The Read Around The World Book Club discussion

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September 2018 CAMEROON > First half of the book

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message 1: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 338 comments Mod
First impressions?


message 2: by Jo (new)

Jo | 37 comments I’m halfway through and enjoying it so far although the pervading sense that something is going to go wrong makes me out it down every so often. The writing is fluid and easy to read and I like her characterization feeling a lot of empathy with Jende and Neni as they go through the immigration system and suffer it’s vagaries. The idea of money doesn’t buy happiness is probably a bit hammered home but I can forgive that and it’s interesting to see a background account, even though fictional of the Lehman brothers debacle. I’m intrigued to know where it’s going to go as I knew nothing about this going in.


message 3: by Marie (new)

Marie (marieemonaghan) | 59 comments Just hit the halfway mark. I’m really enjoying this so far & finding it very easy to read. I have been thinking a lot about Jende & Neni’s relationship with their employers and the way in which they seem to lack any resentment or hard feelings towards the super-rich. I wonder if that will change as they (and the rest of the world) comes to terms with the fallout from the financial crisis. Vince is also interesting - the way in which he denounces his privilege at the same time as benefitting hugely from it, & doesn’t really understand why the Cameroonians aren’t more angry about their situation. I’m interested to see how his character arc goes.


message 4: by Justyna M (new)

Justyna M | 14 comments I'm halfway through and I don't think it's my kind of book, I find writing very simple, I would love the book 20 years ago when I was younger but now I definitely want more from my books- I really like and appreciate the topics the book covers but that does not mean I have to like the writing itself and I don't - all the time I feel like I'm watching a tv series similar to "This is Us" (not a good thing for me:) For now ALL the characters are essentially very good people (even the banker writes poems and wants to change the corrupted banking system), they all have their life problems but in general they are all very decent etc and again- all the time I feel like watching one of those sweet tv series... :) love the general subject of the book, don't love the VERY one dimensional characters and simple language that just covers constant dialogues (but hey, I seem to be the only one that loved "The fox was ever the hunter" :)


message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda (lindaleehall) | 30 comments I also enjoyed The Fox was Ever the Hunter. I can see what you mean about Behold the Dreamers, but it was a dream that bit by tiny bit became a nightmare. Still the characters don't have much depth and the plot is too predictable.


message 6: by Candace (new)

Candace | 53 comments I’m enjoying the read even though I feel like I know what’s going to happen I want to keep reading. My heart really goes out to Jende and Neni. I can’t wait to finish it as my mind is already trying to compare it to other US immigrant stories I’ve read.


message 7: by Jennie (new)

Jennie (jenniejohnston) | 11 comments I also liked The Fox Was Ever The Hunter. I think the Cameroonian life comparisons are interesting, especially in the small scenes, like when Neni talks to her son’s teacher. Overall I like it enough to keep reading, but like several have mentioned it lacks a depth I crave. I’m curious to see where Mbue takes the plot next.


message 8: by Beatrizmallow (new)

Beatrizmallow | 36 comments Mod
I agree with what has been said, this book is easy to read and I do like Jende and Neni as protagonists but it laks something. Maybe we will find it in the second half.


message 9: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 338 comments Mod
Ugh I really don‘t like this book. I don‘t want to pick it up. I don‘t like the style. I am just very meh about it.


message 10: by Jo (new)

Jo | 37 comments Melanie wrote: "Ugh I really don‘t like this book. I don‘t want to pick it up. I don‘t like the style. I am just very meh about it."

I’m sure no one will hold it against you if you DNF Mel, they can’t all be successful reads.


message 11: by Britta (new)

Britta Böhler | 51 comments Melanie wrote: "Ugh I really don‘t like this book. I don‘t want to pick it up. I don‘t like the style. I am just very meh about it."

You're not alone :-)


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