I enjoyed Every Day is for the Thief, but I wasn’t wowed by it. I can see why Teju Cole is hailed as a great writer, but the format of this book just...moreI enjoyed Every Day is for the Thief, but I wasn’t wowed by it. I can see why Teju Cole is hailed as a great writer, but the format of this book just got in the way. It is written in almost a memoir style, and I found myself checking midway through to make sure that it was in fact a work of fiction. It is very introspective with more telling than showing. A sort of a day-in-the-life book in which the author takes the reader along from one place to another. He does a good job of portraying the country’s corruption, so that you feel as though you are witnessing it firsthand, but each encounter is merely a stand-alone glimpse rather than part of any larger story. For someone without general knowledge of the corruption in Nigeria this would be a real eye-opener. Even knowing of the Internet scams, and some of the criminal mentality that exists there, I had no idea how widespread it was, or that it is just taken for granted as a normal way of life.
The things I liked the most were the keen observations on things such as Nigeria’s disconnect from reality, how it can simultaneously be one of the most religious, happiest and corrupt places in the world. Along the same lines was a part about reason versus superstition and the cultural impact on a society that values one over the other. The author had a masterful way of expressing these ideas.
I am glad I had a couple days to let it sink in before writing my review. I was initially a bit underwhelmed, but when I found myself discussing this book later on I knew it was a sign that it had a deeper impact on me than I’d first thought. I will definitely read another book by this author. I have had Open City, on my to-read list since it came out,and I am still looking forward to reading it someday soon.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.com in exchange for my review. (less)