The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

For fans of mystery, the paranormal, weird fiction, and especially HP Lovecraft, The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle pays tribute to the best Weird Fiction (LaValle’s particular obsession with The Horror at Red Hook echoes throughout the short and affecting novel) and turns it around for those who might not be so familiar. In Jazz Era Harlem, Tommy Tester is a young, disenfranchised black man who is not particularly good at anything besides hustling to support his ailing father. When by chance he meets Robert Suydam, a rich benefactor bent on”lifting the veil of ignorance” over the world, Tommy is ripped through space and time and confronted with a terror – and power – he could never imagine. The book is a fast, eerie and thrilling read- I read it in one sitting- and an elegantly written answer to the question of what to do with HP Lovecraft’s infamous racist beliefs. LaValle, born and raised in Queens, is definitely an author to watch in the future. (Submitted by Mandi).

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