BLACK LEOPARD RED WOLF, by Marlon James, Doubleday Canada, Penguin Random House BAD REVIEW


Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy’s scent—from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers—he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a saga of breathtaking adventure that’s also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truths, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all.

approx. 620 pages

Out February 5, 2019


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

And… crap!

This book…oh this book…arg…this book. How do I describe you?

Like a meandering nightmare filled with unrelatable violence, violence against women, lewd and crude behaviors and unforgivable acts of pleasurable violence with little explanation for all. Sure, there’s that.

Now put that nightmare on drugs, being strung up by the fingernails over a raging pool of lava close enough to singe off the toe hairs… now you’re getting closer.

Add a pinch of melodrama and boisterous meaningless verbal diarrhea, then perhaps, you are close enough to envision this book.

No satisfaction came from reading this book. I felt the story was not validated in its content, nor justified in its bi-polarized flinging of intellect. Big deal, the crazy man can use big words, but can he actually write? Not if you ask me. The author writes with an assuming air of all-knowing that threatens sexism if that is possible and exploits the expectations of a man and how man will react in circumstances of the bizarre and freaky.

There was no justified reason for specifically disliking this book, there’s only a bad taste left over similar to something undigestible. It quivers and burns in your belly, flipping distastefully about as the words tangle and mesh together, until the concept sours completely in the gut of freak-out craziness, before flowing through the floodgates of profound absurdity towards the bowls of misconception, and Hell itself. How’s that for melodrama?

Twisted. That is a good way to describe this book. To think this man won awards for his writing… His scribblings are indicative of a man going through withdrawal, or verging on a complete and total mental breakdown.  If this is what is prevalent in the writing world as talent, then the world of literacy is in danger of becoming the dumping grounds of literate junkies and mental fallouts.

Sorry, but this one… was just wrong. I can’t even recommend it without sticking a hazardous material sticker on it.

I gave it:

The gold star is for the cover. It was really pretty.

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