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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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review
JanuarieTimewalker13
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

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 1mo
BarbaraBB I have never read him but one of his books on my shelves and looking forward to it. 1mo
JanuarieTimewalker13 @BarbaraBB Yes! That‘s the one I want to read!! 1mo
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JanuarieTimewalker13 I just watched an interview with Victor LaValle on YouTube and this book is a retelling of The Horror at Red Hook. 1mo
Sace Oh gosh I have this one. Now where did I put it? 🤔 1mo
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. 1mo
Sace @JanuarieTimewalker13 I know of Lovecraft, but I've never read him. Just some stuff inspired by his work. 1mo
JanuarieTimewalker13 @Sace I kind of wished I read the source material,but I suppose you can do it backwards. 1mo
45 likes8 comments
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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. 😅 2mo
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! 🤣 2mo
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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uwak
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

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 3mo
rohit-sawant @vivastory Added this one to my wishlist on Amazon just days ago along with the annotated Dracula! 3mo
47 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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Pickpick

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!

22 likes1 stack add
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esurient
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Why hullo, promising beginning. (Author's dedication.)

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elizabethlk
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

I enjoy a bit of Lovecraft now and then, but this retelling knocked my socks off. LaValle managed to capture what makes Lovecraft and Lovecraftian horror so delightful to read, while reworking problematic elements into something else, subverting the racism into the reality of the story rather than the writer's shitty point of view. I really enjoyed this, definitely recommend it for horror fans, and look forward to reading more from the author.

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teafetish
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Mehso-so

Worth a read, as it's short, and I would definitely recommend READING the book, as opposed to the audiobook, but, as I've said, that might just be a matter of taste...the author has said he was inspired to write this rather gory story after reading Lovecraft and finding no black character...worth checking out if you're a fan of horror or stuff about giant sleeping gods at the bottom of the sea..

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teafetish
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Been listening to this short novella, based on Lovecraft mythos, not bad but the reader is kind of annoying but that's maybe just my taste

We'll add a review later today

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Squidapus
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

Geez, Squidapus couldn't even write a blurb about starting this novella before he finished it! What a creative reimagining of Lovecraft's most racist story to turn the focus onto the racism the protagonist suffers and how the life of a black man in New York in 1924 would lead to the events that occur. Tom is a sympathetic character even after the events of the book. Squidapus stole my credit card and ordered 3 more LaValle books after he finished!

LadyBedivere I loved this book so much! 12mo
Squidapus @LadyBedivere It's fantastic! Squidapus immediately logged into my Amazon after finishing and ordered three of his other books! 12mo
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dastevensishagain
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

Another excellent book to start the year. Will definitely be reading more by Victor LaValle!

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Emilymdxn
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

I have a complicated relationship with lovecraft like almost everyone else I love his fantasy but struggle to enjoy it after learning what a vile racist he was. This was everything I wanted: the scale and power of the huge sweeping fantasy Mythos but also sensitive awareness of how a black man could fit into that. Maybe I was slightly put off by the violence but I loved the book.

#newyearwhodis @Caterina @monalyisha

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Susannah
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Thank you so much for the #kindlitsy book, Katie! I read The Changeling last year and have wanted to read more Victor LaValle ever since. I‘m really looking forward to this one. 🤓📚❤️

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razmanda
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

One of my favorite genres is magical realism and like LaValle‘s other books, this takes magical realism and adds in issues of race, class and justice, plus some truly haunting scenes, in just under 150 pages. It‘s slim but dense, and has not a single easy answer inside.

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TheBookstorePodcast
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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All Horror October continues with a discussion of Victor LaValle‘s novella The Ballad of Black Tom. It was written as a response to the very problematic short story, Horror at Red Hook by H.P. Lovecraft (HP maybe stands for Horrible Person?).
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Check it out where you get podcasts! Also, sign up for tor.com‘s book club and get a free ebook every month!This was this month‘s pick!

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Angeles
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Awesome Halloween read! The bleak portrait of NYC for its black residents is more scary than the monster👍

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ozma.of.oz
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Hey all! If you sign up for the Tor ebook of the Month Club before 11:59 PM tonight, you can get a free .mobi or.epub download of this fantastic book! #torbookclub

https://ebookclub.tor.com

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khooliha
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
This post contains spoilers
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Pickpick

Another good recontextualization of Lovecraft's troublesome work.
#screamathon

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saresmoore
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Heck yes, Tor.com! This is their free ebook selection for the month. Here‘s the link: https://ebookclub.tor.com

Cathythoughts I recently have The Changeling... excited , I‘ve never read this author 👍🏻 1y
saresmoore @Cathythoughts I‘ve heard excellent things about The Ballad of Black Tom. I loved The Changeling and the other of his I‘ve read was weirdly wonderful and still very resonant in my memory: 1y
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BarbaraBB I Still need to read The Changeling. It seems great but I really don‘t like horror! 1y
JazzFeathers As usual, only available in the US and Canada 😭 1y
TheSpineView I downloaded this morning. I am hoping it is as good as I have heard. 1y
saresmoore @JazzFeathers Darn! I didn‘t realize that. ☹️ 1y
saresmoore @BarbaraBB I would definitely not call it horror. It has some moments, but it‘s more strange than gory or scary. 1y
vivastory The Ballad of Black Tom made me angry because I was dying for a full length novel 😂 1y
BarbaraBB Okay, that is encouraging! And if you like it, that‘s too! 1y
51 likes10 comments
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AnansiGirl
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Hanging out with my girl Death and reading book 2 for the #booksinthefreezerreadathon.

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2BR02B
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Spending my lunch hour today with hammock chairs and picturesque country views. #WhereIRead #WorkplaceEdition

MyBookSwapClub Omg..where's this beautiful place? Enjoy :) 1y
TheDaysGoBy That‘s awesome! 1y
Tanisha_A Hammock chairs! 😍 1y
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2BR02B @MyBookSwapClub it's the software company where I work, Epic Systems. 1y
MyBookSwapClub @2BR02B I've heard about them. My sis is RN :) 1y
Velvetfur Love that view! 1y
sammisho Oh Epic! How I wish our hospital would upgrade to Epic! 1y
LeahBergen Ooooh, lovely! 😍 1y
BibliOphelia My sister is right up the road in Mt. Horeb. Such a lovely campus at Epic. My daughter‘s boyfriend turned a job there down after meeting her on the flight out to interview and deciding he was head over heels and didn‘t want to move half a country away! 😳😍 1y
2BR02B @BibliOphelia Wow, he must be a diehard romantic! ❤ 1y
BibliOphelia He introduced himself with an origami rose. 😂🤣 He‘s very sweet and we‘re thrilled for her. 1y
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Stephykitten
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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“ No one wants to believe themselves the villain. Even monsters have high opinions of themselves”

Loving this! And it‘s only 3 hours long ✨🏙

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InLibrisVeritas
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

Enjoyable but didn't have quite the impact I was hoping it would after so much hype. I did really love that the author took a racist's work and turned it into a conversation on racism itself.

50 likes2 stack adds
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InLibrisVeritas
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Feeling kind of low today, so my reading plans have been canned in favor if what feels right for the moment. I just started this one!

It'll be for my A levels in Ancient Runes in the #NEWTsreadathon2018

DivineDiana Good decision! Listen to what your heart is telling you! ❤️ 1y
DGRachel Feel better soon! {{hugs}} 1y
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Chocamanda
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Since I was working in the neighborhood today I decided to drop by Borderlands in SF for a few books! If you are in San Francisco and want a place to take a stroll where you can find amazing books, food and chocolate, check out Valencia St. between 18th and 20th Streets. I snagged the tagged book, a used copy of House of Leaves (for $10!) and Bird Box

30 likes1 comment
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rohit-sawant
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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1. Bag of Bones, The Ballad of Black Tom, The Bell Jar
2. Biryani (Paneer, Chicken), Bread
3. Ray Bradbury, Brontë sisters
4. Batman Begins, Bride of Frankenstein, Blair Witch Project (1999), Breaking Bad, Bringing Up Baby
#ManicMonday
@JoScho

JoScho Breaking Bad 💚 2y
readordierachel Bringing Up Baby! Such a great movie. (Why is there no leopard emoji??) 2y
rohit-sawant @JoScho 🙌🏻 2y
rohit-sawant @ReadOrDieRachel Haha, there should totally be one! 😄 2y
38 likes4 comments
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Maike
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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I spent the last hours reading these two and making progress in Alias Grace. Now I‘m off to hour seven, diving into Grace & Fury 😊 #24in48

Anton I really loved The Ballad Of Black Tom! 2y
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dissemination
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
Pickpick

A blues crossroads story, an occult horror story, all resonating with the racism of today. Superb.

1 like1 stack add
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Bertha_Mason
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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I've read this, but I'm listening to the audiobook now, because I loved the story, and because Kevin R. Free, who I first heard as the voice of Kevin on "Welcome to Night Vale," reads it. Free gave a skin-crawling command performance on WTNV, so I'm excited to hear him read updated and improved lovecraft.

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nosferatoos
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ this was exactly what I needed to get out of my reading rut. A good one sitting read.

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nosferatoos
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Work reading on a Monday again. I bailed on 3 Body Problem bc my brain is currently too fried for long sci-fi with so much science. I decided in December I‘m going to go back and try to read all the books I bailed on during the year (so far only three—all ebooks I was reading on a trip and didn‘t finish when I got home 😬) so I‘m def going to give it another shot.

But for now, I‘m super excited about this short book I can read in one sitting.

Ashley_Nicoletto And this is so enjoyable. I loved this one. 2y
28 likes1 comment
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LauraJ
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Vacation day 1: Book 1
If so many other books could be just as long as they need to be without padding to make a page quota, we‘d have a lot more engrossing reads like The Ballad of Black Tom. If you‘re a Lovecraft fan, you‘ll appreciate this even more.
#pugsofLitsy

TheBookDream @Megara Lovecraft rec! 2y
Megara @TheBookDream stacking this! 2y
50 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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LauraJ
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Here‘s my Friday night! There‘s an Armenian grocery down the street that always has the most amusing snacks. Tonight I‘m trying Funny Mushrooms from Lithuania!

37 likes1 stack add
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JSW
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
Pickpick

Excellent novella. I know this is a short review, but other readers of this title have already said it better. Go read theirs.

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rohit-sawant
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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When you take a genre master's most bigoted work & put your own spin on it, making relevant social commentary in addition to telling a damn good story, *and* win the World Fantasy Award, among other accolades.
#homage
#Aprella
@Cinfhen @Reviewsbylola @emilyhaldi @Mdargusch

Reviewsbylola 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 2y
DivaDiane Sounds great! 2y
emilyhaldi Well!!!! 2y
See All 9 Comments
PagesOfKate I'm sold! 2y
GarthRanzz Okay you convinced me. Tossing it on the TBR pile. 😊 2y
Mdargusch Sounds so interesting! 2y
rohit-sawant @Reviewsbylola @DivaDiane @emilyhaldi @Centique @bookishbunny @PagesOfKate @GarthRanzz @Mdargusch @Well-ReadNeck Check out Lovecraft's short story "The Horror at Red Hook" before diving into this. Hope you like Ballad! Stoked that AMC is developing a series based on the book! 2y
readordierachel What a great description! This just jumped way up my tbr. And that's exciting news about the TV series! I feel like AMC produces some pretty good shows, so that bodes well :) 2y
rohit-sawant @ReadOrDieRachel Thanks, Rachel! 😃 I'm hopeful about the show as well! Especially since VL is on board as one of the executive producers. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the book! 2y
59 likes6 stack adds9 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

YAAASSSSS! Super creepy. And, well-played social commentary. Novella length.

rohit-sawant This was absolutely terrific! 2y
Angitron I LOVE this book!! Have you read Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff? It‘s the perfect companion! 2y
JazzFeathers Really really need to read this. Though firdt l want to read the Lovecraft story this is inspired to 2y
122 likes12 stack adds3 comments
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Nickinpa
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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I just read this on recommendation from Emily at Possibly Literate. It was so good.

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Ashley_Nicoletto
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

This book is so strange and and completely effed up. I went in to it with no ideas what it was about and woof. It was an incredible read though. I'll be picking up more from Victor LaValle. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#24in48 update. I'm in hour 9 of reading. This is my 5th finished read. Switching to audiobook for a while to do some cleaning and head to the bf's.

Book 2 of the #unreadshelfproject2018.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
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Sumi
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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1st book finished for 24in48

ghosthost I loved that one! (edited) 2y
6 likes1 comment
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KVanRead
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Yesterday‘s fantasy and speculative fiction panel at #BCAF2018: Matt Ruff, Nnedi Okorafor, and Victor Lavalle. I‘ve never read Victor Lavalle but he was such an amazing speaker, funny and so perceptive, that I really want to now. Any fans of his work have a favorite to recommend?

2BR02B That's an amazing lineup. 😍 2y
KVanRead @SaraBeagle Thx! Looks great. Stacking it! 2y
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KVanRead @2BR02B It was!! 2y
vivastory My favorite Lavalle 2y
vivastory I have yet to read it, but his latest is according to many his best 2y
KVanRead @vivastory Thanks for all the great recs...I see my virtual TBR rapidly growing 🙄 2y
KVanRead @vivastory I actually almost bought The Devil in Silver yesterday but showed surprising self-restraint and put it back down. It looks great! 2y
60 likes9 comments
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Tonton
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
Pickpick

My first read on the Kindle app! Short, fast, evocative, and a tip of the hat to Lovecraft. And a bit of the blues as well. I love Lavelle.

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lauralovesbooks1
Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

This novella was creepy and incredibly atmospheric. Very dark with elements of the occult, this would have been a great October read. The way Lavelle depicted the impact of racism in the daily lives of his characters added a level of depth that I don't typically see in horror novels.

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Caterina
The Ballad of Black Tom | Victor LaValle
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Merry Christmas, Littens! I'm spending the morning after Christmas curled up with a good book in my new pajamas and slippers and down vest. 😊 Throw a space heater into the mix and I'm quite cozy despite the cold! It's nice to have a slow morning after the joyful chaos of Bethlehem at Christmas! So far no #bookhaul, but on Skype last night my parents indicated some #audible credits in my future. 😍 Much love to all of y'all! ❤️

TricksyTails Merry Christmas! 🎁🎄 2y
SassyBookworm Merry Christmas 🎄 2y
Cinfhen That must have been awesome, to experience Christmas in Bethlehem 2y
See All 7 Comments
Cinfhen It's really warm here today, it's crazy how the weather can be so different - it's already reading 74 on my phone☀️ 2y
CatLass007 Merry Christmas! 🎄 2y
Caterina @Cinfhen It was indeed wonderful! I feel so blessed! 😍 I hope you had a delightful Hanukkah in Israel! I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to celebrate it in Israel. I hope your children were able to be with you. ❤️ 2y
Caterina @TricksyTails @Chrysta23 @CatLass007 Thank you for the Christmas tidings, I hope y'all had a very merry Christmas! 2y
61 likes1 stack add7 comments