Lars K Jensen's Reviews > The Fishermen

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
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really liked it
bookshelves: africa

This is a marvelous piece of work. An an even more impressive and marvelous debut. You get under the very skin of the narrator, as his family falls apart from a dark prophecy from the town's madman.

The one reason why I "only" give this 4 stars and not 5 is the excessive amounts of similes. I think the words 'like' and 'as' might be the most used words in the book. I found it to be too much. But, you have two choices: You can either read faster and skips most of these literary comparisons, or you can slow down and enjoy them - because the language is what really drives this book home. The story is brilliant, no doubt, but Obioma's skillful handling of the English language is amazing. A little less on the simile-side, and this would no doubt be a 5-star book :-)

But don't just take my word for it. Here are excerpts from some other reviews:

"This is an impressive and beautifully imagined work.
The Economist

"As dark as Obioma's prose is, though, it's also beautiful. His use of language is rich and hypnotic, and nearly every page is filled with an unexpected and perfectly rendered description. Abulu, for example, 'subpoenaed tranquil spirits, fanned the violence of small flames, and rattled the lives of many,' while the boys' mother 'owned copies of our minds in the pockets of her own mind and so could easily sniff troubles early in their forming, the same way sailors discern the forming foetus of a coming storm.'"

"this year’s most promising African newcomer may well prove to be Chigozie Obioma"
The New York Times

"The Fishermen is an elegy to lost promise, to a golden age squandered, and yet it remains hopeful about the redemptive possibilities of a new generation – what I like to call the 'post-nationalist generation', described as 'egrets' in the book: harbingers of a bright future."
The Guardian

"The most frustrating thing about "The Fishermen" is that the author has no other books for the reader to devour once the final page is reached"
Chicago Tribune

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Reading Progress

May 26, 2015 – Started Reading
May 26, 2015 – Shelved
May 26, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
June 10, 2015 – Shelved as: africa
June 10, 2015 – Finished Reading

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