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Sozaboy

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  690 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Sozaboy describes the fortunes of a young naive recruit in the Nigerian Civil War: from the first proud days of recruitment to the disillusionment, confusion and horror that follows. The author's use of 'rotten English'—a mixture of Nigerian pidgin English, broken English and idiomatic English—makes this a unique and powerful novel.
Paperback, 188 pages
Published April 28th 1995 by Pearson (first published 1985)
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Orsodimondo
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa, nigeria
L'UOMO DEVE VIVERE
A me sozalettore, il racconto in prima persona di Mene evoca un fiume di coscienza, più che un flusso: ho per caso trovato un novello Ulysses nel continente nero?

description

Ma il sozalettore può sentire anche odore di romanzo picaresco.

E avere l'impressione che anche Mark Twain sia passato per queste pagine.

Epperò, questo libro si potrebbe recepire come una storia d'amore: Mene va a fare il soldato e diventa sozaboy per amore della sua Agnes che ha più tette che anima.

description
Le luci dell’imp
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Samir Rawas Sarayji
I’m fond of reading Nigerian Literature. Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ben Okri, Helon Habila are amongst my favorite authors… and now, I include Ken Saro-Wiwa. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of having grown up in Lagos (as an infant to the end of my teens) that echoes the setting in the back of my mind while I read these authors’ literary works. Whether it’s the traditions of the ethnic peoples, the woes and struggles of daily life under oppression (by brutal military dictatorships), cor ...more
dely
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, 0-nigeria
I was really curious to read this book after have seen Black Gold. The movie doesn't talk about Ken Saro-Wiwa, but it deals with one of the most tragic problems of Nigeria: multinational oil companies that exploited the land without worrying about the inhabitants' health or the environment. Ken Saro-Wiwa has been killed in 1995 for his pacific fight against these oil corporations and because of the corruption of his government. At the presentation of Black Gold they talked a lot about Saro-Wiwa ...more
GrauWolf
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comunque, all'inizio, tutti erano contenti a Dukana.

Il romanzo dI Ken Saro-Wiwa è ambientato nella regione subsahariana dell'Africa, la Nigeria. Anche se, in realtà, Sozaboy potrebbe essere ambientato in qualsiasi altra nazione africana dilaniata da una guerra civile o contagiata dalla corruzione di un governo instabile.
La narrazione avviene attraverso la tecnica del flusso di coscienza e l'utilizzo di un linguaggio descritto dall'autore come Rotten english ossia un amalgama di pidgin nigeriano
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Tittirossa
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 03-best-100
Saro Wiva è -era, è stato giustiziato - un famosissimo personaggio pubblico nigeriano (autore per la radio e la tv, scrittore, saggista, anche reporter) che ha pagato con la vita la sua attività politica a favore degli abitanti del delta del Niger.
Una nota doverosa per ricordare anche l'uomo che ha scritto questo bellissimo libro.
All'inizio l'ho trovato quasi irritante, perché ci si ritrova praticamente nella testa del protagonista, Meme, un ragazzetto abitante di Dukana, fantastico villaggio
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Lucinda
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed in 1995 after a show trial by Abacha's military government. Saro-Wiwa was a well-known activist against the environmental degradation of the Niger Delta owing to the oil industry's extraction of oil with no care or consideration for the local ecology. As an Oboni tribe member, who live in and around the Niger Delta, Saro-Wiwa felt it necessary to actively protest the company's actions (primarily Shell) and the government's complicity in this environmental devastation. ...more
Trevor
Nov 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Sozaboy

Sozaboy is a story about a young African boy that tells his story in horrible broken English. This is a well-written story that has a mix of adventure, and a large amount of emotion spread through the story. This story starts out with Sozaboy telling his life story in his village. As the story unfolds there is a very important scene in the book when Sozaboy goes into one of his favorite bars and sees a very beautiful girl. This girl he decides, will be his wife. He walks up to her fairly
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Scooby
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
great book about a soldier (sozaboy) during nigerian civil war

the pidgin English was difficult to follow at times- so took me a long time to read the book

i felt so bad for author Mr. Ken saro-wiwa- what a tragic life

Laura
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is written in what the author called "Rotten English". ;In addition to a moving story.
Fictional about the Nigerian Civil War in the 1960s following the life of Soza boy (soldier boy) the main character who fought for Biafra and was captured prisoner.

The story is based on the real events in Saro-Wiwa's homeland of Nigeria;
Soza Boy is a member of a small tribe and signs up to fight for his own country. There is a contrast between his naive belief and the reality of the war, his small vi
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Gilla
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african, nigeria
È difficile incontrare libri come Sozaboy. Per il ragazzo soldato, Ken Saro-Wiwa ha inventato un linguaggio del tutto nuovo, un rotten English che mescola il pidgin e la tradizione orale nigeriana con passaggi repentini di registro, assolutamente “pirotecnici”, come li definisce Itala Vivan nella bella Nota critica finale.
Il risultato è il sorprendente racconto della brutalità della guerra narrato attraverso le parole di Meme (Sozaboy), un ragazzino impacciato, ingenuo e inesperto che proverà su
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Lucile
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-vo, dear-ones
Mene is a boy from the village of Dukana, Nigeria. Apprentice drive, he lives with his mom. The civil war approaches. He met in the nearby town a pretty girl, Agnes, "Agnes with JJC" (you'll have to read the book to understand! ) Born in Dukana, and having lived in Lagos. Of course, he wants to marry her. To please Agnes with JJC , he will wear a uniform, singing military songs, and like Zaza, the soza (soldier) who went to Burma (Myanmar) a long time ago to hunt "Hitla" and since, is admired th ...more
Lowell Brower
May 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: one and all
Sentence diagrammers beware! Written in “rotten English,” a dialect invented by Saro Wiwa himself (complete with it’s own grammatical and syntactical rules – dependent clauses can function as complete sentences, etc.) which incorporates “Nigerian Pidgin English, Broken English, and Idiomatic English,” it may take several pages to get into the flow of the language, but I implore you to do so. Sozaboy is the quintessential African War story, as well as the greatest anti-war novel I’ve ever read. I ...more
Pauli
Nov 20, 2008 added it
Int the novel Sozaboy, the main character life is told. The reader is told what he does for a living and how he came to get it, about how he spends his past time and about his life in his village. The story develops further with Sozaboy meeting a girl in his favorite bar. He finds her attractive and wants to marry her. She says she will only marry a soldier. After a few days the army enlists all the young men. Sozaboy has a great time there till his friend steals alcohol from a superior officer. ...more
Yok Pichchapa
Nov 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The "rotten English" (as the author calls it) was really lyrical and made the story more poignant. The way he used language really interpreted the story, the protagonist's state of mind, the emotions well. It caused me to think harder about what he was saying and thus to better identify with his feelings, including confusion about the war and its meaning (or lack thereof). I will reread this book many times, I'm sure.
Andrea Prete
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
La guerra vista dal basso in tutta la sua inspiegabile cattiveria ed ingiustizia.
Un linguaggio volutamente sgangherato e geniale ci porta a fianco del protagonista , ci fa sperare soffrire ridere con lui .
Finito il libro si ha la certezza di non dimenticarlo.
Mai.
Silvia Ferretti
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Un capolavoro di letteratura moderna!
Interessata dalla storia dell'autore, dalla sua vita da attivista per i diritti umani del suo villaggio in Nigeria, dalla sua morte coperta con velo di mistero neanche tanto fitto, perché è oramai risaputo che la Shell pagò il governo Nigeriano per far condannare a morte questo autore. Come dicevamo, colpita dalla storia di Wiwa, ho letto i suoi unici libri tradotti in Italiano, Foresta di fiori e appunto Sozaboy.
Sozaboy, come ho detto sopra è un capolavoro,
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PostYIS
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Saro-Wiwa subtitles this book, "A novel in Rotten English." I admit that I found it really difficult to navigate the mixture of "pidgin English, broken English, and idiomatic English" at first. However, as you continue to read, the rhythm becomes familiar and you almost forget that what you are written is not what we know as Standard English.

Sozaboy, as he calls himself, firmly believes that becoming a soldier will make him a man. As civil war breaks out in Nigeria, he defies his mother's wishe
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Mary Adeson
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sozaboy tells the story of Mene who decides to become a soldier because of the taunting from the World War II veteran in his village and Agnes with the J.J.C's desire to be with a man that can protect her. He wishes to impress all the residents of Dukana by returning with his uniform, gun, and some medals.


The language used, 'Rotten English' the mix of English, Pidgin English and all the local expressions create the impact of Mene's tragic story.

Sozaboy is an experience; I highly recommend read
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Jon
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A sort of Clockwork Orange-y linguistic experiment called "rotten English" and a grim anti-war novel. Would highly recommend.
Pierpaolo Sicolo
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Libro magnifico!
Breana
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-major
meh. just okay. honestly way too repetitive for me.
sarah semark
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
The language experiment (a lawless mash-up of Nigerian Pidgin and English) is rather fascinating and well done, although when paired with the atrocious and almost nonexistent margins, it made for pretty uncomfortable reading.

I'm not sure I ever really enjoyed Sozaboy, but I am glad I read it.
Marit
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
In the book ‘Sozaboy’ by Ken Saro-Wiwa is a book in rotten English taking place in Nigeria while the civil war was taking place. It’s about a boy who lives in a Nigerian village with his family.

One day when Sozaboy went to his favorite bar he met a lovely girl he directly fell in love with. He wanted to marry her, but she only wanted to merry a soldier. Not much later the army enlists all young men from Sozaboy’s village and he was one of them. He learned a lot in the army and loved it. But the
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Michaelcheng
Nov 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Sozaboy is written entirely in rotten or broken English, which gives the book a bit of learning curve. Even though it might seem a bit tough, you need to get used, the language before you can really get into the story and themes. (Of which there re plenty) The main character is Mene a young man in a village in Nigeria in the 1960's. During this time period, Nigeria is wrought with a civil war. Mene’s village is dragged in and Mene becomes a soldier or a ‘soza’ as he says it. At first he is overj ...more
brendan
Dec 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lauren, and anyone who is interested in blowing up their canon
Recommended to brendan by: erin gilbert
at first the "rotten english" combined with a sense of alienation stemming from my own personal ignorance of the nigerian cival war and general african literature, politics, and history, put me off of this novel. i started reading the book approximately a dozen times, slowly inching my way through the opening chapters like a trip to the dentists. the next moment i was engrossed, i figured out saro-wiwa's unique and stunning accomplishment in writing a novel in the nonexistent language of "rotten ...more
Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)
Another read from my Human Rights literature class, except not a very enjoyable one. Our main protagonist is Mene, a young and naïve man who wants to enlist in the army to protect his woman (Agnes), stand up for his hometown, Dukana, along with many other reasons. Mene is tempted by the glory of war, but doesn't really understand how it functions, and how brutal it really is.

In Sozaboy, we aren't given a lot of background information as readers so it's confusing to how some characters get to be
...more
Kim Mallady
Nov 03, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is written entirely in a form of pidgin English, which makes it a bit difficult to understand, but not too tough once you get into it. It's told from the point of view of Mene, a young man growing up in a tiny village in Nigeria in the 1960's. His village is caught up in the country's civil war and Mene, despite having no understanding of what the war is about, is proud to become a soldier, a "soza," so he can wear a uniform and be a big man. He quickly discovers that being a soldier i ...more
Matt

Nigerian civil war with an arrestingly vibrant, innocent and compelling narrative voice. Mene, the narrator, is quite the lad. And naturally the human race doesn't need any less reminders of what the (sometimes necessary) cannibalism of war does to sharp, sweet, good-natured kids who think it's their way up the ladder to respectability.

I heard the music of Fela Kuti in my head as I read this and if you're interested in reading it it provides a great backdrop. If you're not, go to youtube and lis
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Beth Asmaa
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Beth Asmaa by: Manu
The story follows almost three years of a young man's life before, during, and after his being a soza (soldier). It is carefully tied together from beginning to end with recurring characters and with his unremitting desire to reunite with his mama and his attractive wife. There often is a mystery, suspense, or surprise. It is Mene's (Sozaboy's) narration of the Biafran war from his first-hand experience, from which he reaches several conclusions about the village society, the sozas, the conduct ...more
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The World's Liter...: Sozaboy by Ken Saro-Wiwa 4 33 Feb 26, 2013 05:52PM  
  • Smouldering Charcoal
  • Measuring Time
  • Aké: The Years of Childhood
  • Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays
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  • Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote
  • Petals of Blood
  • Harvest of Thorns
  • Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria
  • Two Thousand Seasons
  • The Palm-Wine Drinkard & My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
  • Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol
  • Kehinde
  • This Earth, My Brother
  • How to Write about Africa
  • Links
  • Everything Good Will Come
33 followers
Kenule "Ken" Beeson Saro Wiwa was a Nigerian writer, television producer, environmental activist, and winner of the Right Livelihood Award and the Goldman Environmental Prize.
Saro-Wiwa was a member of the Ogoni people, an ethnic minority in Nigeria whose homeland, Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta has been targeted for crude oil extraction since the 1950s and which has suffered extreme environmental
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