One man s thrilling journey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after seemingly committing an unforgiveable act of violence, from the award winning author of the The Devil in Silver and Big Machine.Apollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood An antiquarian book dealer with a business called Improbabilia, he is jusOne man s thrilling journey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after seemingly committing an unforgiveable act of violence, from the award winning author of the The Devil in Silver and Big Machine.Apollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood An antiquarian book dealer with a business called Improbabilia, he is just beginning to settle into his new life as a committed and involved father, unlike his own father who abandoned him, when his wife Emma begins acting strange Disconnected and uninterested in their new baby boy, Emma at first seems to be exhibiting all the signs of post partum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go far beyond that Before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act beyond any parent s comprehension and vanishes, seemingly into thin air Thus begins Apollo s odyssey through a world he only thought he understood to find a wife and child who are nothing like he d imagined His quest begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma s whereabouts Apollo then begins a journey that takes him to a forgotten island in the East River of New York City, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest in Queens where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever This dizzying tale is ultimately a story about family and the unfatho
The Changeling One man s thrilling journey through an enchanted world to find his wife who has disappeared after seemingly committing an unforgiveable act of violence from the award winning author of the The Devil
4ish stars.I was hesitant to read this because I didn t love the author s most recently written novella, The Ballad of Black Tom, but after a few key recommendations, I decided to pick it up And I m glad I did I loved the characters and enjoyed LaValle s creepy, atmospheric, magical NYC The first quarter of the book or so is really chill We meet the characters, particularly married couple Apollo and Emma, who are cool and relatable, and who we grow to enjoy spending time with There s some creepi [...]
Apollo Kagwa has abandonment issues His mother Lillian, Ugandan by birth, has raised him alone since age four, when father Brian West vanished For years, Apollo has had recurring dreams of a man knocking on the door and pushing his way into the apartment He envisions being carried through a fog and wakes up screaming Lillian is forced to leave Apollo alone for hours in order to keep the family afloat Apollo, a self contained, bookish child is a voracious reader.Childhood entrepreneurial experien [...]
4.5 5 stars Apollo Kagwa grew up without a dad and now that he s a brand new father himself, he is determined to be there for every second of his son s life Every second, that is, until his wife suddenly, crazily, gets it into her head that their baby isnottheir baby at all, but something else entirely Apollo thinks she s out of her mind with lack of sleep and overwhelming responsibility, but is she really If so, who keeps sending her pictures of their baby on her cell phone Then again, the pict [...]
This is my second Victor LaValle and after the Ballad of Black Tom having washed through me and left me wanting so much , I was very, very happy to be reading this It has a very different feel in one way, but in another, it s exactly like coming home Being in the story you always want to be in What do I mean The devil is in the details It s very homey, feeling like delightful snapshots of family and home, full of the sweet and the bitter and the genuinely odd stuff that always comes along with l [...]
The difference between understanding what one sees and seeing what one s understanding permits is central to psychological realism in fiction For Victor LaValle, this difference can also be explained when our understanding is asked to cross the boundary between the real and the uncanny His dark fable, The Changeling, is the story of Apollo Kagwa, a book dealer whose storybook romance with librarian Emma Valentine is devastated when Emma disappears after committing an unimaginable crime His journ [...]
THE CHANGELING by Victor LaValle is so damn brilliant Mash up of complex parental anxieties, life in Trumplandia, and dark fairy tales.
This intelligent, intriguing modern day fairy tale starts out in what seems to be a normal world It begins with the birth of the protagonist, Apollo, a child of mixed race to Lillian Kagwa a Ugandan immigrant and Brian West a white parole officer His father had held him as a baby telling him he was Apollo, the God This becomes a mantra for Apollo later in life Brian West disappears by the time Apollo is four years old, but Apollo continues to have dreams, or maybe nightmares, about his father re [...]
Oh yes That s what I m talking about This is the sort of book that reignites the passion for the genre I ve read LaValle s Devil in Silver, which I liked a lot, but this dark fairy tale for adults definitely takes the cake And slaughters it It starts off like many fairy tales doce and normal story of a man who realizes there s to life than buying and selling books, proceeds to fall in love and start a family Fatherhood agrees with him, all is dreamily welluntil his perfect life comes to a viole [...]
4.5 stars An excellent book that deftly melds the monsters of the old world with those of the new LaValle s voice feels firmly a product of his time and place and it provides a rich multi dimensional aspect to the characters and their story.The story itself is contemporary realism that slides into fantasy that slides into horror and circles back again Real and fantasy horror combine in both subtle and sharp ways to create a violent and at times gory tale Running throughout is an unavoidable soci [...]
Check out my video review 4.5 starsOkay Wow So This was my first Victor LaValle book, and I feel like he s going to be on the same level as Neil Gaiman for me I loved his writing style DAMN LaValle knows his way around a sentence Seriously I think sometimes people conflate great prose with flowery prose, but that s not really the case LaValle knows when to be flowery, when to be curt, when to be formal, when to throw in a curse word He s a master, and a delight to read.As for this book, specific [...]
I m compelled to compare LaValle to Stephen King, especially the domestic novels Like King, Victor LaValle ably mines the struggles of ordinary families, and intertwines extraordinary circumstances, via supernatural horror and gristle He does this to emphasize bitter realities a palimpsest of fractured Maurice Sendak fables, with strained domestic life that ironically underscores rather than distracts from everyday family problems What I like better about LaValle is that he does it without plati [...]
3.5THE CHANGELING is a fairy tale for the modern day A real fairy tale, the kind where people die and the words happily ever aftet are never uttered It s horror, urban fantasy, and regular fantasy all put together It portrays the dangers of internet oversharing, trolls, and being a person of color on the streets at night But the heart of the story is how love will make a parent go to any lengths to save their child It isn t flawless, there are a few plot elements that don t make sense and it is [...]
Reading this book felt exactly like turning the crank on one of those souvenir flatten your penny machines you turn it over and over and over and over, with very little resistance, imagining all the time that it s what you wanted to be doing, and it feels like you re making no progress whatsoever, but you keep doing it anyway for what seems like forever and then, clunk, you re done you just paid 26c and got back a penny that is no longer worth anything at all.
I am still reeling THANK YOU NIV FOR THIS RECOMMENDATION I was so affected at some passages that I was actually nauseous Lavelle is a masterful storyteller For me, this was a horror story filtered through a fairytale That said, it s hopeful in a way that reminds me of some of my favorite horror stories, like the Babadook Highly recommend I would not, however, recommend this story to new parents Or pregnant readers O_O
starts like love actually, then becomes rosemary s baby, then becomes jurassic park.
3.5 stars I m not a fan of fantasy or magical realism books, but LaValle s modern urban fantasy was very well written and certainly kept me reading until the end The first half of the book, which was well grounded in realism, was the most interesting and exciting portion for me, as LaValle truly provided an insightful look into the mind of a modern new parent and the struggles of raising an infant in the social media age As the story progressed, and the elements of magical realism slipped in, I [...]
This book is the equivalent of going to an amusement park and getting on a carousel, then realizing it s actually bumper cars, but somehow ending up in Haunted Mansion.Some people will see this as a good thing, others will be frustrated by it Personally, I ended up really enjoying the novel, especially since it did bring most of the elements together towards the end Victor LaValle certainly has a lot to say about parenting, the dangers of oversharing online, the stories we repeatedly tell to oth [...]
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Don t even know what to say about this book It took my breath away and the ending was just fantastic.I saw that some of my friends on were reading this and I already had plans to read this because I loved LaValle s last book The Ballad of Black Tom I didn t think that this book would even hit what I loved from the previous book but it did This book was just the best of the horror genre I think I heard someone once say the way to best judge a story is if it sounds true And this book felt true to [...]
This received a Kirkus star and many good reviews, but for me the attempt at merging the magical realism fairy tale atmosphere with modern day technologies and parental anxieties missed the mark I felt like there were many good ideas here, but possibly too many all thrown in together.
The first half of this excellent dark fairy tale arrests the reader with its quirky and compassionate characterization, its parade of pleasurable incidents such as the protagonist as an enterprising young lad turning a profit off of selling magazines to elderly neighbors for reasonable prices or the same, much older obviously, helping his wife birth their son in a stalled subway car while a troupe of teenage dancers keep away the camera phones of crass spectators , and LaValle s deft hand at poi [...]
This is a story about the bad things that happen to parents who spam too much of their kids lives on Facebook.I first discovered The Changeling on a list of Dark fairytale books , a list which included several books I had already read and loved but unfortunately this one just wasn t my cup of tea.Started out slowly introducing the characters and their backgrounds and relationships and I should be caring about them, shouldn t I Yet they felt somehow dispassionate, hollow I couldn t seem to connec [...]
It s a lovely New York tale that starts back in 1968 when we re introduced to Lillian Kagwa and Brian West They would marry and eventually have a boy named Apollo By Apollo s fourth birthday Brian West had disappeared It s a familiar story simply told with only the slightest hint of magic.Apollo grows up, meets his wife and they have a son they name Brian He s your typical father in this connected age, uploading dozens of photos of his boy to Facebook, looking for the flurry of likes A doting fa [...]
Wow This guy is good Real good A true storyteller.If you aren t reading Victor LaValle, then I suggest that you remedy that Like right now.You will thank me later.
This book took awhile to really hook me as it was such a slow story, but it finally did around the 40% mark or so After that, it was an odd mixture of present day urban living and use of technology combined with fairy tale elements I kept waffling back and forth trying to decide if this combination worked for me or not, but in the end I thought that it was so unique that I went with 4 stars.I listened to the audio book read by the author, and he read pretty slowly, even for me But, I thought tha [...]
Right from the very first sentence This fairy tale begins in 1968 during a garbage strike Victor LaSalle signals what he intends to do weave the magical spell of fairy tales with the gritty reality of present day New York.Indeed, the opening is grounded in that reality with memorable images the birth of our protagonist Apollo Kagwa s child on a stalled A train with no midwives in sight, and a particularly horrific scene later on where Apollo is tethered by a bike lock to a hot water pipe What ha [...]
Absolutely amazing A creeping, riveting tale of terror that genuinely scared me Easily one of the best horror novels of 2017.
Obviously I really enjoyed this book,I gave it four stars after all But I still have mixed feelings,and I m not sure how I feel about it all First things first I highly recommend not reading the summary before starting the book It gives away stuff that doesn t happen until a quarter into the book It by no means ruins the plot,but still I had only glanced it over,so to me the shock factor was very much there I had no idea that was coming So just a fair warning Going into this totally blind might [...]
Dark urban fantasy here.I really enjoyed most of this novel I knew from the onset that the story was going to venture off into some dark fairy tale aspects, and surprisingly, my favorite part of this book was the leadup to this The story was patiently set up, and knowing that things would venture off, and not having any idea how or when this was going to happen, gave the normalcy of the story a unique sense of tension.Very well done I thought for sure this was going to be one of my top reads of [...]
It s difficult to review this book, because the action that propels the horror in this novel occurs well into the plot But you know changeling folklore, right If you don t, essentially, goblins steal a newborn child and leave a look alike in the baby s place The parents then have to trick the baby goblin into revealing itself.It s a dark fairy tale You can t help but wonder how many infants were forced to undergo the changeling tests when this tale was told orally Maybe they had colic Maybe jaun [...]