Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Search Sweet Country” as Want to Read:
Search Sweet Country
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Search Sweet Country

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A brilliant first novel from Ghana portraying a crucial period in the nation's history--a poet's story of Africa that has already provoked critical attention in Britain.
Paperback, 308 pages
Published November 1st 1988 by Faber & Faber (first published 1986)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Search Sweet Country, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Search Sweet Country

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  69 ratings  ·  18 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent stuff - very much worth checking out. If you are interested a quick google will bring up a number of good reviews from various newspapers etc that are worth reading if you are curious

Mcsweeny's just brought out a nice looking hardback from what I can see, so this obviously is no longer as buried as it once was.
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: writers
Shelves: africa
Astonishing book! It's west African stream-of-consciousness. I've read it several times but have never finished it because it makes me have to put down the book and write, myself. I pick it up whenever I feel stuck, and it frees me. A wild, wild book.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-lit, africa
A novel set in 1975 Ghana. It's not entirely fair to call it a plotless novel, as there are several plot threads winding their way through the narrative, but the plot is really beside the point; the book is mainly a critical yet loving portrait of Ghana's capital city, Accra, and its people. There are venal politicians, intellectuals, religious people, small-time merchants and hustlers, officious policemen, even a witch who flies above the city and reads the hearts of its people. (Partly because ...more
Tony Gualtieri
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This strange and beautiful book, full of amazing imagery, is like nothing else I've ever read (except, of course, Major Gentl and the Achimota Wars, another novel by the same author with similar properties). There's no real plot, but there are several interwoven tales. The characters are memorable and differentiated, but the setting -- Accra in 1975 -- is the central figure of the book.

The prose is overwhelmed by a kaleidoscopic series of metaphor, anthropomorphism, proslepsis, hyperbole, synec
Leslie Street
Jun 29, 2012 rated it liked it
I wanted so much to love this book. When I read the introduction and Binyavanga Wainaina says,
"The finest novel written in English ever to come out of the African continent," I want to agree. But this book was much harder for me to get into than I thought. In fact, I had to start over and over again trying to read this book. It is not an easy read. But at the same time, I felt like I had to finish it. It took me a long time and a lot of concentration. When I got to the end, I realized it is bea
Jake Berlin
there's definitely poetry in this book's language (no surprise, given the author), and at times it can be a fascinating look at ghana in the mid 1970s. but the cast of characters is a bit scattered, and the narrative doesn't stick with any one of them for long enough to make you care. by the end you know who everyone is, but by that point it's too late. the author also has a tendency to get deep in the intellectual woods, and have his characters talk about their country in an unrealistic manner ...more
May 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
This complicated, unique book came with my McSweeney's "book club" membership, and despite mostly hanging on through the end, there wasn't much of a connection. The writing almost feels like a fever-dream, or a dream-world, enveloping the reader in the spiritual/cultural/political world of Ghana to which of course I have no knowledge. So, it was a struggle. There are passages I love, and a character or two that piqued interest. This novel requires some knowledge of Ghana, it's cutlure and storie ...more
Nana Fredua-Agyeman
Search Sweet Country (Heinemann, 1986; 352) is the first novel by the Ghanaian poet, Kojo Laing. It expanded what the author had already started started with his poetry, his unique use of words, his ability to make words turn, somersault, split and do some weird, but adorable, gymnastics. As is the foibles of poets, Laing's poetry seeped unrelentingly into his prose in a lovely kind of way.

continue here
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
A hat for the world to keep its cruelty under, a polite hatred, silence breeding a new architecture, a wall loving your knees, a love more than legs, marriage filling a room, losing little ironies, eating the future, houses taking on loneliness, she only saw the jaws still eating, flowers snarling and growing in war, something strange at the back of your eye, flesh turning into ghost turning into semiflesh, again and again.
Chad Walker
I really, really wanted to like this one more than I did. Some of the sentences were really beautifully written. I think Laing and I are looking for different things aesthetically. I'm not sorry I read it, but it was a struggle, and I can't realistically see myself going back to it.
Anna Josephine
Jun 29, 2012 marked it as to-read
Started wanting to read this book when I read this review of it:
May 26, 2012 added it
Shelves: hated-it
It's nonsense. It reminds me of Lowry's Under the Volcano. I think I need to be drunk to read it clearly. A quote from a review on the back cover says "dizzying prose" and I cannot agree with the underlying meaning in that chosen phrase. Sorry, McSweeney's, but now I doubt your choices. IMO
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. Must-read. Expanded my ideas about how the English language can be used.
Jun 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I wanted to like this beautiful book, but just could not get into it. Perhaps I'll try again.
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, but so far I am finding it a very hard read. The prose is very constructed and rich, maybe it would be better as a mother tongue english speaker.
Tyrese L.
rated it really liked it
Jan 13, 2015
rated it it was ok
Aug 17, 2019
Un Moine Vexé
Crackling good prose and a vibrant portrait of a city.
rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2017
George Ann
rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2019
rated it it was ok
Sep 16, 2016
Mcsweeney's Books
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2012
Jonathan Rimorin
rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2014
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2014
rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2014
Tara McLellan
rated it liked it
Apr 29, 2017
rated it did not like it
Jun 14, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jan 17, 2017
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fragments (African Writers Series)
  • This Earth, My Brother
  • AMA
  • Harvest of Thorns
  • Ghana: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah
  • Tail of the Blue Bird
  • Sweet and Sour Milk
  • Praying Mantis
  • The Blinkards And The Anglo Fanti
  • Down Second Avenue: Growing Up in a South African Ghetto
  • Powder Necklace
  • Harare North
  • How to Write about Africa
  • Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing
  • Dreams in a Time of War
  • My First Coup d'Etat: And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa
  • A Walk in the Night and Other Stories
  • Jagua Nana
See similar books…
B. Kojo Laing or Bernard Kojo Laing (1 July 1946 – 20 April 2017) was a Ghanaian novelist and poet, whose writing is characterised by its hybridity, whereby he uses Ghanaian Pidgin English and vernacular languages alongside standard English. His first two novels in particular – Search Sweet Country (1986) and Woman of the Aeroplanes (1988) – were praised for their linguistic originality, both book ...more