March 15th, 2016


Victor Lavalle, The Ballad of Black Tom

Got this from the library yesterday afternoon and finished it yesterday evening. It's a slim volume- a scant 150 pages- but that's reading like the wind for me. So yes, eminently readable. The premise too is right up my alley: 'sorcery and skullduggery in Jazz Age New York', with a black protagonist trying to make his way in that hard and unforgiving time.

What no one mentioned, of course, was that this was Lavalle's Wide Sargasso Sea response to a Lovecraft work I'd never even heard of (for very good reasons, quite apart from my detestation of Lovecraft and all his squamous phosphorescences works.)

So, um, yeah. Rivers of London it is not, most emphatically. I applaud it as corrective, but the whole Lovecraft thing defeats me completely. The pleasure is non-existent, the style ridiculous, and the ideas damnable, as Lord Chesterfield did not say, not even the original.