Book Notes: Ballad of Black Tom

Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Read Dec 8, 2021 - Dec 10, 2021

The Ballad of Black Tom mixes Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythology with the racism of 1920s Harlem. Although the plot doesn’t feel particularly novel, it is elevated by the depth of the main character, Tom. We see his relationship with his father, his community, and how the violence of the world twists him into rage and desperation.

Book Highlights

Walking through Harlem first thing in the morning was like being a single drop of blood inside an enormous body that was waking up.

He didn’t look like a wealthy man, but it was the well-off who could afford such a disguise. You had to be rich to risk looking broke.

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