[ download Prime ] The Famished Road Author Ben Okri – Andy-palmer.co.uk

The Famished Road In The Decade Since It Won The Booker Prize, Ben Okri S Famished Road Has Become A Classic Like Salman Rushdie S Midnight S Children Or Gabriel Garcia Marquez S One Hundred Years Of Solitude, It Combines Brilliant Narrative Technique With A Fresh Vision To Create An Essential Work Of World Literature.The Narrator, Azaro, Is An Abiku, A Spirit Child, Who In The Yoruba Tradition Of Nigeria Exists Between Life And Death The Life He Foresees For Himself And The Tale He Tells Is Full Of Sadness And Tragedy, But Inexplicably He Is Born With A Smile On His Face Nearly Called Back To The Land Of The Dead, He Is Resurrected But In Their Efforts To Save Their Child, Azaro S Loving Parents Are Made Destitute The Tension Between The Land Of The Living, With Its Violence And Political Struggles, And The Temptations Of The Carefree Kingdom Of The Spirits Propels This Latter Day Lazarus S Story. 5 stars..a monstrously beautiful piece of literature.a must read before you dieDecided to add two comments thatI gave to two Goodreads friends since I wrote such a flimsy little fragments in 2013 when I was not writing reviews This book is so unbelievable I have never read a book that was like one long dream sequence full of wonder, beauty and ugliness It is incredible This is in my top ten books of all time You will die from the wonder I cannot put into words the impact this book h 5 stars..a monstrously beautiful piece of literature.a must read before you dieDecided to add two comments thatI gave to two Goodreads friends since I wrote such a flimsy little fragments in 2013 when I was not writing reviews This book is so unbelievable I have never read a book that was like one long dream sequence full of wonder, beauty and ugliness It is incredible This is in my top ten books of all time You will die from the wonder I cannot put into words the impact this book has had on me I pond Just didn t feel the love for this I hate long accounts of dreams in novels and magical realism can be like reading an endless succession of dreams I like the laws of gravity to hold fast in the novels I read so this started off at a big disadvantage where my reading preferences are concerned One of the few novels I ve ever failed to finish is Midnight s Children In short, this is a novel about an African community struggling and failing to be born, the community a microcosm of Africa itsel Just didn t feel the love for this I hate long accounts of dreams in novels and magical realism can be like reading an endless succession of dreams I like the laws of gravity to hold fast in the novels I read so this started off at a big disadvantage where my reading preferences are concerned One of the few novels I ve ever failed to finish is Midnight s Children In short, this is a novel about an African community struggling and failing to be born, the community a microcosm of Africa itself As a subject this poses huge plot problems the one step forward, two steps backwards dynamic and I never felt Okri mastered this problem o Towards the end of the book, in Chapter 12 of Book 7, the author states quite clearly what seems to be his intended message The spirit child is an unwilling adventurer into chaos and sunlight, into the dreams of the living and the dead Things that are not ready, not willing to be borne or to become, things for which adequate preparations have not be An oneiric epic Phantasmagoria in the bush One is reminded of Achebe s Things Fall Apart in which the Yoruba myth of the abiku, or spirit child, is so muchdarkly rendered The Famished Road is not so dark a book It is scary in its way, surely, loaded as it is with its cast of frighteners, but it can also be oddly reassuring in its vivid depiction of the afterlife Heaven may indeed be a place where nothing ever happens, yes, but as intimated by Okri it is also beautiful, in a Daliesque An oneiric epic Phantasmagoria in the bush One is reminded of Achebe s Things Fall Apart in which the Yoruba myth of the a A boy sat down to read a book, but when he looked closely, it was not a book, but a person The person had green skin and roller skates for eyes A lizard with a head as big as the moon scuttled over and sniffed the green skinned person What are you looking at the person asked the boy I thought you were a book, the boy said No, the person said, I am a metaphor or magical realism or some shit I dunno But I have roller skates for eyes, that s pretty cool The boy shrugs You re mum A boy sat down to read a book, but when he looked closely, it was not a book, but a person The person had green skin and roller skates for eyes A lizard with a head as big as the moon scuttled over and sniffed the green skinned person What are you looking at t I am within sight of finishing my occasional project to read all of the Booker winners I have to say that I have very mixed feelings about this It is undoubtedly striking and very different to any of the other winners, but it could have been better for me it seemed too long and a little too self indulgent The reader is also expected to swallow a lot of African folklore.There are only four main characters The narrator Azari is a spirit child, and at every crisis point he journeys into the s I am within sight of finishing my occasional project to read all of the Booker winners I have to say that I have very mixed feelings about this It is undoubtedly striking and very different to any of the other winners, but it could have been better for me it seemed too long and a little too self indulgent The reader is also expected to swallow a lot of African folklore.There are only four main characters The narrator Azari is a spirit child, and at every crisis point he journeys into the spirit world of the forest, into nightmarish scenes populated by weird spirit creatures, who want him to die and return to their world The other main characters are his parents, referred to simply as Mum and Dad, and Madame Koto, an upwardly mobile bar owner Azari spends much of his time with her The human part of the story largely concerns the modernisation of Nigeria in the post independence period Mum and Dad are poor Mum earns a pittance as a street trader, while For the first 150 pages I was mightily frustrated.Then came the episode of the poisoned milk, distributed by a political party canvassing for votesSuddenly the sense of community coalesces The symbolism speaks The deceitfulness and peril of whiteness is exposed It recurs in many guises from false holiness to naked danger to amulet of enemies.But Okri would not have us simplify, would not have us make this many faceted reflection into a parable where every sign has one meaningAnd that, I thin For the first 150 pages I was mightily frustrated.Then came the episode of the poisoned milk, distributed by a political party canvassing for votesSuddenly the sense of community coalesces The symbolism speaks The deceitfulness and peril of whiteness is exposed It recurs in many guises from false holiness to naked danger to amulet of enemies.But Okri would not have us simplify, would not have us make this many faceted reflection into a parable where every sign has one meaningAnd that, I think, is the reason for the profusion of his prose, the reason for the foregoing frustration it is intended to break the habit of convergent thinkers like me schooled by an education that punishes failure to alight immediately on correctness, an education that denies the subjectivity of the subject even as it subjects her, an education that sneers at feeling of seeking the single reading, the one thread of meaning.The texture of this boo This book almost broke me and ate me.I went to bed after reading the first twenty pages of it and I dreamt about chasing an antelope with a broken horn which jumped out the window I, in turn, was being chased by a wild boar covered in blood which spoke in a human voice There was also a flying carpet.I don t really like magical realism but this book didn t care I was gonna have it whether I liked it or not It swept me away before I knew it By the end of it I would read about a man who slept This book almost broke me and ate me.I went to bed after reading the first twenty pages of it and I dreamt about chasing an antelope with a broken horn which jumped out the window I, in turn, was being chased by a wild boar covered in blood which spoke in a human voice There was also a flying carpet.I don t really like magical realism but this book didn t care I was gonna have it whether I liked it or not It swept me away before I knew it By the end of it I would read about a man who slept for two months and not bat an eye Only a little later I would think wait a minute, people can t sleep for two months straight That s not possible, they have to eat and stuff As any other book of magical realism The Famished Road is elliptical The characters go through a never en Oh my dear lord, how I hated The Famished Road Friends don t let friends read this book I only finished it because I was trekking in Nepal with no alternative English language book for miles upon miles In my personal hell, this is the only book in the library.


About the Author: Ben Okri

Poet and novelist Ben Okri was born in 1959 in Minna, northern Nigeria, to an Igbo mother and Urhobo father He grew up in London before returning to Nigeria with his family in 1968 Much of his early fiction explores the political violence that he witnessed at first hand during the civil war in Nigeria He left the country when a grant from the Nigerian government enabled him to read Comparative Poet and novelist Ben Okri was born in 1959 in Minna, northern Nigeria, to an Igbo mother and Urhobo father He grew up in London before returning to Nigeria with his family in 1968 Much of his early fiction explores the political violence that he witnessed at first hand during the civil war in Nigeria He left the country when a grant from the Nigerian government enabled him to read Comparative Literature at Essex University in England He was poetry editor for West Africa magazine between 1983 and 1986 and broadcast regularly for the BBC World Service between 1983 and 1985 He was appointed Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College Cambridge in 1991, a post he held until 1993 He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1987, and was awarded honorary doctorates from the universities of Westminster 1997 and Essex 2002.His first two novels, Flowers and Shadows 1980 and The Landscapes Within 1981 , are both set in Nigeria and feature as central characters two young men struggling to make sense of the disintegration and chaos happening in both their family and country The two collections of stories that followed, Incidents at the Shrine 1986 and Stars of the New Curfew 1988 , are set in Lagos and London.In 1991 Okri was awarded the Booker Prize for Fiction for his novel The Famished Road 1991 Set in a Nigerian village, this is the first in a trilogy of novels which tell the story of Azaro, a spirit child Azaro s narrative is continued in Songs of Enchantment 1993 and Infinite Riches 1998 Other recent fiction includes Astonishing the Gods 1995 and Dangerous Love 1996 , which was awarded the Premio Palmi Italy in 2000 His latest novels are In Arcadia 2002 and Starbook 2007.A collection of poems, An African Elegy, was published in 1992, and an epic poem, Mental Flight, in 1999 A collection of essays, A Way of Being Free, was published in 1997 Ben Okri is also the author of a play, In Exilus.In his latest book, Tales of Freedom 2009 , Okri brings together poetry and story.Ben Okri is a Vice President of the English Centre of International PEN, a member of the board of the Royal National Theatre, and was awarded an OBE in 2001 He lives in London


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