Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ancestors” as Want to Read:
The Ancestors
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ancestors

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  361 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews

Some evils are so great that they transcend death. In Brandon Massey's "The Patriarch," a young writer travels to the hushed backwoods of Mississippi, where dangerous secrets surface as a generations-old feud comes to bone-chilling new life. . .


The souls of the mistreated always find a way to be heard. In L.A. Banks's "Ev'ry Shut Eye Ain't Sleep," violen
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Dafina
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ancestors, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Ancestors

Wild Seed by Octavia E. ButlerParable of the Sower by Octavia E. ButlerFledgling by Octavia E. ButlerKindred by Octavia E. ButlerWho Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
African American Science Fiction
22nd out of 201 books — 131 voters
The Color Purple by Alice WalkerI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouBeloved by Toni MorrisonInvisible Man by Ralph EllisonThe Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
Black History Month
112th out of 397 books — 380 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,020)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kenesha Williams
Dec 11, 2011 Kenesha Williams rated it really liked it
The Ancestors is a trio of short stories all revolving around the theme of ancestry. The fist story by LA Banks, Ev'ry Shut Eye Ain't Sleep is the story of a man who seems to be traumatized by what he's seen in war, but we come to find out that the war he's been involved in is one of the supernatural nature and that he is the protector of the woman who is the granddaughter of a spiritual elder who has given him shelter and board in return for work at his antiques store. The young man is taught s ...more
The Ancestors is a collection of three lengthy short stories. L.A. Banks' is an urban dark fantasy that's mostly set up and exposition for the last five pages where the trouble starts. It ends with a tacked on epilogue. Brandon Massey's short story about a writer looking into his family roots, and discovering the family secret is predictable.

Tananarive Due's short story about a boy and his sister going visiting his grandparents' town where there are ghosts every summer is brilliant and packs a
Sep 13, 2011 Danelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I loved all three stories, but the first was my favorite. Time travel and demons are always a good read. The second one was about vampires so you know i loved that, and the third touched on racisim, and a girl like me loves a good ghost story. Overall these were great stories, and i would recommend them to anyone who loves to read horror novels, or short stories.
Jul 09, 2009 Mary rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-f
A collection of three ghost stories based on African American history and folklore.
By far my favorite in this collection was Tananrive Due's "Ghost Summer." I would give it 4 stars on its own. In this story, a boy on the edge of adolescence spends the summer at his grandparents' house chasing ghosts and trying to solve an old, sad mystery while at the same time trying to cope with the news of his parents' impending divorce.
The first story (L.A. Banks' Ev'ry Shut Eye Ain't Sleep) started off wel
Dec 29, 2009 Bill rated it it was ok
Tananarive Due is one of the best horror writers out there, and her story, "Ghost Summer," is absolutely brilliant.

Unfortunately for this collection, and literature in general, L.A. Banks has got to be one of the worst writers who has ever been published. I really don't understand her appeal. I read Minion years ago and have been infuriated at her very existence ever since. Her short story, "The Sentinel," simply makes no sense. I couldn't even begin to describe it because it ultimately isn't ab
C.C. Solomon
Jul 06, 2009 C.C. Solomon rated it liked it
Finally finished this book. Took me waaay too long because, frankly I lost interest. I did not care for the first LA banks story, Brandon Massey's picked up the pace a little better but was VERY predictable. Now Tananavarie Due was great but she always is.
May 26, 2011 Rob rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed all three stories in the book and found myself wishing each story was a novel Both Brandon and Tananerive Due are such great writers and i enjoy their insights into the African American experience.
Sian Jones
My rating of 3 stars represents an average rating for the three stories contained in this collection. I found the ideas in the first two stories fascinating, but the craft wasn't quite there -- there were issues of pacing and plot holes, etc. On the other hand, the final story, "Ghost Summer," by Tananarive Due, has all I want out of a ghost story. It is solidly, even beautifully crafted, with a fully-embodied plot and skillful pacing. It makes the generalities of larger history into something p ...more
Oct 14, 2012 Audrey rated it really liked it
Horror literature. The tales are rich, and chilling and the writing is terrific. I want more!
Apr 28, 2013 Christy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Three short stories...last one was my favorite.
Sep 16, 2010 Darlene rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this, especially Ghost Summer
The first story: Ev'ry Shut Eye Ain't Sleep by L.A. Banks is slow in the beginning. About one family's family line and it's a supernatural war of good vs. evil. The ending is very rushed and feels like it could have been a longer story so it doesn't feel like it was forced. One of the line in last chapter reminded me of Huey Lewis and the News, The Power of Love. ;) Can you tell I was an 80's kid?

The second story: The Patriarch by Brandon Massey is very slow all the way thought. I wasn't into it
Mar 03, 2011 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks-a-z
This book was not bad. All of the stories were very well written. They all are able to capture a time and place very effectively and for the most part had interesting characters. In the first two stories I found a little more fault with them though.

The first one had very nice language in it but the premise was so old that I am bored retelling it here. A man who is a war veteran and has PTSD and is seeing visions of demons is in fact seeing demons. I think we all see that coming and it's just ki
Feb 07, 2016 WhenReadersWrite rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This was an interesting anthology. I was afforded the opportunity to read work by authors I never have. With stories by the late L.A. Banks, Tananarive Due and the editor Brandon Massey readers are able to get a taste of different voices on similar topics. I love supernatural and mysterious work. I wasn't disappointed.
Jan 04, 2015 Ahluminati rated it it was ok
The stories seem to be put in order from worst to best.
Banks' story was trite and boring. I almost quit reading the whole book because it was so uninteresting. The story might've been better told if written in novel form because there was so much background that needed to be explored but wasn't. The time jump was anticlimactic and seemed like a rushed ending to a story the author didn't feel like telling.

Massey's story was better because it was actually interesting but the ending was too neat
I so wanted to like this book because of the authors aforementioned but tried to read each story, and the opening and early parts couldn't grab my attention and even skipped to the end.

Leisure read 2014
Serenity L
Apr 22, 2015 Serenity L rated it really liked it
3 stories. I think the 1st one was the best one. But the others werent bad. But because they were short stories, the character development and back stories weren't where I would have liked. Still, the stories were good
Aug 16, 2016 D.K. rated it liked it
As much as it pains me to say this, I felt that the two stories written by Banks and Massey were weak. It felt as if their entries were shorten from longer stories. The last story by Due was the highlight of the entire anthology.
Danielle Lawson
May 29, 2016 Danielle Lawson rated it really liked it
The first story was excellent until it skipped forward *angry face*! The other two stories were perfect.
Apr 15, 2014 Sylvia rated it really liked it
I loved all of the shorts, but was a bit disappointed the Banks short ended kind of abruptly.
Jun 26, 2016 Jean rated it it was amazing
A first-rate collection of modern horror; I'm delighted to add Massey and Banks to my list of preeminent horror writers (I've already enjoyed Tanarive Due).
Dec 27, 2015 Jenni rated it liked it
Maybe it's my fault that I didn't like this more, but I picked this up thinking it was a horror anthology. Nothing particularly thrilling or scary, but the stories were definitely solid and fit the theme of "Ancestors"
Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman
Aug 16, 2014 Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman rated it really liked it
I grabbed this book solely on the title. The book did not fulfill my completely off based preconceived ideas. However, I did read the three short stories through and found myself wanting to know what happened. Normally ghosts and the supernatural are something I have little to no interest in, but I have to admit the stories were each well crafted. Overall, I found them to be intriguing suspenseful stories.
Oct 23, 2013 Karen added it
I am becoming a fan of sci-fi genre. These three stories were quite entriguing and kept the pages turning all dealing with past ancestors. My favorite was Brandon Massey's THE PATRIARCH was my favorite. I will read more of Mr. Massey's novels. This was my book club's book for the month of October. Give these short stories a chance!!
Ade Oluyemisi
Aug 28, 2010 Ade Oluyemisi rated it it was amazing
Loved Summer Ghost because it took me into the pages... could see, hear and taste the events as the young man went on his journey of discovery and that fact that he gave his grandmother the proof of what she knew to be true. Also my intro to L. A. Banks and Brandon Massey. Looking forward to reading more of their works.
Oct 31, 2012 Kath rated it did not like it
Very disappointing. Poor writing. I only made it through the first two stories and couldn't bring myself to continue.
Jaikrishna VS
Dec 21, 2015 Jaikrishna VS rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
The book took me by surprise. All three short stories were gripping, fast paced and unique in their own way. Loved it !
Aug 16, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
I read the book because I love Brandon Massey; however I am not a fan of the short story reads. I prefer a novel.
Linda Boyd
Aug 05, 2011 Linda Boyd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
I liked this book, it was written by 3 authors and they each wrote a short story using the same subject.
Mar 18, 2009 Dora rated it really liked it
Sonar4 Ezine published my review of this book here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 33 34 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • My Soul to Take (African Immortals, #4)
  • Creepin'
  • The Thirteenth (Vampire Huntress, #12)
  • Dark Matter: Reading the Bones
  • Casanegra (Tennyson Hardwick, #1)
Here’s a little about me, Brandon Massey. (“Massey” is not pronounced “macy,” by the way. Think of “mass” instead.)

I was born June 9, 1973, in Waukegan, Illinois. I grew up in Zion, a suburb north of Chicago.

I originally self-published Thunderland, my first novel, in 1999. After managing to sell a few thousand copies on my own, Kensington Publishing Corp. in New York offered me a two-book contract
More about Brandon Massey...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »