March 2019 TMB Book Club Selection: Black Leopard, Red Wolf, by Marlon James

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by Truman, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    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
     
  2. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Chapter 1

    Oh man this is trippy. Traveling to an underworld and back. LMAO at the King probably drowning himself again cause the queen is insufferable.


    Chapter 2

    So the dad he killed/ fucked up is really his grandfather? And now he's free? Also, is getting circumcised what theyre talking about when separating the woman from man? I think so but not sure

    Chapter 3

    I feel like this would be easier to digest if I was a bigger reader of fantasy. Some of this stuff is out there for me. Or if I was more knowledgable of West African mythology. Got shape shifters, little people hitching rides on shoulders ect. Madness, I tell ya!
     
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  3. BigRed

    BigRed Well-Known Member
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    I’m excited about this one. Was fixing to read it soon, so I am glad I can participate this month. I’ll likely start next week.
     
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  4. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    This has been a tough read so far. It’s good and a like it but it’s a grind. I think a lot has to do w all the world building in the fantasy domain. I’m not a big fantasy reader so a lot of time I’m like “wait - did i just read this crazy shit that i think I did? “

    Then I take a bit to process it all.
     
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  5. Willpépé

    Willpépé Miles of D.
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    Through two and I have no idea what the fuck is going on. Going to keep at it though.
     
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  6. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Chapter 8.

    So those Omaluzu/roof walkers we met earlier cant follow tracker from after life? Im sure we'll run into them again.

    Im glad we got at least a coherent story, I think/feel like there's some direction for the book now. Tracker is goign to look for this boy. I still dont quite understand this puddle lady wants to get the boy so badly.

    Im also pretty frustrated that every story is spawns 3 side stories. Im kind of hitting a wall on this book

    Chapter 9
    He said to the inquisitor "Your Mad King" and that he lost his 3rd eye. I assume the king caught him. What makes this boy so special, besides being the son of the elder that told the King to fuck off

    Everywhere they got, people trying to kill them. Im kind of hitting a wall with this book but Im powering through.
     
  7. BigRed

    BigRed Well-Known Member
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    I had the same thoughts as you on chapter 2. On chapter 6 now and trying to comprehend everything going on. It doesn’t help that I mainly listen to the audiobook?

    Is there a lot of gay sex going on? It might be me mishearing things, but it sounds like he talks about sec with boys. And the leopard talks about man on man sex too. Also, what the hell is he talking about when he says the woman inside him?
     
  8. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Yeah. Lots of gay sex. Tracker I think bangs anything that walks, dude or chick or whatever. Kava, I think started his sexual life. Jerked him off while they were watching that mating ritual where the tribe were banging each other. That scene reminded me of Crocodile Dundee where hes in the trees trying to spy on the tribal ritual. lol

    Kava and Leopard are banging, which is why Kava gets a bit jelly of Tracker ( sorry I dont remember if that is covered yet in 6, but its just a minor spoiler if not).

    anyway - lots of gay sex, although Tracker said he's banged women too. I think he'll just bang anything with a hole.

    I think Im right about circumcision is the act of separating the men from 'women inside them' . Still havent gotten any confirmation though.

    I listened to a podcast that interviewed Marlon James. He said African mythology is full of people and gods that shift genders/species/states of being. He based his story in that. I dont think there's really a binary sexuality in this world. Characters will just fuck anything that attracts them at the moment.

    Basically any character can be just about anything. A man , a woman, a human, an animal, a puff of smoke, a puddle of water ect.

    Shit is confusing as hell. There's no way I would be able to do this an an audiobook. Ive had to re-read so many things before I comprehended it. And I still dont think I fully do
     
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  9. BigRed

    BigRed Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the clarity. All that matches my understanding of what I know is going on. I’ve had to rewind and slow down the audiobook speed many times to pick up on everything.
     
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  10. BigRed

    BigRed Well-Known Member
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    Anyone else struggling through it? I’m starting to lose interest. About 80% in.
     
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  11. Willpépé

    Willpépé Miles of D.
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    Yes! I am finding myself re reading quite a bit as well. It's not through fascination either, my brain just isn't into it. Not sure I am going to finish this.
     
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  12. Willpépé

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    Welp, I didn't make it, tried a few more times and just didn't grab me. What's on the plate for April?
     
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  13. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I didnt want to be the first one to admit it. lol. I'll try to pick it back up later, maybe.

    As Ive said -Im not a huge fantasy reader outside of ASOIAF, so maybe guys who like that stuff more will like this, idk.
     
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  14. ShuPoor

    ShuPoor What is any ocean but a multitude of drops
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    This book is depraved. I just finished chapter 8.
     
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  15. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    It’s pretty crazy. I’m bummed I couldn’t get into it.