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Old 05-18-2021, 05:19 AM   #3147
taosaur
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The Solar Clipper audiobooks actually dropped off of KU while I was finishing Half Share, and I wasn't feeling the re-listen by the time I got to the end of that book, anyway, so I went with another random Audible sale selection: The Elementals, by Michael McDowell.

The good news is, I finally got a good narration - R.C. Bray did a great job with both the characters and the languid atmospherics of this Southern Gothic haunted house story. Those atmospherics were the book's strongest suit, and worth the ticket price.

But. This book also featured the most egregious "magical negro" I have ever encountered in any medium. Odessa Red is a borderline mammy caricature, the sum of whose character is that she knows stuff - spooky stuff. When not referring to her by name, she is always "the black woman." When moving her limbs, it is always a "black hand," a "black arm," her "black skin." Her blackness is treated as alien and borderline supernatural at roughly 15 minute intervals. She's part of the main cast of about half a dozen characters, all the rest of whom have actual character traits (except possibly "the wife," who gets much less page time), but her sole character traits are that she's black and spooky and takes care of all the white folks. It's ugly. It's kind of nuts that this book from 1981 got an audio production as recently as 2016.

Not sure where I'm heading next. For the most part, I'm still more caught up in eyeball-reading Olan Thorensen's Destiny's Crucible series.
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