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Lucretia and the Kroons (Kindle Single) by [LaValle, Victor]
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Lucretia and the Kroons (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

"Being young doesn't protect you. Horrors come for kids, too" is a lesson Lucretia "Loochie" Gardner learns the hard way in this gripping novella. Loochie is a plucky 12-year-old from Queens living in an apartment complex rife with rumored creatures from the underworld. She struggles to come to terms with her best friend Sunny's ongoing battle with cancer, as the two have been inseparable for years. When Sunny returns home from her latest round of treatment, the girls make a plan to hang out at Loochie's--without parental supervision. But Sunny doesn't show, and Loochie dives into twisted waters in her quest to find her best friend. This fantastical tale by widely-praised novelist Victor LaValle is about children, but markedly for grownups. The author writes as though he too has faced the sobering horrors that childhood can contain. LaValle allows Loochie's heroism real complexity. Encounters with demented crackheads, winged rats and haunted playgrounds push Loochie to confront her many fears, but none are quite as scary as knowing she may lose Sunny forever. --Raya Jalabi

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Product Details

  • File Size: 2827 KB
  • Print Length: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (July 23, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 23, 2012
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008C84HH4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,331 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert C Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Victor Lavalle's new novel The Devil in Silver has received outstanding reviews here on Amazon, and elsewhere; "Publisher's Weekly" just announced that it was one of its top ten literary picks of the fall season: "a mix of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Penguin Classics) and Dante's Inferno". There is a very generous extract from The Devil in Silver included in this eNovella.

The eNovella stands alone as a great bargain, a hundred pages of absolutely top-flight writing:

"The door here was dirty and hung by only the bottom hinge. The door was shut, the room was dark, but from inside Loochie heard the flapping of wings. Dozens of small wings. Or could it be hundreds? As if all the pigeons in Queens had come to this apartment, to that decrepit room, to roost. At least she hoped they were pigeons in there. She couldn't see. But if she'd had any thoughts of hiding out in that room she let them go."

The door in question is in her own apartment building, just upstairs, actually:

"'They were monsters,'" Louis said with some satisfaction. He spoke like a veteran recalling war. 'We had a family of crackheads in this building,' he said, trying to sound nonchalant because he seemed to know that would only scare her more.'...

"'On the sixth floor: 6D. Why do you think everyone is so afraid of that place? The Kroons. That was the family name. Mother, father, five sons, and a daughter. Every single one was a crackhead. I never took the elevator when I was young because one or two of those Kroons would ride the elevator, day and night, just looking for a kid to get on the elevator alone. They'd rob him for whatever he had. Sometimes they did worse.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the best experiences for a reader is to discover a new author. While this was not a 5 star read for me, there was so much good here, and I felt so connected to the words -- they spoke to me, no pun intended -- that I immediately and unhesitatingly purchased The Devil in Silver: A Novel.

I believed Lucretia's world, even when it broke from reality, or *maybe* broke from reality. I believed Lucretia believed everything, and I remembered what it felt like to be a young and sensitive girl in a big, sometimes scart, city. (In my case, Detroit.) The setting of this book incorporates the best and the worst of urban life -- the wondrous and the gritty, and is seen through the eyes of a child learning that the world is a dangerous place, even for children. (Perhaps especially for children.)

I think there is also something interesting to be said about perception being reality. Whether Lucretia's experiences are objectively real or not doesn't matter; all of this is *real to her,* and so it's all real to the reader.

Mr. LaValle has a wonderful instinct for storytelling, and I found myself in the happy situation of the language and plot flowing so smoothly that I floated along, never noticing how far I had drifted from the shore, or -- perhaps more accurately -- how deep into the park I'd wandered with Loochie!

(I'm about 6% into Devil in Silver, and enjoying it quite a bit!)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novella, which serves as a prequel to LaValle's latest novel "The Devil in Silver", is about Lucretia ("Loochie") Granger, a girl who lives with her mother in an apartment in Queens, NY at the turn of the millenium. Her 12th birthday party was ruined by three mean girls from her school who were unwanted guests invited by Loochie's mother. Her best friend Sunny, a girl who lives in the same building, was undergoing treatment for cancer at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis at that time. Loochie saves a portion of her ice cream birthday cake and plans a private birthday party for herself and Sunny once she returns to Queens two months later. Unfortunately on the day of the party Sunny has apparently been kidnapped by the Kroons, the "neighbors" in a sealed off apartment just above Loochie's home, who are the survivors of a family of crackheads that terrorized the children of the neighborhood in the 1980s and 1990s. Loochie climbs the fire escape to rescue her friend, but she is forced to flee for her own life from the murderous, zombie-like Kroons. She enters a bizarre version of Flushing Meadows Park, the site of the two previous World's Fairs in NYC, through a room in the apartment, while the Kroons are in hot pursuit of her.

This was an interesting horror story, but it isn't essential to a reading of "The Devil in Silver", and it wasn't nearly as good as that very enjoyable novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lucretia "Loochie" Gardner is your average twelve-year-old living in Queens. While her best friend Sunny is away receiving treatments for her illness, Loochie is left feeling alienated and alone. She struggles with issues that all young girls go through: fitting in at school, puberty, appearances. So when Sunny finally returns home, Loochie is determined to have fun to make up for their lost time together. That is, until Sunny goes missing and Loochie must find the courage to face the Kroons in apartment 6D and rescue her friend.

Once Loochie enters apartment 6D, she finds herself face-to-face with one of the Kroons. Monsters that are notorious for taking children and burning them. Freeing herself, she runs deeper into the apartment only to find herself in a park, complete with grass, tall trees and even a playground. Running for her life and trying to make sense of her surroundings, Loochie is focused on finding Sunny who she knows is far to weak from her treatments to survive. Imagine Loochie's surprise when Sunny is the one to find her with the help of an unexpected friend.

Lucretia and the Kroons is a well-written short story that is ultimately a story about love and learning to deal with loss. Victor LaValle does a wonderful job showing the reader the emotions Loochie is going through and the ways that she learns to deal with her loss.

This story is listed as a horror but I would personally classify it as a dark fantasy instead because I found the dark elements rather tame to be a horror.

I received a copy of Lucretia and the Kroons via NetGalley when asked by Random House Publishing for an honest review.
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