Marlon James ì 7 Read
Ears earlier Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy The band is a hodgepodge full of unusual characters with secrets of their own including a shape shifting man animal known as LeopardDrawing from African history and my. It seems rather simplistic to say the book isn t enjoyable especially since I doubt that s what the author was aiming for in the first place but it s certainly no easy fare either way While it s sold as a fantasy novel it s styled in the vein of the classical poetic tradition an inventive and challenging blend of imagination myth and history Of course the African foundation brings with it different types of stories and forms than those which underly the GreekRoman mythic tradition but the same fundamental uestioning is at its heart Like Ovid s Metamorphoses it s an interconnected compilation of stories featuring representations of violence and transformation throughout Here the overarching narrative is the tracking of a lost child but this is a book of movement and journey change and discovery There s so much to it than this one tale instead it s a meandering exploration of an unknowable world And yet it s precisely this which is its downfall The pacing is uneven and the whole experience one of crazy disorganisation It reads like a dreamscape full of portent and stark brutality The writing is often staccato list like with small well crafted sentences that are a perfect foil for Marlon James ability showcasing his striking imagery and unusual connections Yes it s beautiful at times but for me at least emotionless There s so much power in the description so much said with so little my father was looking to win not to play How much history and painful knowledge is in those few words How much does it say about the relationship between father and son And yet because the structure reads like this happened and this happened and this happened I could see these moments and what they re supposed to mean but I couldn t feel them Interactions are like theatrical exchanges statements than conversation everything performative and apparently profound Characters have limited realism some act as symbols some merely a means of upping the violence levels still further When read all at once it s an endless and eventually numbing litany of misery and horror that loses any meaningWhat s even distancing is the sordid humanity The myth I read and I mean real myth not the sanitised Disney versions the it feels like an endlessly repetitive orgy of rape and violence both human and divine And this is no exception The misogynistic narrator is obsessively sexual and the book is filled with references to and descriptions of abuse rape gang rape borderline bestiality and other sexual weirdness that seems to have no real relevance Right in the opening pages Tracker taunts his jailor for wanting to have sex with a child I don t usually do trigger warnings but this book should have big flashing neon signs Actually I don t really know how much of this stuff was in the book as a whole was but it felt like too much Altogether tiresome and unnecessary It takes a lot to make me flinch but the amount of times I wondered why the hell I was continuing to read this book was way freuent than I d usually put up with And why Because it s Marlon James Because he s this cool as shit writer and I m the one missing something Maybe I am but I can t bring myself to care that muchWould I recommend it No Not as a novel to sit down and lose yourself in As an exploration of folklore and myth sure As an example of a particular style of writing definitely All I d say is before you pick up this book know what you re getting into ARC via publisher
Summary Black Leopard Red Wolf
In the first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy myth fantasy and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter He has a nose people say Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three y.
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Thology and his own rich imagination Marlon James has written an adventure that's also an ambitious involving read Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters Black Leopard Red Wolf explores the fundamentals of truths the limits of power the excesses of ambition and our need to understand them a. By now one can easily identify certain features that define the Jamesian style cinematic violence shameless sexuality perverse sharp humor and wit flawlessly rendered settings and virtuosic rhythmic language There is also the strong presence of the fantastic ghosts and spirits obeah women and demons who haunt the pages of his visceral storiesBlack Leopard Red Wolf finds Marlon James at the peak of his powers unafraid to shed the cloak of realism that won him the Man Booker prize in favor of a full blown epic fantasy saga And at a time when genre snobbery is at an all time high In the hands of this master novelist the genre s conventions are blown apart and reassembled as something bold and subversive aware of its capaciousness but incredibly nuanced and carefully built It is a novel that resists categorization and description set as it is in an impeccably and exhaustively researched world of folklore and myth drawn from regions of Central and West Africa and exploratory of contemporary themes of gender euality and political corruption ueer identity and the exploration of love and glorious sex between black men The characters in this novel are sublimely realized So much care went into their conception and I was stunned by the depth and range of emotion MJ was able to coax from his sundry band of flawed creatures Defying the Western belief in one definitive version of a story BLRW is structured as an oral epic in which stories lead to stories which lead to yet ultimately providing the reader with a conundrum of reliability who tells the truth and whose story is being told Marlon James chooses to leave that entirely up to the reader There are many elusive layers of detail to sift through from the very beginning a test of endurance almost asking do you really want to hear this story But once past its shadowy prologue the story proceeds in a frenetic rush of action that totally engages the senses creating an insanely compulsively addictive reading experience Read this for the beautiful depiction of ueer love that is the true heart of the novel a total subversion of masculine isms and male sexuality in literature Or read it for the dejected women who rail against a corrupt patriarchy giving voice to the trauma and abuse suffered at the hands of thoughtless men Read it for the thrill of the uest the adventure replete with monsters and demons cities in the sky and markets where witches trade in baby parts among countless other darkly fantastic elements The immensity of adventure in this novel lends itself to an immensity of purpose which takes familiar novelistic themes and fantasy genre tropes and radically molds them into a form both new and hypnotic in its scope and imaginative fearlessness