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Brown Girl in the Ring | [Nalo Hopkinson]

Brown Girl in the Ring

It is the late 21st century, and due to the economic breakdown and rising crime rate, nearly every citizen has fled Toronto. The city is a slum, populated by the homeless, the poor, and criminals like Rudy, who uses the power of voodoo to help him control the booming drug market. But also left behind are people like Ti-Jeanne, who hope to use voodoo to help rebuild the city, even as Canada's privileged population turns to Toronto to begin harvesting human organs.
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Publisher's Summary

It is the late 21st century, and due to the economic breakdown and rising crime rate, nearly every citizen has fled Toronto. The city is a slum, populated by the homeless, the poor, and criminals like Rudy, who uses the power of voodoo to help him control the booming drug market. But also left behind are people like Ti-Jeanne, who hope to use voodoo to help rebuild the city, even as Canada's privileged population turns to Toronto to begin harvesting human organs.

To uncover the future voices of science fiction, Time Warner Publishing sponsored a contest that attracted hundreds of submissions. Brown Girl in the Ring was the winning entry, announcing author Nalo Hopkinson to the world as a tremendous new talent.

©1998 Nalo Hopkinson; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"Hopkinson's writing is smooth and assured, and her characters lively and believable. She has created a vivid world of urban decay and startling, dangerous magic, where the human heart is both a physical and metaphorical key." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (40 )
5 star
 (14)
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 (6)
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Overall
4.1 (21 )
5 star
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3 star
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Story
4.3 (21 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Stef 03-15-07
    Stef 03-15-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
    ratings
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    23
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    "Fascinating, unique story deftly narrated"

    Kudos to Recorded Books for creating a line of audio books written and narrated by people of color.

    Nalo Hopkinson's first novel shows exceptional powers of imagination and compassion. Her ear for dialect is superb (well, based on my limited knowledge of dialect) and the narration brings it alive. I am a little disappointed that the narrator is male, since the author and main protagonist are female, but it's a minor complaint.

    Note that as it is a horror genre book, there's a lot of violence and torture.

    If you like Neil Gaiman's works, especially Anansi Boys, you'll like this book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna East Palo Alto, CA, United States 04-05-13
    Anna East Palo Alto, CA, United States 04-05-13

    I love mysteries, action, thrillers, supernatural.... in general I just LOVE a great story!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    14
    7
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    4
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heavy Heavy!!"
    What did you love best about Brown Girl in the Ring?

    I appreciate the story on all of its levels. It presented so many issues. Social and Political, modern practice of ancestral practices, connecting with spirits, poverty, crime.... all exist in this story centered around one woman's quest to find herself.

    This story was colorful, heartfelt. Warm and cold.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story definitely has elements that challenge the western approach to healing and living. It does so in a way that does not demonize those who practice it.

    I love the Author's descriptive writing style, I can connect to the story and all my senses are activated.


    Have you listened to any of Peter Jay Fernandez’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have never listened to Peter Jay Fernandez, and he is amazing! The story is written in a patois and he performs it in a way that is still understandable.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The line in the sand has been drawn.... which side are you on?


    Any additional comments?

    I actually picked up this book a few years ago at the library and I was distracted by other books; I couldn't get through it. I'm glad I found it in this form because it is truly enjoyable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Northern California 02-15-07
    Beth Northern California 02-15-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Island In The Donut Hole"

    Very interesting book full of creepy voodoo, magic and healing. This is a good tale of a girl transitioning to womanhood, going through some tough changes, and stepping into her grandmother's shoes to become the neighborhood healer.
    A little political commentary, a little sex, a little abuse and torture - and a lot of peculiar characters, human and otherwise. Something for everyone.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz Bogart, GA, United States 12-09-14
    Liz Bogart, GA, United States 12-09-14 Member Since 2013

    I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Almost 5 stars"
    Any additional comments?

    I think this story was really something special, even though throughout the first half of the book I wondered if this was the work of a talented, but then inexperienced author. I wondered this because the first half was marked by a lack of sensory detail. I like stories that put me in the setting and let me feel what is happening. The atmosphere here wasn't incredibly immersive, and also the author kept using the same figure of speech to describe character's emotional reactions again and again (everybody's always sucking their teeth in disgust, or sucking their teeth to show some other negative emotion, it gets weird). I thought the story skimped on detail fairly often, though not in a way that crippled it. Altogether, once it gets going this is a really cool story. It's culturally immersive and graceful and full of cool voodoo stuff. The ending was especially fitting and satisfying too. Worth the cash.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Apple St. Thomas , VI, USA 04-21-10
    Apple St. Thomas , VI, USA 04-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Delightful"

    This is now one of my favorite stories. It took me some time to get into it at the beginning, as well as to get accustomed to the narrator. After a couple chapters or so, it quickly picked up the pace and intrigued me with twist and turns to the end. Great job.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billie Oakland, CA, United States 05-22-14
    Billie Oakland, CA, United States 05-22-14 Member Since 2011

    nerdly sparkly goodness

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just spectacular"

    The writing is brilliant, the characters powerful, the narration masterful. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this book, and this performance. I am sad that it's over!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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