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Publisher's Summary

Critically acclaimed cult novelist Matt Ruff makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.

Chicago, 1954. When his father, Montrose, goes missing, 22-year-old army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his uncle George - publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide - and his childhood friend, Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite - heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus' ancestors - they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn - led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son, Caleb - which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his clan's destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism - the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.

©2016 Matt Ruff (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jim N
  • Chicago, IL
  • 04-10-16

An effective mix of influences

Lovecraft Country has as much to do with the horrors of Jim Crow-era racism as it does with eldritch terrors or the cosmic dread of Lovecraft. The connections to Lovecraft's work are present but author Matt Ruff is up to something different. Nevertheless, like some of HPL's work, this book deals not only with cosmic and supernatural mysteries but with questions of heredity and identity. The novel is essentially an interconnected series of stories that revolve around a black family. It can seem a little disjointed at times but the characters are well-realized and distinct. They're the strength of this book and even when the plot wavers a bit, they remain strong. Both Ruff's writing and Kenerly's narration make this a worthy listen.

I gave the book 4 stars. I'd be more inclined to give it 3.5 if that were an option. Either way, I enjoyed it and I recommend it.

38 of 38 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent read, excellent performance

The concept is quite unique and very well executed. A great collection of stories that show us that sometimes the real horrors are the ones we do to each other.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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outstanding

likeable characters with believable strengths and foibles, loved the vignette construction leading to a most satisfying conclusion, capped off by a fantastic performance by kenerly whose distinct voices fit personalities and moods skillfully

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Judge this book by the cover

Any additional comments?

An extended family of African Americans, living during the time of Jim Crow, are swept up into a series Lovecraftian plots. I was intrigued by the cover, and the stories inside live up to the artwork. The story is told in several episodes, each one with a different lead character, and these characters are AWESOME. Their collective interests in books, astronomy, comics, etc. are all an homage to the golden age of SciFi and should leave most readers with a smile on their face. The narrator brought the characters to life without being distracting. Picture sitting on the front porch, listening to your grandpa spin a tall tale, that's what this was like. I really liked this book.

38 of 41 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Solid characters expertly performed.

If you have a live for history and social issues mixed with H.P Lovecraft this is well recommended. unusually well developed characters for speculative fiction. it's been a long time since encountering truly decent and good characters in a bad world.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Interesting Mix of Horror, SciFi, and History

Very rarely do we get to hear the stories as told from the perspectives of marginalized people. It was a joy to listen to the different storylines and see how they were all connected. It also gave me a better understanding into what life what like under the true horror of Jim Crow and the events that occurred in Tulsa. We need more works in horror/SciFi from this point of view. Well done.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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The horror of Jim Crow vs. Lovecraftian horror

A series of connected short stories which pits Afro-American protagonists against supernatural and racist threats. The stories are compelling and entertaining while reminding us of the real horrors that were inflicted on black people in the country in the 1950s. A worthy addition to the expanding range of Lovecraft's influence with a historical twist. Highly recommended!

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt Moore
  • An ex-expatriate repatriated, by choice, back to the U.S.
  • 05-23-16

The True Horror is Us

Amazing story that takes Lovecraft's mythos and bolsters its literary worth by illuminating -- and demolishing -- the canon creator's personal prejudices. solidly written and superbly performed.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Through another's eyes

It's not that often that a book comes along that gives such a frank, straightforward view through someone else's eyes. I would like to thank this author and his editors for their courage and clarity. I love horror fiction, golden age sci fi and the pulps, even when they make me wince. Thanks for so eloquently articulating so much difficult love. Please write more, I can't wait to read it.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Worthy of a Victory Dance

Whoa-- this one is a winner. I had to stop listening several times to do a victory dance! Ruff's 'Lovecraft Country' is a huge demonstration of intelligence, imagination, skills, and reverent appreciation of the early giants of Science Fiction. Despite the difference in genres, Ruff crafted this tale in a way that brings to mind Underground Airlines by Ben Winters. Ruff's development of so many distinct, relatable characters who represent every point on the personality spectrum is spot on. The characters are constantly placed in tough scenarios that challenge their values and beliefs. You're constantly wondering "Darn, what would I do in this situation?" Equally well executed are the pace (nice builds balanced with action that crests and valleys throughout the listen) and the 360 degree views of people and plot. The dialogue was so intimate and realistic that I often felt like an eavesdropper.

Regarding the narration, Kevin Kenerly depicted each gender and vast variety of dialects, moods, and personality nuances very well. One off-putting point that occasionally (maybe a bit more than occasionally) jolted me from the story was his mispronunciation of certain words, e.g. 'milieu' became 'mee-lay.' The good news is the writing and story are both magnetic enough to prevent you from being thrown draw too far for too long.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful