Larhonda Boone's Reviews > GraceLand

GraceLand by Chris Abani
Rate this book
Clear rating

U 50x66
's review
Jan 14, 2011

really liked it


We follow the protagonist, Elvis, through his coming-of-age in Nigeria; a country raked with poverty and violence. The story bounces between life before his mother died and his life after, which takes a terrible turn once his father, Sunday, quits his job with the hopes of winning a local election. Sunday uses alcohol to diffuse his hopelessness, all the while, leaving Elvis to fend for himself in their ravaged-torn landscape. We meet a variety of characters, family and friends alike, (The King of Beggars, Redemption, Oye, etc.) that ultimately shape Elvis into the man he becomes.

"Graceland" is a moving story, rich with detail and horror. A world of violence, fear, indifference, and struggle, Albani conveys a true sense of survival in an honest and shattering way. A revealing, provoking and worthwhile read!

*For the Scribbler:

Description, setting, and pace. Albani's "Graceland" moves slowly, which is a good thing, because you need the time to appreciate Albani's incredible talent for detail. You are not sitting on a sofa absorbing Elvis' life, but you are instead, there next to him as he watches a "necklace of fire", or rests on his tattered mattress watching rats hold onto floating sandals in a flooded room. Albani can not only place you on the scene, but he can also make you feel every ounce of desperation, hope, fear and yes, pain. I'm still shuddering.


Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read GraceLand.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.