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The Fishermen
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2015 Group Reads > The Fishermen: December New Author GR:

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message 1: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
In a Nigerian town in the mid 1990's, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family. Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal. Seen through the prism of one family's destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions—economic, political, and religious—and the epic beauty of its own culture. With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation's masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.


message 2: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Will anyone be joining us in this GR read?


Beverly | 1078 comments kisha wrote: "Will anyone be joining us in this GR read?"

Kisha -

I am sure you will not be surprised but I read this book a couple of months ago - so I will be lurking. :)

FYI - This book is also available as an audio.


message 4: by Diane (new)

Diane McPhail (dianecmcphail) | 34 comments The blurb is almost irresistible. I will be in Ireland a good bit of Dec. for a writers' conference and have multiple manuscripts to critique. But I will definitely put this on my list and look forward to reading the discussion.


Trudy (goodreadscomtrudyspages) | 400 comments This writing is exquisite!!! Enjoy you all.


message 6: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Bermea (beirutwedding) | 38 comments I just put this on hold at the library.


message 7: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new)

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Yay Bobby!

Beverly, no I'm not surprised lol!!!


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments I will be leading this discussion, although my copy will probably arrive a little late.

I want to know though, how many people had heard of this book before we decided to read it here? It's it something you've been looking forward to reading or something you didn't know existed until now?

I didn't even know it existed but after reading the blurb I'm excited lol


message 9: by Bobby (last edited Dec 03, 2015 08:28AM) (new)

Bobby Bermea (beirutwedding) | 38 comments Anastasia wrote: "I will be leading this discussion, although my copy will probably arrive a little late.

I want to know though, how many people had heard of this book before we decided to read it here? It's it som..."


I just heard about it because of the NY Times thread somewhere around here. "100 Notable Books of 2015" or something.


Beverly | 1078 comments Anastasia wrote: "I will be leading this discussion, although my copy will probably arrive a little late.

I want to know though, how many people had heard of this book before we decided to read it here? It's it som..."


In all fairness this book was published in April of this year (2015). This books is also "literary" and "debut"so unless you follow these type of books then you probably would not have of it. And also unless you follow newly released books that you also may not have heard about. And unless publishers and sort are doing mass marketing about a book you may not hear about it until someone you know mentions it.

There are so many books published each year that it is hard to keep track.

This book did have good pre-buzz before it was released and was highly anticipated because of the author's previous writings.

So this is why it is good to have a debut author selection so readers can be exposed to new authors.

So many books not enough time. :)


Beverly | 1078 comments Here is some of the awards/nominations/recognition for this book.

It is quite an impressive list.

http://www.chigozieobioma.com/


message 12: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Bermea (beirutwedding) | 38 comments Beverly wrote: "Here is some of the awards/nominations/recognition for this book.

It is quite an impressive list.

http://www.chigozieobioma.com/"


That would certainly qualify as impressive! :-)


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Yes, I don't really keep an eye out for new authors. Mostly because I already have a long TBR list. xD


message 14: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2422 comments Mod
I'll be joining in.


message 15: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee | 708 comments Just picked of my book!


message 16: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee | 708 comments *up


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Got my book today! It appears to have 18 chapters so here's my idea for the discussion schedule:

December 1-15th - Chapters 1-8
December 16-23rd - Chapters 9-13
December 24-31 - Chapters 14-18 + overall book discussion.

Sound good everyone?


message 18: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2422 comments Mod
Sounds good. I'll be starting this weekend.


message 19: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee | 708 comments Sounds good.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Alright everyone what are your thoughts on the book thus far?

The book starts off with several quotes. How significant do you think these quotes are to the book?


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments As someone who isn't very superstitious I find Ikenna's reaction to the prophecy to be a little silly, just very over the top with his disrespect. It's in a well-written way though, like I also find it believable. It saddens me that a rift forms between the boys because they're so funny together.


message 22: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2422 comments Mod
I'm not very superstitious either, but I can understand his reaction...especially considering the cultural background.

This is going to be a very interested read.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Lulu wrote: "I'm not very superstitious either, but I can understand his reaction...especially considering the cultural background.

This is going to be a very interested read."


Yes, the cultural background is very well drawn, making it believable even if I myself wouldn't do it.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Was anyone else shocked when Boja killed himself? I totally did not see that coming!

I'm finding this novel to be different from what I normally read. I don't mean the setting, although that's true, but I mean how the author uses imagery. He makes lots of comparisons and his characters use a lot of comparisons as well. Is anyone else noticing this?
Is this a normal characteristic of African literature or is this special to the author?


Beverly | 1078 comments Anastasia wrote: "Was anyone else shocked when Boja killed himself? I totally did not see that coming!

I'm finding this novel to be different from what I normally read. I don't mean the setting, although that's tru..."


What an interesting and yet difficult question to answer.
Here are my thoughts.

I think there are some authors that have a writing style unique to them that if you know of them that if you were to read a novel by them without a name - you could guess who the author was.
I think in some ways this author will eventually fall into that category as this debut showcases that the author is a very good storyteller which is usually a basis for having an identifiable writing style.

I also think that imagery is often a characteristic of "literary" novels so this is across the board, so for me this is not necessarily an African literature characteristic to me.

I do think that the author made good use implementing the oral storytelling technique in his writing and this is considered a characteristic often seen in African literature (and in other cultures where traditionally (the past) the voice of the culture was not necessarily one of the people of the culture as their thoughts were either not recorded or were discounted.

The author has also been noted for his poetry. For me I have often found that poets are very good at phrasing and imagery and this is often applied to their fiction writing.

I think is unique to the author's telling of this story - is his use of the African tongues/languages using the words/phases as his characters would. That this does not deter from the story or the readers attention is a tribute to the author's writing skills.

Another strong point of the author to me was putting me into the time and place and the inner struggles that often happened when the old beliefs clashing with new beliefs - in this case often the African traditions against the Western beliefs and what happened when one straddles both of these worlds/beliefs.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Beverly wrote: "Anastasia wrote: "Was anyone else shocked when Boja killed himself? I totally did not see that coming!

I'm finding this novel to be different from what I normally read. I don't mean the setting, a..."


Thank you, I think you've given me deeper insight into the book.

I can definitely detect the oral storytelling technique throughout the book, it was an interesting addition that really added in my opinion.


message 27: by Lulu, The Book Reader who could. (new)

Lulu (lulureads365) | 2422 comments Mod
Everything in this story shocked me. lol

I have a question about the end...when every one gets there.


Anastasia Kinderman | 942 comments Lulu wrote: "Everything in this story shocked me. lol

I have a question about the end...when every one gets there."


It was definitely a shocking book haha

Is anyone else still reading?


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