What I’m Reading: The Haunting of Tram Car 015

Off The TBR_ What I'm Reading

This is going to be a quick post because it’s 8:30 PM and we just got home and settled for the night after taking the kids to tutoring after work and then getting dinner. I want to get to reading, and I’m probably going to keep an eye on the Iowa Caucus results.

I know I just posted a What I’m Reading post like two days ago. These will probably be spaced out a little more in the future as I typically read about one book a week, but I only had about 30 pages left in Legacy of Ash before I posted about it, and my current read is a novella which I can finish in one or two days.

My Current Read


The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark
Pub Date: February 19, 2019

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 returns to the alternate Cairo of Clark’s short fiction, where humans live and work alongside otherworldly beings; the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities handles the issues that can arise between the magical and the mundane. Senior Agent Hamed al-Nasr shows his new partner Agent Onsi the ropes of investigation when they are called to subdue a dangerous, possessed tram car. What starts off as a simple matter of exorcism, however, becomes more complicated as the origins of the demon inside are revealed.” – Goodreads blurb

Last year I read Clark’s The Black God’s Drums and loved it. This year I decided to pick up another one of his stories and this one was the next obvious choice. Ever since it came out I’ve seen nothing but good reviews for it, which seems to be the trend I see for everything Clark writes.

Last night (Sunday night) I read about half the book. I expect to finish it tonight after writing this post. So far I’m enjoying it but…maybe not as much as The Black God’s Drums. Now…only being half way through the book that can still change. What I will say is that The Haunting of Tram Car 015 isn’t what I was expecting. Truth be told I’m not sure what I was expecting but Clark has surprised me a little with some of the choices he’s made with the narrative and characters. These are good surprises mind you. It’s inventive and definitely different than what I usually read which is also very good. There’s some interesting things going on with the alternate version of the world he’s developed, with identity, agency, and gender. The book is paced and structured nicely. All-in-all I’m enjoying it and looking forward to how it ends.

I’m also not sure how to classify this one. Is it urban fantasy? Is it science fiction? Is it a retro-Afrofuturism? Something else?

If you’ve read The Haunting of Tram Car 015 let me know what you thought. Have you read any of Clark’s other works?

– Jason

5 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Haunting of Tram Car 015

  1. Like you, I was surprised by Tram Car. I wasn’t wild to find myself reading a buddy cop book, but I loved the world-building and the nuances of the supporting cast and ended up delighted by the developing romp. I want to read the companion short story (A Dead Djinn in Cairo)!

    Liked by 1 person

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