Paul's Reviews > The Ballad of Black Tom

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
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12/22/17 - Rescored to a 5. I couldn't shake this book in my mind during the year.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle was an excellent use of social commentary and Lovecraftian horror that I will soon not forget. This novella is somewhat based on the incredibly racist short story by Lovecraft called The Horror at Red Hook but LaValle creates a story that doesn't shy away from the racism and inequality but gives the reader a sense of sympathy by showing the story from the viewpoint of a black man from Harlem. It is hard to figure out what is worst, the Cthulu monster or the people that are spewing hate in this 1920s divided New York. There are moments in this novella that seems like it was taken from the headlines of today and the impact that those portions of this story have are powerful. I also really liked the use of language and music in this story. LaValle creates a very down to earth type of story that just oozes validity and realism. I think the hype is real with this one and I really enjoyed this novella greatly.

5/5
21/25 Possible Score
5 - Plot
4 - Characters
4 - World Building
4 - Writing Style
4 - Heart & Mind Aspect

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Reading Progress

February 15, 2016 – Shelved
February 15, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read-maybe
February 15, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read-shortsnovellas
March 2, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 2, 2016 – Shelved as: own-ebook
March 23, 2016 – Shelved as: z_archive16_boughtin2016
July 4, 2017 – Started Reading
July 4, 2017 –
50.0% "This is so excellent so far"
July 5, 2017 –
99.0%
July 5, 2017 – Finished Reading
July 9, 2017 – Shelved as: z_archive17_read-2017all
July 9, 2017 – Shelved as: z_archive17_read-2017fromshelf
July 9, 2017 – Shelved as: z_archive17_read-2017books
July 9, 2017 – Shelved as: z_archive17novellabook-2017read
November 28, 2017 – Shelved as: own-paperback
November 28, 2017 – Shelved as: z_archive17_bought2017books
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites

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