Download The Ballad of Black Tom Audiobook

The Ballad of Black Tom Audiobook, by Victor LaValle Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Victor LaValle Narrator: Kevin R. Free Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2016 ISBN: 9781427273802
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People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn't there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father's head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his black skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their trained cops. But when he delivers an occult page to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?

“LaValle cleverly subverts Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos by imbuing a black man with the power to summon the Old Ones, and creates genuine chills with his evocation of the monstrous Sleeping King, an echo of Lovecraft’s Dagon… [The Ballad of Black Tom] has a satisfying slingshot ending.” – Elizabeth Hand for Fantasy & ScienceFiction

"[LaValle] reinvents outmoded literary conventions, particularly the ghettos of genre and ethnicity that long divided serious literature from popular fiction."
--Praise for The Devil in Silver from Elizabeth Hand, author of Radiant Days

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Quotes & Awards

  • “LaValle’s novella of sorcery and skullduggery in Jazz Age New York is a magnificent example of what weird fiction can and should do.”

    Laird Barron, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All

  • “Shirley Jackson Award–winner LaValle cleverly retcons H. P. Lovecraft’s infamous story ‘The Horror at Red Hook,’ retelling it with a new protagonist…The story adeptly addresses social and racial issues that were central to urban life at the dawn of the twentieth century, with obvious resonances and parallels in the present. Those familiar with Lovecraft’s story might get a little more from this novella, but it stands well on its own.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A February 2016 Gizmodo Pick
  • Among shortlisted titles for Locus Awards - Nominee, 2017
  • Nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards, 2016
  • Among shortlisted titles for World Fantasy Award - Finalist, 2017
  • Nominated for Bram Stoker Awards - Nominee, 2016
  • Among shortlisted titles for Hugo Award - Nominee, 2017
  • Among longlisted titles for NPR Best Book of the Year, 2016
  • Among shortlisted titles for Nebula Awards - Nominee, 2016

Listener Reviews

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  • 4.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 5 Steve | 8/2/2017

    " This is a remarkable short novel. It works as both a entry in the Lovecraft domain and a powerful story about the psychological impact of racism. "

About the Author

Ramón de Ocampo, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, was a cowinner in 2018 of the Audie Award for Best Multi-Voiced Performance. A graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, he has been seen on television, film, and stages all over the world, including recurring roles on such television shows as The West Wing, 12 Monkeys, Sons of Anarchy, and Medium. He is the winner of a prestigious Obie Award for his stage work.

About the Narrator

Kevin R. Free is an audiobook narrator and winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award. Known for his work with young-adult novels, he has read titles by Rick Riordan, Walter Dean Myers, and Joe Haldeman. In 2011 he was named a Best Voice in Young Adult and Fantasy from AudioFile magazine for his narration of Myers’ The Cruisers: Checkmate.