The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

The Ballad of Black Tom

The Ballad of Black Tom is a reimagining of Lovecraft's "The Horror at Red Hook". It tackles racism and the power balance between whites and non-whites in early-1920s New York. Victor LaValle does a wonderful job setting the scene and developing Black Tom, a.k.a Charles Thomas Tester, prior to shit hitting the fan. I also appreciated the change in POV halfway through; it added another layer to the haunting tale.

Although I haven't read Lovecraft's story, I felt that LaValle succeeded where Lovecraft tends to fail for me: crafting a story that makes sense while simultaneously grappling with the unexplainable.

I recommend picking this up if you enjoy horror or like the idea of Lovecraftian lore but don't love the horror father's execution.

Thank you to Tor for a complimentary hardcover.