September 17, 2019, 03:58:37 PM

Author Topic: Black Leopard Red Wolf  (Read 1353 times)

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Black Leopard Red Wolf
« on: February 20, 2019, 11:32:59 PM »

Is anyone reading this?  In the 90s I never would have imagined GQ doing a piece on a fantasy author!

https://www.gq.com/story/marlon-james-black-leopard-red-wolf-is-an-african-fantasy-epic-for-the-ages

Offline Saraband

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 10:27:09 AM »
It has been getting A LOT of publicity, and the cover is *beautiful* - so I've also been curious to hear thoughts on it. Looking forward to some fantasy faction insights on this  ;)
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Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 12:14:59 PM »
 I really liked 'A Brief History of Seven Killings' and I was ecstatic to hear about this. I'm really hoping to get my hands on it when I have more money.

Offline Saraband

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2019, 08:42:02 AM »
I ended up buying the book when I saw it at my local independent SFF bookshop. I'm reading something else at the moment but will share my thoughts once I get to it!

(The cover is really gorgeous though.)
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Offline JRTroughton

Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 08:23:56 PM »
The Guardian were pretty damning, I think? Will give it a try at some point.

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2019, 09:42:24 PM »
About 80 pages in.I'm enjoying it but can imagine a lot of readers being mislead by the African Game of Thrones advertising (it really isn't) and if you are more of a 'rollicking good adventure with straight forward prose' fan you will probably struggle with it.  I would probably compare it to say Ishiguro's The Buried Giant - in that you have characters travelling across a mythical, dream like landscape -however with an African setting and a great more sex and violence.
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Offline Saraband

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2019, 11:22:32 AM »
Your description sounds much more appealing to me than the African GoT one, actually. I still haven't picked it up, will probably do so now after I finish my current read.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2019, 04:59:43 PM »
Quote
The Guardian were pretty damning, I think? Will give it a try at some point.

Yeah I tend to look at the guardian reviews for tech and buy stuff they never consider, for writing there is some crossover but I never reject a read just because they do.

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2019, 05:20:58 PM »
Your description sounds much more appealing to me than the African GoT one, actually. I still haven't picked it up, will probably do so now after I finish my current read.

The writing is incredible. Marlon James does short sentences for action brilliantly effectively.
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Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2019, 07:36:46 AM »
@Saraband did you ever get around to reading this?

Offline Saraband

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2019, 08:19:05 AM »
Bought it but still on the shelf, as I dig through my TBR pile. I'm a slow digger  ;D
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Offline Magnus Hedén

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2019, 01:45:32 PM »
Just got it from the library, will start it in a week or so.
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Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2019, 05:10:07 AM »
I'm probably going to hit this piece by piece over the next year b/c I'm kinda busy, unless i get pulled under.  But damn it's GOOD!!!!

On the first page: "I smell the dried blood of executed men: I hear their ghosts still screaming. Your bread carries weevils, and your water carries the piss of ten and two guards and the goat they fuck for sport. Shall I give you a story?"

Can there be a better line than that in the opening to any book ever? I'm only 2 or 3 chapters in and we've got murder, infanticide, female circumcision/genital mutilation (depending on your perspective), domestic violence, rape, child molestation, beastialty, fratricide, idk even know what else I lost count.

On the minus side, I know I will struggle with this book just because the MC is so utterly repulsive. It's why I struggled quite a bit with Jorg despite loving Mark Lawence's writing style (I really enjoyed Jalan however, I guess I can stomach some kinds of terrible people more than others... like i enjoy deliciously evil, especially when they're an antagonist but damn sometimes I really have a hard time with utterly repulsive protagonists). Anyway, the cool thing is that while this is certainly grimdark, it's not monotonous depressing grimdark, it's more like defiant angsty grimdark.   Still i don't like him.  At all.

Also, first person usually irritates the hell out of me, but here he actually uses it really well.  The idea is that it's a story being told by a prisoner, so first person fits perfectly with the conceit, especially since you're going to get another POV in sequels so there's some cool unreliable narrator stuff to parse out over time.

What I LOVE about the book is how rich the voice is.  Marlon James really delivers both his worldbuilding and his characterization seamlessly through voice.  I really wish i had a fraction of his talent.  It's absolutely beautifully done, and makes for an engaging and absorbing read, enjoying the gondola ride despite the fact that it's the sewer of humanity he's taking you through.

Also I really like the way he writes sex.

Anyway, so far this is definitely up there in my top reads of all time.  I'm excited to hear what you think @Saraband @cupiscent and @Nighteyes

Offline cupiscent

Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2019, 06:39:00 AM »
Wow, dude, I am conflicted. I mean, that paragraph of terrible stuff... I'm like, "WHYYY would I want to read this??" and I'm a strong Nope on most of Lawrence's main characters (taking those as exemplars of close-narrators who are terrible). But I AM a fan of strong and vivid voice.

My library has it, so I'm adding it to my to-read pile. But I may come back here and give you a very stern look, Darewood. :D

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Black Leopard Red Wolf
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2019, 06:52:38 AM »
Can I ask why those Three members thoughts? Personally I would have asked for Lanko his the grimdark expert 😁

Anyway this Book doesn’t feel like my kind of story. Sorry it sounds like beyond redemption by Michael R Fletcher all over again.

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