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The Changeling: A Novel by [LaValle, Victor]
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3.7 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The combination of Grimm-ish allusion and social commentary might seem pat in the hands of less capable authors, but [Victor] LaValle executes the trick with style. . . . LaValle has written a story full of things to terrify not children but the parents who lose sleep worrying about how best to protect them.”Time

“One of the reasons to read Victor LaValle’s novels is the simple sentence-by-sentence pleasure of them—they offer hundreds of baby dopamine hits, tiny baths for the prose snob’s reward system. His imagination is unusually visual . . . and he has a real flair for the strategically placed f-bomb, which, in my view, is an underrated skill. They detonate when you least expect them, in sentences as otherwise lovely as a tulip. . . . LaValle’s observations about race remain, as ever, both stinging and mordantly funny. . . . And his imagery is a source of immense satisfaction. . . . If monsters are your subject, writing like an angel helps.”—Jennifer Senior, The New York Times

“The troll you’d find in old folklore is of a different ilk than those found in contemporary times—the former lurked in a forest, the latter on the Internet. Yet Victor LaValle magically weaves both into his bewitching masterpiece. . . . Like a woke Brothers Grimm, his clever new spin on the ages-old changeling myth is a modern fairy tale for the Trump era, taking on fatherhood, parenting, marriage, immigration, race and terrifying loss. . . . LaValle impressively maintains his storytelling momentum throughout The Changeling. . . . He not only recaptures the need for fairy tales but makes his essential reading as well.”USA Today (four out of four stars)

“Victor LaValle’s fabulist ode to fatherhood and fairy tales offers a new take on themes as old as time. . . . Throughout western mythology, white men with swords have been the heroes while the rest of us watch, oohing and aahing, from the sidelines. With his genre-bending novel, The Changeling, Victor LaValle updates the epic narrative for the twenty-first century.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Fiercely defies categorization. Written as a self-proclaimed ‘fairy tale’ in a punchy, inviting style, Mr. LaValle’s haunting tale weaves a mesmerizing web around fatherhood, racism, horrific anxieties and even To Kill a Mockingbird. And the backdrop for this rich phantasmagoria? The boroughs of New York.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“I was frequently startled by The Changeling’s piercingly beautiful insights into parenthood, childhood, [and] adulthood. . . . I was completely absorbed by his thorough character sketches, his moving reflections on race and growing up black in New York, his deep, specific focus on the minutiae of parenting an infant—but I was stunned that a book that could move me to tears by page seven. . . . As it happens, this book is a changeling too, and accomplishes a deft, complex bait-and-switch almost halfway through. . . . I loved that this was a novel of black people in New York loving each other and enduring together. . . . I loved seeing Apollo’s relationship with his mother, his best friend Patrice, his sister-in-law, his wife’s friends—and realizing that, in contrast to most books, people’s ethnicities were mostly marked or remarked on if they were white. . . . By turns enchanting, infuriating, horrifying, and heartbreaking, The Changeling is never less than completely engaging. . . . It’s a book that makes me want to seek people out to talk about it, to share together our own stories of reading it.”—NPR

“Fans of the macabre can’t miss the latest offering from prolific horror master Victor LaValle, which hurls us into the most harrowing abyss imaginable: parenthood. . . . Definitely scarier than anything you’ll hear around the campfire.”Vulture

“Nobody is better at combining daily struggles and the supernatural than LaValle, and in helping us understand the convergences between the 99 percent and the things that go bump in the night. In such a city, fairy-tale endings no longer work. But even if there is no happily ever after here, we can still find a fugitive joy. LaValle’s respect for love and the domestic provides a nice counterpoint to the darkness that threatens to overwhelm these characters, without lessening the threat at the story’s heart.”Bookforum
 
“This is a perfect summer horror read.”Houston Chronicle
 
“A fairy tale that embodies all of the values, social issues, and problems of our time—Victor LaValle’s latest novel, The Changeling, is laced with magic and unlike anything else you’ll read this year.”PopSugar
 
“Careful and deliberate in its setup, LaValle’s novel is a magic trick that earns every bit of wonder. It’s so compelling that you won’t be able to look away, even at its darkest moments.”BookPage

“A dark fairy tale of New York, full of magic and loss, myth and mystery, love and madness. The Changeling is a mesmerizing, monumental work.”—Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

“Like a good Coen brothers film, this genre-defying, achingly literate phantasmagoria of a novel will work every nook and cranny of the imagination, taking the reader to places we’re either too afraid to visit or never knew existed.”—Paul Beatty, author of The Sellout

“Absolutely compelling, completely thrilling, The Changeling overflows with menace, wonder, and beauty.”—Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble

“This year, the most unsettling novel I read, the scariest novel I read, and the most beautiful novel I read were all the same one—Victor LaValle’s The Changeling. A father who loses his wife and child in an act of horror must hunt them into metaphorical hell to get them back again. This story feels less written, than channeled. I say this without exaggeration: It’s a masterpiece.”—Mat Johnson, author of Pym and Loving Day

“LaValle has a knack for blending social realism with genre tropes, and this blend of horror story and fatherhood fable is surprising and admirably controlled. . . . LaValle has successfully delivered a tale of wonder and thoughtful exploration of what it means to be a parent. A smart and knotty merger of horror, fantasy, and realism.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

About the Author

Victor LaValle is the author of six previous works of fiction: three novels, two novellas, and a collection of short stories. His novels have been included in best-of-the-year lists by The New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Nation, and Publishers Weekly, among others. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Book Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the Key to Southeast Queens. He lives in New York City with his wife and kids and teaches at Columbia University.

Product details

  • File Size: 8440 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (June 13, 2017)
  • Publication Date: June 13, 2017
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01I85RN4O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,608 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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