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The Ballad of Black Tom
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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?"LaValle's novella of sorcery and skullduggery in Jazz Age New York is a magnificent example of what weird fiction can and should do." Laird Barron, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All"[LaValle] reinvents outmoded literary conventions, particularly the ghettos of genre and ethnicity that long divided serious literature from popular fiction." Praise for The Devil in Silver from Elizabeth Hand, author of Radiant Days
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Twainy
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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🎧 1920‘s NYC. Tommy couldn‘t carry a tune in a bucket but he transports items across town using a guitar case.

One day it‘s an occult book & suddenly the book has taken off on a Lovecraft/occult tangent.

Racism, police brutality & what happens when you are forced to become the monster …

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reggie Yayyyy, glad you liked it. I really don‘t do audio because the first audiobook I ever did had a horrible narrator. But with the past 3 I‘ve been pretty lucky. 2d
20 likes1 comment
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Reggie
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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This is my first Lavalle and shame on me. He‘s really good. In 1920s Harlem, 20yo Charles Timothy Tester keeps going out of his neighborhood with his guitar case and no music talent doing errands for folks of the occult/arcane. It‘s a cosmic story on a grand scale that wraps itself around a person who is pushed into becoming a monster. So effing good!

Megabooks Ive apparently already stacked this! 😁 great review! 4d
Reggie @Megabooks thanks, Meg! This is one of those books that‘s only like 153 but felt like 500 in the best ways possible. 4d
Twainy Stephen King recommendation AND Reggie! Interested. 4d
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BarbaraBB Great review. I enjoyed 4d
batsy What @BarbaraBB said. Changeling feels like a Reggie kind of book! 4d
Reggie @BarbaraBB @batsy I will check it out! This one was so good. 3d
Reggie @Twainy Lolol, thank you. 3d
52 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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Chrissyreadit
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Charity- honestly, I‘m so impressed- and will be in touch! This was a fantastic #hhs package times 2. Every item- great choices- I love the cat tea infuser, mug, booksleeve- bookmark, playing cards and the books❤️❤️❤️ thank you 😘😘😘😘😘

Avanders Oooh what a great mug! 🤩 1mo
5feet.of.fury The book sleeve 😍 1mo
wanderinglynn Love that mug! 😍 Awesome box! 🎃 1mo
ImperfectCJ I'm so glad you like it! When they said the package was lost, I was so upset, but at least it all worked out in the end. :-) Happy Halloween! 🎃 1mo
TheBookHippie WOWIE!!!!!!! 1mo
73 likes5 comments
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j9brown
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Good and scary! I wish there was more!

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rsteve388
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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What a great shirt horror novel that combines, racism of NY in the 1960's with magic and elements of fantasy. Excellent story as an Audiobook. Thoroughly engaging.

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RyanMHoward
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor LaValle

In 1924 NYC, Tommy discreetly transports items for people. Often strange items. One item, a mysterious book, leads him into a terrifying conspiracy—a COSMIC conspiracy that could reveal the realm of Almighty Cthulhu—and a chance to literally remake the world.

Part social commentary on racism, part existential horror, Tommy‘s tragic story is both riveting and enraging—and full of real-life monsters.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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This is a quick and interesting read. Black Tom goes through some changes and he is a solid character to follow in a short time, I would have read a longer book of him. Atmospheric and dark this is great.

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traa
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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I love the direction Weird Fiction is taking these days! Fantastic! 🐙

4 likes1 stack add
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she.hearts.horror
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Leniverse
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Absolutely the best thing that could have come out of Lovecraft's messy xenophobic Red Hook story. And finally a story where the reader can see why trying to wake Cuthulhu from his slumber might appeal.

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ImperfectCJ
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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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?

Another down for #scarathlon #screamathon #LittenListen and #bookspinbingo
Not a theme read, but still 65 pts for #TeamSlaughter @clwojick

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candority
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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My #DoubleSpin pick for September. I probably would have enjoyed this more if I was familiar with H.P. Lovecraft‘s work, but as it was, I thought it was interesting and worth the hour or so it took to read it. @TheAromaofBooks 3⭐️

PatriciaU I‘ve been away from Litsy for a bit so have to ask - what does #doublespin mean? 1y
candority @PatriciaU It‘s a monthly challenge/game that @TheAromaofBooks hosts! Each month, you make a list of 20 books you want to read and she pulls out a #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin number. If you read those books, you‘re entered for a prize at the end of the year. She also does #BookSpinBingo where you make a bingo card with all your books (and 5 free spaces) and try to read as many as possible each month. It‘s fun and a great way to tackle your TBR! 1y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 1y
TheAromaofBooks @PatriciaU - Brooke did a great job explaining the challenge. If you're interested in more details, I have a master post here - https://www.litsy.com/web/post/1989556 - I draw each month's numbers on the 2nd of the month, so September's posts drawing the numbers & bingo card are towards the top of my page if you want to look through them & see some more about the challenge. Anyone is welcome to join so just let me know if have questions!! 1y
PatriciaU Thanks for the info @candority and @TheAromaofBooks!
1y
81 likes1 stack add5 comments
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amma-keep-reading
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Welp, that caught my attention and held it.

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Readergrrl
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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This was a fun and fast read by one of my favorite authors, Victor LaValle. I think I would have liked to see the story more fleshed out, but, as a novella, I quite enjoyed the experience. I loved the HBO series, Lovecraft Country, and this novella felt the same. Overall, I‘ll give this a 4/5 ⭐️ because it was just what I was looking for: escapist, dark, fast, and fun! ☠️🐙🎸🔪

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night_shift
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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This was a nice little jab at Lovecraft, among other things, that is best listened to. The audiobook is short and the narrator does a great job.

Readergrrl I just started reading this last night! I love Victor Lavalle! 1y
Leniverse I've got this on my Kindle. Might check what it will cost to whispersync it. 1y
night_shift @Readergrrl my first read of his! I'm pretty interested in checking out the changeling. @Leniverse does it cost to whispersync? I barely use the kindle app, mostly get books through my library lol 1y
Leniverse @UnidragonFrag When you buy a Kindle book, you get a huge discount on the Audio. Actually, you might get the discount even if it hasn't been set up for the whispersync function. Not sure. I just know that since I don't have an Audible subscription it's always cheaper to get the e-book/audio combo than to buy just the Audio! (It works with KU as well, so I can borrow the ebook and just pay for the discounted audio.) 1y
Readergrrl is one of my favorites! So dark and multidimensional. I especially liked the mythopoeic element to it (yes, I had to look that genre title up the first time I heard it said about this novel…it‘s now my favorite genre!). 1y
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sprainedbrain
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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I‘ve read just enough Lovecraft to be underwhelmed & disgusted (by the author, not the stories), but I ❤️ Lovecraft Country & have had this book on my kindle for ages.

Very well-written, accessible horror that does not back down from the horror of racism while it‘s at it. A quick, tightly-wound novella that packs a punch & left me both wanting more & slightly depressed.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#ColorInTheTitle - #Booked2021
#NewYork - #50States50Scares

Readergrrl Victor Lavalle is one of my favorite authors. The Changeling was so good and I still think about it and recommend it to people all of the time. I think I‘ve bought it for two different book swaps over the years here on Litsy. 1y
sprainedbrain @Readergrrl I‘ve also had The Changeling on my kindle forever. Going to have to get to it! 1y
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broughtyoubooks
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Interesting novella with a cool concept. As always with cool concept, I'd love to see it expanded, but will definitely look into more LaValle.

BekahB LaValle is amazing! I really enjoyed Devil in Silver. I listened to The Changeling earlier this year and loved it! He did a great job narrating it himself. 2y
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Sweettartlaura
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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LaValle uses Lovecraftian tropes to upend the genre, creating a tale both horrifying & satisfying.
Short but sweet ... in the most terrifying sense.

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Joysiam
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Disturbing.

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KimM
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Instructions on how to create a monster using oppression. Very timely.

sprainedbrain I just finished this book, and your review is spot on. 👏🏻 1y
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Coueriamb
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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So I‘m not huge on Cthulhu mythos, or Lovecraft in general, but this was a pretty good read! If you‘re looking for a better retelling a la Lovecraft County, give this a try.

#scarathon2020
Scarathon add +16
Scarathon total = 282

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BookMaven9
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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A perfect blend of Lovecraft Lore and social commentary.
I love how books like this and Lovecraft Country is turning the racist views of its author upside down.

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Eggbeater
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 This fantastical and very pointed horror novella blew me away! It's haunting both in its Lovecraftian roots and its social commentary. I was absolutely mesmerized!

3rd book read for #October20in4 #OutstandingOctober #Readathon

@Andrew65 @Bookgoil

Andrew65 Great 👏👏👏 2y
Bookgoil Sounds like a great read! 2y
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ozma.of.oz
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Time for some horror! 💀

1. The Green Ribbon, from one of those scary story anthologies
2. Love me some reworking of Lovecraft! 👆🏻
3. Honestly, would love to see the tagged book adapted.

#sundayfunday Have a spooky day and don‘t forget to tag me!

SilversReviews I don‘t like spooky or horror. Hope you have fun with your prompts. 2y
ozma.of.oz @SilversReviews No worries! Not every book or genre is everybody‘s cup of tea! And thank you. 🙂 2y
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britt_reads
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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I really enjoyed this retelling of Lovecraft‘s “The Horror at Red Hook.” Admittedly, I‘ve never read the story that this is inspired by since I‘ve always heard it described as Lovecraft‘s most racist work. This was well written, and I love the fact that a black author turned this story on it‘s head.

+16 #teamharkness

#scarathlon2020 #screamathon #bookspinbingo #OutstandingOctober #October20in4 #LittenListen

Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 2y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
alisiakae Great review! 2y
24 likes3 comments
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KVanRead
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Wow. Loved this brilliant, super creepy,super stylish novella. So well constructed. A lot to think about in a tight, small package.
#BookSpin
#Scarathlon2020 #TeamHarkness Team Theme Read +15 points Also 2 readathons:
#Blackoweenathon Fantasy Novel by a Black Author and #Screamathon read 3hours = +60points

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
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JoeMo
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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I was engrossed by this story and found it vastly superior to the Lovecraft tale it‘s based on. That being said, I think it truly adds to the experience to read the source material (thanks for the tip @JPSHANK ). If I‘m understanding the point system 15 pts for #scarathlon2020 and #teamharkness based on subject matter, 30 pts for #screamathon as it‘s a 3-hour audiobook, 1 pt participation = 46 total pts! (please help if wrong! 🤔😩😬🎃🤗)

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Danielthewriter
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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QOTD- Best cosmic horror?

The Ballad of Black Tom is a novella released a few years ago and is part lovecraftian horror and part historical drama.

The supporting characters and the conflict were somewhat underbaked, but that doesn't take away from the resonant ending to this story about anger, grief, and our own insignificance.

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Tracyantoon
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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This was great! Gratuitously gory and unapologetic. Mind blowing and exceedingly well written. I have admittedly never read Lovecraft (and don‘t have any plans to either) but I read one review on goodreads that said Lavalle does Lovecraft better than Lovecraft. Regardless it was a hell of a ride.

TerriGreen Sounds so interesting! Is it scary? I can handle gore. 2y
Tracyantoon @TerriGreen I never found this scary. Eerie vibe but not scary (IMO). Very well crafted novella. 2y
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SkeletonKey
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Finally starting to feel well enough to read again. Picked up this one for a bit of a shorter read.

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ShyBookOwl
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Considering how blatantly racist Lovecraft was, I love the idea of a book set in his world, written by a black man, with a black protagonist. I'm currently reading the story it's based on first, The Horror at Red Hook... nothing like a little morning racism 😞 #BookHunt #ScavengerSaturday

Emilymdxn I loved the ballad of black Tom!! 2y
ShyBookOwl @Emilymdxn I'm so excited! It's already sitting in my kindle library 2y
Sace I've got this one on my tbr as well! 2y
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Victoriahoperose
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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This was really good! Thank you for sharing #lmpbc! Sending tomorrow. It should make it by the end of the month!

phatsallylee I'm looking forward to it! 3y
BookishBelle I‘m glad you liked it! 3y
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Kappadeemom
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Friday night chill 🐶🍷

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BookishBelle
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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What did I just read!?!? It‘s short but it is packed full... of what I don‘t know but I enjoyed it! #lmpbc #groupw #round8 @Kappadeemom I‘m going to go ahead and get this out to you early so I don‘t forget in the jumble of wedding planning and execution this month. @Victoriahoperose @phatsallylee

phatsallylee That's great! I plan on starting my pick today. 3y
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BookishBelle
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Hey, #lmpbc, #groupw, #round8 @Kappadeemom @phatsallylee @Victoriahoperose These are my four choices from my tbr. I‘ll tag the other three in the comments. Let me know what you think!

See All 9 Comments
Kappadeemom I have read the Library at Mount Char (it‘s a great book for discussion BTW) but I‘ll read anything! 3y
Victoriahoperose The ballad of black Tom looks awesome. But I‘m happy with any of these! They all look great!! 3y
phatsallylee I haven't read any of these but the ballad of black tom and last train to Babylon sound interesting! 3y
BookishBelle Ballad of Black Tom it is then! Thanks y‘all! Full disclosure: I‘m getting married April 4th so it‘s probably good that this one is a little shorter. I will try my best not to get behind! @Kappadeemom @Victoriahoperose @phatsallylee 3y
Kappadeemom Hi Amy - I haven‘t received your book yet. Can you please check the tracking and see if it has gotten lost? 3y
BookishBelle @Kappadeemom I emailed you a few minutes ago! It‘s on the way! 3y
21 likes1 stack add9 comments
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BookwormOfTheDamned
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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My new book review video is up! To honor Black History Month I'm reviewing "The Ballad of Black Tom" by Victor Lavalle.

https://youtu.be/vtxVg8UwKvU

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JanuarieTimewalker13
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Wow!!! This slim book (149 pages) packed a punch. Urban fantasy/ jazz age fiction/Horror. My first Victor LaValle, won‘t be my last. Racism, trigger happy police, illegal immigrants, all current topics. HP Lovecraft (who was a racist) retelling with Black protagonist. Read it in a day, which is a rarity for me!!

JanuarieTimewalker13 2019 Book 58 3y
BarbaraBB I have never read him but one of his books on my shelves and looking forward to it. 3y
JanuarieTimewalker13 @BarbaraBB Yes! That‘s the one I want to read!! 3y
See All 8 Comments
JanuarieTimewalker13 I just watched an interview with Victor LaValle on YouTube and this book is a retelling of The Horror at Red Hook. 3y
Sace Oh gosh I have this one. Now where did I put it? 🤔 3y
JanuarieTimewalker13 @Sace You‘ll find it. It‘s an engaging, quick read. Totally out of my area of knowledge, never read Lovecraft and never heard of the Supreme alphabet either. 3y
Sace @JanuarieTimewalker13 I know of Lovecraft, but I've never read him. Just some stuff inspired by his work. 3y
JanuarieTimewalker13 @Sace I kind of wished I read the source material,but I suppose you can do it backwards. 3y
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JanuarieTimewalker13
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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#BookOutlet final haul 2019. Let‘s hope I can stay haul free until at least June. Total $18.64 (includes shipping).
Can‘t wait to read TBOBT, although trying to keep it for Black History Month, I don‘t think I will be able to wait.
Oops, just noticed the title of The Outsider is cut off.

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TracyReadsBooks
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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This morning is still cold (29 degrees) and snowy/icy enough that I decided a currant scone, chai tea latte, and a few minutes with the tagged book (which I‘m working through slowly as it‘s my emergency backup read I always have with me) were in order. ❤️😋🍵📖❤️

Tamra Yesterday I had a bit of anxiety about the fact I didn‘t have a book with me, but I consoled myself with the fact I could resort to my phone Kindle app. 😅 3y
TracyReadsBooks @Tamra I too had a “But what am I going to read?!?” moment before remembering that I always have something on my phone or iPad that I can read! I guess I‘m just so used to carrying a book or two around I don‘t think about eBooks. Fortunately, I figured it out! 🤣 3y
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uwak
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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I effectively read this in two sittings but WOW Lavalle's writing is excellent for such a short story 🤯 he manages to capture the unsettling Lovecraftian terror while also telling a compelling narrative about racism, empowerment and revenge.

#horror #hplovecraft

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uwak
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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catching up on some manga and starting another #novella to kick off the week ✌️ I'm not familiar with the Lovecraft story Black Tom is based on but I enjoyed another of Lavalle's books earlier this year (The Changeling) so I'm eager to dive in 😊

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Dyslexicon13
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Trying to knock this one out today. Last minute October reads. #newbookday #theballadofblacktom #victorlavalle #octoberreads

9 likes1 stack add
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rohit-sawant
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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One of my faves. This was my first Victor LaValle and made him an autobuy author for me.
#HorrorCoverCrush
Day 3

vivastory This was my first LaValle, too. Did you see he wrote the foreword for the new annotated Lovecraft 3y
rohit-sawant @vivastory Added this one to my wishlist on Amazon just days ago along with the annotated Dracula! 3y
48 likes2 comments
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Christinak
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Every year for the past 10 years I give my daughter scary books for Halloween, this is one of this years picks #AllHallowsRead #GiveAScaryBook
I guess I‘ll reread some Lovecraft before diving in.

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TheBookstorePodcast
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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I liked this book, but I didn‘t LOVE it. Reimagining Lovecraft is great, I just needed a bit more character development to really connect with the characters. Black Tom is badass though. #spooktober

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CoveredInRust
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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This book is creepy and awesome even at only 54/149 pages in. #creepyread #horror

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TracyReadsBooks
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Starting the last weekend of summer break with a treat and a good book. Kids are back to school on Tuesday!

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