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Brown Girl In The Ring (1998)

av Nalo Hopkinson

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
9674116,083 (3.69)74
A fantasy novel of urban decay whose heroine turns to Afro-Caribbean magic to help a boyfriend escape gangs. The gangs are enforcing a contract to produce a human heart for transplant, even if the boyfriend has to kill for it. The setting is a futuristic Toronto.
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» Se även 74 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 40 (nästa | visa alla)
I read this book back when I was in school (many years ago it seems), back then it left an impression on my 17 year old self. It was a book I actually enjoyed getting as homework.

I decided to revisit it, and I'm glad I did, a lot of the characters and storyline were muddled up in time, and I feel that I got a fresh read out of this book again.

Having grown up in some of the areas that are in this book (and more importantly around the time this book was published) , it definitely brings me a bit closer to the story. ( )
  ohmg | Dec 14, 2020 |
This is a book that Goodreads has been nagging me to read for aaaaages, but sadly it didn't really work for me. The setting felt too far-fetched – maybe it would've made sense amidst the white flight and urban decay of 1970s North America (even though the book was actually published in 1998), but with 2020 vision it's pretty hard to imagine the Canadian/Ontarian governments just abandoning downtown Toronto. None of the main characters are particularly sympathetic; Ti-Jeanne spends most of the book being a fawning idiot over her deadbeat ex Tony, Tony makes terrible decisions at pretty much every turn, and the grandmother, Gros-Jeanne, is a grouchy hardass. Nearly all the dialogue is written in an Afro-Caribbean dialect, which wouldn't be a problem if the book was otherwise engaging but I didn't find it so. And the ending is basically just a deus ex machina (Ti-Jeanne summons the spirits and they fix everything).

Even though I didn't like it, I don't think this is the kind of objectively bad novel that nearly everyone would hate. Horror fans might appreciate it more than me, because (despite Goodreads classifying it as fantasy) it's basically a horror novel in a dystopian/post-apocalyptic setting (with lots of explicit gore). Some people might feel that the richly detailed incorporation of Caribbean culture and legends outweighs the book's flaws. So if you really want to read it, don't let this review stop you… but be warned that characterisation and setting are not really its strong suits. ( )
  Jayeless | Jun 29, 2020 |
An engaging book from the very first page. The magical realism added a mystical beauty to the story, and the women were strong, as they are in real life when facing non-stop violence from men. And the violence gets pretty bad, even gory at one point.

This is a story about a woman who claims the powers of her ancestors and the land. The characters are complex and the dialogue is absolutely amazing in the way the words flow like music. The world created in this story is realistic and mythological. I didn't want the story to end. ( )
  SonoranDreamer | Dec 9, 2019 |
Downtown Toronto has been abandoned—the wealthier citizens have fled to the suburbs, and roadblocks are in place to keep out what they consider the riffraff. A barter economy and traditional medicinal remedies have sprung up, as well as opportunistic gangs. Ti-Jeanne’s grandmother, Mami, does a brisk trade in the medicine side of things; unfortunately, Ti-Jeanne’s boyfriend (and the father of her child) has been involved in one of the worst gangs. There is great evil lurking in this new world, and Ti-Jeanne has to channel her spiritual abilities to fight it.

This was a compelling book. It was dystopia with dashes of magical realism: the various gods that came to interact with the humans made for some powerful scenes. The pages practically turned themselves. There was one really gross scene where someone was flayed alive, and I turned the pages a LOT more quickly at that point because I was eating lunch when that scene came up D: But wow did Hopkinson ever pack a punch with her descriptions. I’m going to be thinking of that scene for weeks.

This is a great book if you like speculative fiction set in Canada, books focusing on female protagonists, and stories that involve interaction between gods and humans. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 27, 2019 |
Brown Girl in the Ring is a standalone fantasy/horror book. This was my first time reading anything by Nalo Hopkinson. Even though I have a couple complaints, I enjoyed the story more and more as it progressed.

There are a few POV characters, but mostly the story focuses on a young, single mother named Ti-Jeanne. She has been having strange, terrifying visions. Meanwhile her ex(ish) deadbeat boyfriend Tony, the father of her young baby, has gotten mixed up with a dangerous posse led by a man who practices dark magic.

Although I didn’t find the book scary, I’d say it definitely leans toward the horror side of fantasy. There are spirits, dark magic, possession by spirits, and a fairly high amount of violence. And the inevitable tarot cards make one appearance. These are actually the horror tropes I tend to enjoy more, as opposed to the “monster books” (like vampires or zombies or whatever) which often become tedious to me. The author was born in Jamaica and I believe the story is based on Caribbean mythology which I was completely unfamiliar with, so I also enjoyed that aspect. Most of the dialogue is written in a Caribbean dialect. A few sentences required re-reading before I could parse them, but for the most part it wasn’t difficult to follow. Mostly it was just different grammar.

So for the most part I enjoyed it. I liked the writing style, and it had a different and unique vibe versus other books I typically read lately. However, I did think the story was a little predictable. I seemed to know where things were going well in advance, except for some of the events toward the end. I also got frustrated with Ti-Jeanne’s obsession with Tony. I felt like it was belabored more than necessary to get the point across to the reader and it grew tiresome to read about. There were also a few events that didn’t quite cross the line into being too convenient in my eyes, but they definitely toed that line.

I had a really hard time deciding on a rating. I’m comfortable with giving it 3.5 stars, but I had trouble deciding whether to round up or down on Goodreads. I eventually decided to round down. 3 stars doesn’t properly represent my enjoyment level and it makes me feel a little stingy, but I can’t justify 4 stars given some of my complaints. I still thought it was a solid read and I’d be interested in trying other books by the author at some point in the future. ( )
1 rösta YouKneeK | Feb 6, 2019 |
Visa 1-5 av 40 (nästa | visa alla)
The plot took on an intensity that literally propelled me through the pages. I struggled over the first fifty or so, but read the next two hundred in one sitting. When I closed the book, the patois of its voices went on speaking in my head for days...I can only add my own voice to the chorus already proclaiming it to be one of the best debut novels to appear in years.
 

» Lägg till fler författare (2 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Hopkinson, Naloprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Messier, LindaOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Puckey, DonOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Dedicated to my father, Slade Hopkinson. Daddy, thanks for passing on the tools of the trade to me.
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As soon as he entered the room, Baines blurted out, "We want you to find us a viable human heart, fast."
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Wikipedia på engelska (2)

A fantasy novel of urban decay whose heroine turns to Afro-Caribbean magic to help a boyfriend escape gangs. The gangs are enforcing a contract to produce a human heart for transplant, even if the boyfriend has to kill for it. The setting is a futuristic Toronto.

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