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Victor LaValle ì 9 read

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 MachineApollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood An antiuarian 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 hi Spectacular A modern fairy tale but not the sweet kind of the sort the Brothers Grimm told a fairy tale with all the gruesome bits left in Apollo Kagwa is not your typical New Yorker; he's a self made bookseller with a love for and and a good nose for sniffing out rare books His father abandoning him as a baby has made him determined to be a good father so when he meets a wonderful strong woman Emma an adventurous strong willed librarian and falls in love and they have a baby he believes all his fantasies have come true His nightmare is only beginningThis is a well told story by a master at his craft I can't wait to read by Victor LaValle

summary The Changeling

The Changeling

E nothing like he’d imagined His uest 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 ueens 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 lo 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 journey to find his wife and to discover the truth about her actions leads him to an extraordinary turn of events that alters his understanding of the world he lives inIt is difficult to talk about The Changeling without spoiling its twists and secrets so abstraction will have to do Appreciating the novel hinges on whether one can accept that our assumptions about everything from race to class to gender is an impediment to true understanding It also hinges on whether one can digest LaValle’s marriage of literary realism and the fantastic which his seemingly effortless skills and imagination are uniuely suited to express You can count me in Dark Fever place he thought he had lost forever This dizzying tale is ultimately a story about family and the unfathomable secrets of the Believing In Faeries people we lo The difference between understanding what one sees and seeing what one’s understanding Buddho permits is central to The Burning Boys 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 journey to find his wife and to discover the truth about her actions leads him to an extraordinary turn of events that alters his understanding of the world he lives inIt is difficult to talk about The Changeling without spoiling its twists and secrets so abstraction will have to do Appreciating the novel hinges on whether one can accept that our assumptions about everything from race to class to gender is an impediment to true understanding It also hinges on whether one can digest LaValle’s marriage of literary realism and the fantastic which his seemingly effortless skills and imagination are uniuely suited to express You can count me in

free download ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ì Victor LaValle

M 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 uickly 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 ar 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 readerChildhood entrepreneurial experiences selling magazines has led Apollo to a career as a book man He learns to value books attending estate sales in search of rare and valuable books Along with friend Army vet Patrice Green they search for preserved First Editions The importance of turning a profit cannot be understated since Apollo's wife librarian Emma is due to give birth to their first child After son Brian's birth the family's financial and emotional health changes Emma experiences severe postpartum depression But waitApollo uncovers a First Edition of To Kill A Mockingbird that he has appraised and authenticated A buyer William Wheeler agrees to pay 70000 for the tome Apollo and Patrice are asked to bring the book to a location of William's choosing This is when Scottish glamour an old kind of magic weaves its way into the midst Illusions and altered reality make a baby no longer a baby This clouded reality comes replete with internet predators watching the principals every move and documenting these moves for nefarious purposesThe Changeling by Victor LaValle is a many layered novel It is additionally a cautionary tale about the dangers of posting family photos and personal information technologically Thank you Mr LaValle for the suggestion of vigilance as a safeguardThank you Random House and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review The Changeling


10 thoughts on “The Changeling

  1. says:

    4ish starsI 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 uarter 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 creepiness and nightmares lurking in the background but for the most part things are just enjoyable floating along Then BOOM Out of nowhere we get a boiling pot of water poured over our heads to wake us up That early instance may be the most disturbing but there's plenty of freaky unsettling stuff throughout the rest of the novel I especially enjoyed the dialogue of the characters and for the most part I liked LaValle's prose as well He does a great job blending real life horrors trends conflicts tensions and status uos with the horrific monsters of fantasy and fairy tales although I found the real life horrors to be much frightening and engaging After reading I realize there are a lot of uestions left unanswered but not in a way that seems intentional Perhaps “plot hole” is too strong a word? It's kind of bugged me and affected my overall experience with the book I feel like it’s the kind of book that reuires a second read to pick up on a few of those Maybe eventually I'll read it again and shed some light but who has time to re read books when there’s a mountainous TBR pile lurking menacingly in the background? Posted in Mr Philip's Library


  2. says:

    455 starsApollo 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 is not their baby at all but some thing 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 pictures keep disappearing from her phone after she sees them so maybe she's out of her mind after all? You'll have to read The Changeling to find outVictor LaValle is able to weave together myths and legends make them believable for the most part and then sets them down in the middle of New York City It turns out the Big Apple does have some mystery and wilderness left in it and Victor treats it all like his own personal playground I felt like the city was a character in this story with all of its history hopes dreams and death the layers are all there By the time the end of the story came around I wished I could reach out and hug it it had seen so much One other thing about the writing that I wanted to mention was the author's ability to reach over and sueeze the life out of the reader's heart Apollo's grief was so palpable at times that I had to set aside the book because my chest hurt my heart hurt I generally consider my horror loving heart to be uite cold but The Changeling proved me wrong I'm sure at this point just over halfway through 2017 that this book will be on my BEST OF list at the end of the year If you find yourself looking for a satisfying story that combines myth and legend with the grit of real life in the modern world I say pick up this book and let yourself fall under Victor LaValle's spell You won't regret itHighly recommended You can get your copy here The Changeling A NovelThanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for my honest feedback This is it


  3. says:

    Spectacular A modern fairy tale but not the sweet kind of the sort the Brothers Grimm told a fairy tale with all the gruesome bits left in Apollo Kagwa is not your typical New Yorker; he's a self made bookseller with a love for and and a good nose for sniffing out rare books His father abandoning him as a baby has made him determined to be a good father so when he meets a wonderful strong woman Emma an adventurous strong willed librarian and falls in love and they have a baby he believes all his fantasies have come true His nightmare is only beginningThis is a well told story by a master at his craft I can't wait to read by Victor LaValle


  4. says:

    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 readerChildhood entrepreneurial experiences selling magazines has led Apollo to a career as a book man He learns to value books attending estate sales in search of rare and valuable books Along with friend Army vet Patrice Green they search for preserved First Editions The importance of turning a profit cannot be understated since Apollo's wife librarian Emma is due to give birth to their first child After son Brian's birth the family's financial and emotional health changes Emma experiences severe postpartum depression But waitApollo uncovers a First Edition of To Kill A Mockingbird that he has appraised and authenticated A buyer William Wheeler agrees to pay 70000 for the tome Apollo and Patrice are asked to bring the book to a location of William's choosing This is when Scottish glamour an old kind of magic weaves its way into the midst Illusions and altered reality make a baby no longer a baby This clouded reality comes replete with internet predators watching the principals every move and documenting these moves for nefarious purposesThe Changeling by Victor LaValle is a many layered novel It is additionally a cautionary tale about the dangers of posting family photos and personal information technologically Thank you Mr LaValle for the suggestion of vigilance as a safeguardThank you Random House and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review The Changeling


  5. says:

    starts like love actually then becomes rosemary's baby then becomes jurassic park


  6. says:

    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


  7. says:

    I think this book went over my head I cannot be uite sure but I do think so I had the overwhelming feeling of just missing something here – and I cannot uite put my finger on what that was Bear that in mind while I try to figure out my thoughts while writingIn this book we follow Apollo and his wife both before they meet and after they have had their son For about a third of the book there is some menace lurking but mostly the story is whimsical and uite lovely until suddenly it shifts gears in the most traumatic way possible and Apollo’s life spin out of controlThis book is genre defying in a way I usually absolutely adore – it is fairy talesue in its whimsy and its freuent re telling of familiar stories it is horrifying beyond measure in a way that makes It seem uaint it is a social commentary cleverly disguised as a page turner it is a book about family and love and trust and the lengths we can go And writing this down makes me want to change my rating but ultimately there were long stretches here where the book lost me I found Apollo a difficult character to root for in the single mindedness of his approach He reacts than he acts and I like how this mirrors the way Germanic fairy tales are structured and flip flops in his understanding of what is going on in a way that made being so close to him frustratingThe tonal shift I spoke about earlier first works brilliantly – the silent horror of the earlier scenes are full of foreboding and impressively rendered I shudder to think of the first scene of Emma receiving a message that then disappears – so simple and so effective and build the perfect crescendo to that scene if you read the book you know which one I mean After that the book seems to lose a bit of steam important scenes are told in flashbacks some strands of the story never go anywhere and the reader is expected to go along for the ride – which sometimes worked better than other timesI think ultimately my enjoyment or maybe sometimes lack thereof comes down to genre preference The whole book felt so unfair And I do not deal well with unfair It makes me feel anxious and stressed and doesn’t compel me to pick a book up But nevertheless this is in parts a brilliant book with many many clever things I will be mulling over for some time to comeI received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Canongate in exchange for an honest reviewYou can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog


  8. says:

    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 life and this feeling never lets up even after the really funky stuff starts messing with the MC I felt warm and wrapped snugly in the story in a way that I rarely do or at least not this deeply Maybe it's because of the new parenthood threads or maybe it's because of the geeky book nerd outlook or maybe it's because the deepest thread in the novel happens to be one of the darkest myths handed down through the ages but anyway that I looked at it I was investedFrom high hopes to deep stress to tragedy horror and a long wrought uest full of very emotional reveals this novel manages to put us through the ringer I loved all of these characters And I mean love love I'm still thinking of them in the same way that I keep thinking of Black Tom It's the realization amazing ability that all these characters come right to life and stay with usAnd of course it's the story too and what a mindf that was


  9. says:

    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 journey to find his wife and to discover the truth about her actions leads him to an extraordinary turn of events that alters his understanding of the world he lives inIt is difficult to talk about The Changeling without spoiling its twists and secrets so abstraction will have to do Appreciating the novel hinges on whether one can accept that our assumptions about everything from race to class to gender is an impediment to true understanding It also hinges on whether one can digest LaValle’s marriage of literary realism and the fantastic which his seemingly effortless skills and imagination are uniuely suited to express You can count me in


  10. says:

    THE CHANGELING by Victor LaValle is so damn brilliant Mash up of complex parental anxieties life in Trumplandia and dark fairy tales


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