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The Half-God of Rainfall

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  13 reviews
From the award-winning poet and playwright behind Barber Shop Chronicles, The Half-God of Rainfall is an epic story and a lyrical exploration of pride, power and female revenge.

There is something about the boy. When he is angry, clouds darken. When he cries, rivers burst their banks. And when he touches a basketball, deities want courtside seats. Half Nigerian mortal, half
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Hardcover, 96 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by Fourth Estate
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  49 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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AnnaG
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a really thought-provoking poem that pulls together the clash of gods ancient and modern, the power of family love against the powers of the world and how to be both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time.

It's hard to compare this to other books, because it's not really like anything I've read before, but if you liked American Gods by Neil Gaiman or the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch, I think you'd like this book; albeit this is a poem rather than a novel.
James Cross
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Three stars isn't a bad review, it's just an uncertain one.

I'm the first to admit a free verse poetry novel is in no way my wheelhouse, and I'm not the intended audience, knowing little about classical and Nigerian mythology and less about basketball (!). However, there was much to enjoy here.

Telling the story of the conception birth and life of a half god, Nigerian basketball player combined with the power and rage of sexually abused female role models is challenging and surreal.

The language
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Charlott
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Inua Ellams is a renowned poet and playwright (The Barber Shop Chronicles). I have seen him read/ perform twice and hence was very excited when his novella in verse, The Half-God of Rainfall, was announced. Thankfully, I received a review copy from the publisher.

The Half-God of Rainfall packs into roughly 80 pages a tale spanning several years, more than a handful of gods, and multiple continents. This is the story of Demi - born to a Nigerian mortal after she was raped by the Greek god Zeus - w
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Simone
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and The Publisher for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Half-God of Rainfall is an unique mix of the modern and the mythological, wonderfully combining the Greek and Yoruba traditions to tell a heart-breaking but all too common story of the abuses women face at the hands of powerful men the world over. For such a short story, so much is covered.

Having heard about the play before the book I was eager to read this as I have really enjoyed Ellams previous work. How
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Victoria
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s
From the award-winning poet and playwright behind Barber Shop Chronicles, The Half-God of Rainfall is an epic story and a lyrical exploration of pride, power and female revenge.

When I read this book was about Gods, I knew I had to give this a look and how Ellams uses Gods, I find completely brilliant in this book. Creating a story where different Gods from different cultures are in a feud against one another, in this case the Greek and African Gods, makes for a book that keeps you reading. The b
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Charlotte Jones
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Going into this I knew nothing about it. I am trying to familiarise myself with poetry more and more so I thought that this would be an interesting read, however I found that the story may have benefited from being a novella rather than narrative poetry. Some sections had more rhythm and felt poetic but on the whole The Half-God of Rainfall could have more suited being told in prose instead of as a poem.

I
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Vivienne
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of Gods and Basketball

My thanks to Harper Collins/4th Estate for an eARC via NetGalley of Inua Ellams’ ‘The Half-God of Rainfall’ in exchange for an honest review. I have since purchased it as an ebook.

In this prose poem Ellams skilfully blends Yoruba and Greek mythology in a story about a gifted young Nigerian basketball player and his mother, who has to protect him from the whims of the Gods.

I am not really someone who reads much poetry though often feel that I should try to incorporate more
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Ashwini Abhyankar
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes, not as often as I would like, but sometimes I do steer away from my usually preferred genres and try something new. This one was just something new and I am so glad that I chose this one to try out because it’s such a fresh and new experience for me that I was just left really satisfied at the end of it.

For a book with a page count of under hundred, this one manages to pack quite a punch. It tells a tale of Yorùbá and Greek deities, spanning a number of years. A story told in verse wi
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Thebes Hadi
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
My sister in law asked me if I wanted to check this book out and I told her why not. It’s not what I expected from her short synopsis The opening kind of threw me off but towards the ending it became fairly entertaining. I don’t want to spoil anything but black women getting their revenge on oppressors is a plus in my book. The Golden State Warriors didn’t need to be included in this book at all. In the end it’s a short story infused with Greek and Yoruba mythology.
Beth Younge
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting collection of work. I was not entirely sure of this was prose or a verse piece. The language used was really good and this helped make the characters stand out more. The story overall was good and I liked how it progressed and had a particular focus when on Demi and Modupe. This was constructed really well and helped sell the story.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Henneh  Kyereh Kwaku
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It worries me that I haven't heard much about this book, probably that's how all canonical books start—they move in the dark.
CJ
An interesting fusion of modern and ancient, Greek and African mythology tales.

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC.
Jess Crafts
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Free Review Copy)
I didn't realise this was poetry when I recieved the arc in exchange for a review. I don't normally read poetry novels, they're not really my thing but this was an extremely well written, emotive and interesting story set between Nigerian and the US. Following a woman and her half god basketball playing son who angers the gods by gaining too much praise. It mixes gods from different cultures though trigger warnings for rape
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