LaValleHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Shimizu, YukoUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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When you believe in things you don't understand then you suffer. - Stevie Wonder, "Superstition"
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For Emily, Geronimo, and Delilah. My Supreme Team.
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This fairy tale begins in 1968 during a garbage strike.
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"The wildly imaginative story of one man's thrilling odyssey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after having seemingly committed an unforgivable act of violence, from the award-winning author of The Devil in Silver and Big Machine"-- "Apollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood. An antiquarian book dealer with a business called Improbabilia, he is just beginning to settle into his new life as a committed and involved father, unlike his own father who abandoned him, when his wife Emma begins acting strange. Disconnected and uninterested in their new baby boy, Emma at first seems to be exhibiting all the signs of post-partum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go far beyond that. Before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act--beyond any parent's comprehension--and vanishes, seemingly into thin air. Thus begins Apollo's odyssey through a world he only thought he understood to find a wife and child who are nothing like he'd imagined. His quest begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma's whereabouts. Apollo then begins a journey that takes him to a forgotten island in the East River of New York City, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest in Queens where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever. This dizzying tale is ultimately a story about family and the unfathomable secrets of the people we love"--

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Durchschnitt: (3.81)
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1 5
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3 39
3.5 10
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