An Orchestra of Minorities
Umuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall. The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice.
Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. Bsacrifice.Bondedwoman, ...more
Agbatta-Alumalu, the fathers of old say that without light, a person cannot sprout shadows. My host fell in love with this woman. She came as a strange, sudden light that caused shadows to spring from everything else.
Wow. How do I even begin to review this book? All words seem inadequate. It is exceptional. It is beautiful. And it is unlike anything I've ever read before.
It's challenging, too. I don't want to sell it to readers who won't like it. It's a clever and dense literary work, h ...more
Having seen a profusion of rapturous reviews for this African tale, I had very high hopes. And what a gorgeous title too! I was beguiled and ready to be seduced. "Let me at it!" I cried.
Hurrr-rrr-chh! (A screech of brakes, or a needle skidding on vinyl).
Alas, I just didn’t take to it.
I know I’m a fusspot, but I really didn’t warm to it. And I’m truly sorry for that.
The omniscient ...more
Nonso was a man of silence. He felt total emptiness and perpetual loneliness. His father died leaving him i ...more
Nonso the chicken ...more
I feel torn between the considerable merit of this tale about the loss of dignity and the fact that I had a very hard time finishing the book because of its repetitiveness and its excessive love for overly detailed descriptions: For what it has to say, this novel is at least 200 pages too long. Obioma tells the story of Chinonso, a young Nigerian poultry farmer, who falls in love with Ndali, a student of pharmacy. Ndali's family does not accept Chinonso be ...more
What makes this story so unusual is that it is narrated by Chinonso's 'chi ...more
An Orchestra of Minorities is a complex and beautifully emotionally written st ...more
As part of my re-read I came across two articles in the Millions by the author which I found very helpful for understanding the writing style that the author has deployed is and it’s very deliberate contrast in its expansive prose and layers of reality to what he sees as the minimalism and literalness that has come to dominate much Western literature. Both articles locate his writing firmly in a N ...more
This is nature.
This is how a man is.
This is what a man does.
On & on & on not questioning, not pushing, not offering a different vision of the world. Sexual violence aga ...more
This is a superbly written, expertly structured, often captivating, One Hundred Eighty Proof Tragedy, Through and Through, for which it may suffer in GR ratings. Which is too bad, because it is an intelligent and particularly unique, heart-bruising novel which will make each longlist and likely be shortlisted later this year.
Describing the story in much detail may well trash the tragedian effects, but I think it's okay to--as I am o ...more
This is my ninth book from this year's Booker longlist, and perhaps the most difficult to assess objectively. Obioma's starting point for the novel is ambitious - using the Odyssey to provide the narrative framework for a novel about modern Nigeria, and using an Igbo spirit to narrate the story.
The Igbo spirit world has been explored extensively in two other novels I have read in the last couple of years, firstly Ben Okri's Booker winner The Famished Road a ...more
In style, ...more
The novel is in its entirety a confession by a spirit--a personal god in the Igbo culture (I'm Nigerian, and from the East but not from the Igbo tribe). This god is ...more
The fact that I remain unsure after 512 pages, concerns me.
A more spoiler intensive summary :(view spoiler)[
Obioma has totally squandered whatever vague appreciation I had for his story by where this ended up.
Man with mother issues, ignores ...more
"By that time, already, his life as he once knew it had separated from him like an ill-fated shadow hewn from its bearer and thrown over the cliff into a bottomless pit of oblivion, and even through all these years, he could still hear its dark voice screaming as it continued its fall."
An Orchestra of Minorities is an ambitious foray into Igbo cosmology, a tiny portion of which I was introduced to by Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart almost two years earlier. Simultaneously alien in its setting and accessible in i ...more
“Oh God! Nonso, they are! It is like a coordinated song, the kind they sing during burial ceremonies. Like a choir. And what they are singing is a song of sorrow. Just listen, Nonso.” She stood silent for a moment, then she stepped back a bit and snapped her fingers. “It is true what your father said. It is an orchestra of minorities.”
An Orchestra of Minorities is a remarkable book: in the tradition of Things Fall Apart, it tells a Nigerian's story in a blend of Igbo and Western European techniques/language/mythologies, ...more
After trying for so long, I finally got my hands on the novel!! As anyone who has seen my posts know, I loved THE FISHERMEN and believe Obioma is probably one of the top 5 greatest writers writing right now. He is doing what no one else is doing, and were this writer European or American, he would be better celebrated. I'm trying to develop a career around studying the works of this great writer.
An Orchestra of Minorities is a cosmic no ...more
I was taken in early. Chinonso, a young Nigerian chicken farmer, sees a young woman looking over the edge of a bridge. He stops his truck, grabs a couple chickens, runs over to the woman and tells her not to jump, and, to illustrate why not, tosses his two chickens over. Then he drives off. We're left wondering about this young man who seems so gallant and cruel at the same time, and the odd and innocent way he created some kind of intimacy out of n ...more
This is a phrase the narrator of the book repeats again and again as he watches the behaviour and choices of human beings. Our narrator is a guardian spirit - chi - of a young poultry farmer, Chinonso, in Nigeria.
I’ll back track slightly. The book opens with two pages of diagrams explaining Igbo cosmology. Because whilst. as the book blurb explains, this story can be seen as a “contemporary twist on Homer’s Odyssey”, it is, at the same time, a book groun ...more
I loved Obioma's The Fisherman and this had the promise of being a truly epic second novel, a retelling of The Odyssey in modern day Nigeria, told through the voice of an Igbo mythological chi.
This is the story of Chinonso, a poultry farmer who falls in love with an upper class woman who's family disapproves of the relationship. Chinonso decides to sell all his property to pursue a Western education to win over his lover's family, only to encounter betrayal and trag ...more
But the more I think about it after finishing it recently, the more I dislike this book and its protagonist.
Sold as 'a re-imagining of The Odyssey' I can't help but feel that heroes should be held up to better than 8th century BC standards.
She rattled a string of cowries and performed the ritual of authentication to ensure I was not an evil spirit pretending to be a chi:She ...more
‘What are the seven keys to the throne room of Chukwu?’ she said.
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|Play Book Tag: An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma - 5 Stars and FAVORITE||12||34||Feb 21, 2019 07:53PM|