The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

This debut novel is a grim take on life in modern Nigeria. The body count is high and the suffering intense. The text contains a prominent reference to Chinua Achebe, author of the superb ‘Things Fall Apart’, but it lacks the awesome discipline of that seminal work. Nevertheless, it is possible to derive some satisfaction from various aspects of the tale.

Of the violent deaths, the killing of an unwell man is arguably the most shocking. Sensitive readers should choose another narrative to examine. In an insane search for retribution, some of the finest writing can be seen:

“I could not kill, either. It is evil, and how might I, only a child, do it? But my brother had said he would carry out the plan with all the powers of persuasion, determined that he would succeed, for his desire had become an indestructible leech.”


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