If for some terrible reason you can only listen to one audiobook during this Black History Month, make sure it’s this one. Award-winning narrator Kevin R. Free—who notably narrated Kai Ashante Wilson’s The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps last fall—brings his talent for voices to the streets of Manhattan and the outer boroughs in Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom.
In The Ballad of Black Tom, Charles Thomas “Tommy” Tester is hustling to keep food on the table and a roof over his dying father’s head. It’s not easy for Tommy, a black kid from Harlem making his living by delivering occult wares to a reclusive old sorceress deep in the heart of an all-white neighborhood, but he knows the magic a suit can cast and the invisibility his guitar case can provide when faced with unfavorable glances from suspicious standers-by.
Listen to an excerpt of The Ballad of Black Tom, read by Kevin R. Free:
The Ballad of Black Tom is available in paperback, ebook, and audio formats from Tor.com Publishing! From the catalog copy:
People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.
Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.
A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?
You can find the audio edition on Audible or order the ebook edition at the links below!