Category Archives: Books Reviewed

The Kite runner- September 2017

the kite runnerAmir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

Season of Crimson Blossoms- August 2017

An affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu and 25-year-Season_of_Crimson_Blossoms_largeold weed dealer Reza was bound to provoke condemnation in conservative Northern Nigeria. Brought together in unusual circumstances, Binta and Reza faced a need they could only satisfy in each other. Binta – previously reconciled with God – now yearns for intimacy after the sexual repression of her marriage, the pain of losing her first son and the privations of widowhood. Meanwhile, Reza’s heart lies empty and waiting to be filled due to the absence of a mother. The situation comes to a head when Binta’s wealthy son confronts Reza, with disastrous consequences. This story of love and longing – set against undercurrents of political violence – unfurls gently, revealing layers of emotion that defy age, class and religion.

Night of A Red Moon- July 2017

Femi, anight of a red moon university student has been killed by overzealous men of the Oodua People’s Congress in the little town of Ago-Iwoye, sending a cloud of fear and uncertainty over it.
But it is the retaliatory violence which begins as a ‘peaceful protest’ that turns the town into a war zone, leaving the king dethroned, his palace in flames and innocent students at the mercy of enraged indigenes.
There is bloodshed, rape and more bloodshed that envelopes the night, even as four friends and their girls, attempt to see the night out, including pen-lovers, Tubor and Temmy, whose first meeting quickly becomes a desperate survival adventure.

Born a Crime- March 2017

bornacrimeTrevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother: his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love

Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun- February 2017

like a muleDr. Morayo Da Silva, a cosmopolitan Nigerian woman, lives in San Francisco. On the cusp of seventy-five, she has a zest for life and makes the most of it through road trips in her vintage Porsche, chatting to strangers, and reminiscing about characters from her favourite novels. Until she has an accident, crushing her independence. Without the support of family, she relies on friends and chance encounters to help keep her sanity. As Morayo recounts her story, moving seamlessly between past and present, we meet Dawud, a charming Palestinian shopkeeper, Sage, a feisty, homeless Grateful Dead devotee, and Antonio, the poet whom Morayo desired more than her ambassador husband.

A subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss, this is also a nuanced study of the erotic yearnings of an older woman.

Easy Motion Tourist- May 2017

easy motion touristEasy Motion Tourist is a compelling crime novel set in contemporary Lagos. It features Guy Collins, a British hack who stumbles into the murky underworld of the city. A woman’s mutilated body is discarded by the side of a club near one of the main hotels in Victoria Island. Collins is a bystander and is picked up by the police, as a potential suspect. After experiencing the unpleasant realities of a Nigerian police cell, he is rescued by Amaka, a Pam Grier-esque Blaxploitation heroine with a saintly streak. As Collins discovers more of the darker aspects of what makes Lagos tick – including the clandestine trade in organs – he also slowly falls for Amaka. Little do they realise just how much organ trafficking is wrapped up in the power and politics of the city. The novel features a motley cast of supporting characters, including a memorable duo of low-level Lagos gangsters: Knockout and Go-Slow. Easy Motion Tourist pulsates with the rhythms of Lagos and entertains from beginning to end.

A modern thriller featuring a strong female protagonist, prepared to take on the Nigerian criminal world on her own.