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The Changeling

af Victor LaValle (Author, Narrator)

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,3017614,396 (3.8)45
"The wildly imaginative story of one man's thrilling odyssey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after having seemingly committed an unforgivable act of violence, from the award-winning author of 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 unfathomable secrets of the people we love"--… (mere)
  1. 10
    Mexican Gothic af Silvia Moreno-Garcia (TooBusyReading)
    TooBusyReading: Both involve some horror and creepiness, but I like The Changeling more than I liked Mexican Gothic.
  2. 00
    The Ballad of Black Tom af Victor LaValle (sturlington)
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» Se også 45 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 74 (næste | vis alle)
Having grown up on Disney movies and fairytales, I was intrigued when I discovered there was such a subgenre as dark fairytales. With that being said, this book was what I expected, and at the same time, it wasn't. If you know what a changeling is, you'll know generally what this book is about.

I loved the tale of fatherhood. Being from NYC myself, and having lived here for over 20 years, and having worked in almost every borough, I also loved LaValle's depiction of NYC. It made me feel like I didn't know my own city, and there are some places mentioned that I never knew of, such as North Brother Island.

The first half of the book, based in reality, was extremely well done, and the characters drew me in, wanting to get to know them more. The second half started to get a little strange (this coming from a lover and writer of fantasy) and the fantasy half of the novel seemed to move very quickly.

While it has trolls and witches, family secrets, and an element of fantasy, it also has a very relevant message, a cautionary tale against oversharing on social media (we all know someone who does that), and speaking of the ease in which someone can get into your most personal spaces and aspects of your life via the internet. I did wish for a little more time spent on the witches and trolls, as they seemed like they had some interesting lore behind them.

Four stars because there were several slow parts that I had to force myself to get through, and lots of long, descriptive scenes. Was also a little confused about the relationship of the MMC to his best friend...at times, they didn't seem like friends at all.

Written in third person and while there is no graphic sex, there are a lot of F-bombs thrown around, and there's a decent amount of violence. Overall, well written and well told, and I'll be looking for LaValle's other works. ( )
  galian84 | Dec 1, 2023 |
This is one of only a few books that I had originally given a lower rating of 4 stars but then after sitting with it for a while decided it was actually a 5 star read for me. I think about this book often since reading it and the scenes still sit vividly in my head. The writing was just excellent. ( )
  rianainthestacks | Nov 5, 2023 |
One of my favorite type of horror books. There's just something off and unsettling, but you can't quite say what it is. I liked that it was unclear for most of the book whether there was something supernatural going on or if certain characters were just crazy. Excellently written and I loved travelling all over NYC with Apollo. ( )
  LynnMPK | Jun 29, 2023 |
4.5*

I always say that I'm no fan of magical realism; that I like my realist fiction to be realist, my magic definitely, clearly supernatural. But perhaps it's the term "magical realism" which I don't really care for, not the genre itself, and I'd be openminded enough to enjoy it if branded as "fantasy" or "horror" fiction.

Take Victor LaValle's "The Changeling". It starts off as an ultra-realist depiction of a young, black family in New York. The relationship between book-dealer Apollo Kagwa and librarian Emma Valentine is tenderly depicted, from their tentative courtship, to their marriage, to the birth of their son Brian, named after Apollo's estranged father. We sense Apollo's enthusiasm at being a new dad and LaValle's observations about "New Dads", 21st Century fathers sharing family duties with their wives, are wry but spot-on. Can realist fiction get more real than this?

Unexpectedly, the novel changes gears. The blurb speaks of an "unspeakable act of violence", which I will not reveal so as not to spoil its gut-wrenching effect. Even such a horrific crime, however, remains, unfortunately, within the realm of the possible, as watching the 8'o clock news will reveal. It is the justification of the act which propels us into the mythical. What follows is a Gaiman-esque, mind-bending journey into an alternative and unlikely New York, peopled by characters, creatures and plot-tropes which would not have been out of place in a Scandinavian epic. And there is, indeed, the feel of a medieval Northern saga in Apollo Kagwa's journey into the heart of the tragedy which has struck his family.

Surprisingly, the more fantastic the story becomes, the more it becomes rooted in the present. The realities of contemporary urban living, including our fixation on social media, not only feature in the novel, but are an intrinsic aspect of the plot.

The Changeling had me hooked and, like an olden-day bard, LaValle keeps us hanging onto his words. What this novel certainly shows is that myths are just a different way of portraying the world, a magical depiction of the everyday. Isn't that what magical realism is all about?

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2019/11/The-Changeling-by-Victor-LaValle.html ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Feb 21, 2023 |
I've had this book on my shelf long enough that the only thing I remembered about it was that the plot sounded interesting enough for me to buy it, once upon a time, and that someone had recommended it online. So I went into it pretty blind (I picked it up for a reading challenge that called for a book with a blue cover.)

One thing I had forgotten was that this book is pretty fantastical, so the further it progressed, the more surprised I was. For me, the plot flowed pretty organically, and the theme of stories and fairy tales was interesting and layered. I liked the main characters and their relationships, and even the ending was pretty decent.

The only thing that docked a star for me was the fact that despite how tragic this got at some points, it didn't really hit me on an emotional level. Maybe that's in part due to the magical realism, which made the twists all kinds of unrelatable.

I'll definitely read more from LaValle in the future. ( )
  tuusannuuska | Dec 1, 2022 |
Viser 1-5 af 74 (næste | vis alle)
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LaValle, VictorAuthor, Narratorprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Shimizu, YukoOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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For Emily, Geronimo, and Delilah. My Supreme Team.
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This fairy tale begins in 1968 during a garbage strike.
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"The wildly imaginative story of one man's thrilling odyssey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after having seemingly committed an unforgivable act of violence, from the award-winning author of 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 unfathomable secrets of the people we love"--

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