Rachel Brand's Reviews > Oroonoko

Oroonoko by Aphra Behn
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's review
Aug 15, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: en1004, own, racism-slavery, 2010, classics
Read from February 08 to 10, 2010

Read for:
EN1004: Explorers and Revolutionaries - Literature 1680-1830

To be totally honest, I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Okay, it's one of the first novels (although it's only 77 pages long) written by a woman and it discusses a controversial issue (slavery). I admire Aphra Behn for wanting to write a novel on such an issue, especially considering she's a woman and it was the 17th century. And I will admit that 'Oroonoko' was surprisingly easy to read and I ploughed through it faster than other novellas of similar length such as 'Heart of Darkness' - which, incidentally, I enjoyed a lot more. But I finished the book just feeling...blah. Nothing. We've had two lectures on it so far, and the only interesting thing that either of our lecturers has had to say is that Aphra Behn repeats certain words or phrases a lot in different contexts! This book didn't speak to me at all, and although it was kind of interesting in a few places I have to say that I'm really hoping that I love the next couple of texts in our course as I don't think I could churn out two thousand words on Oroonoko for my first essay. I'd recommend this book if you're interesting in the emergence of the novel, or the emergence of female writers or even the emergence of slave narratives. But it's not one I'd recommend for the entertainment or enjoyment factor. 4/10

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02/08/2010 page 14
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