HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Disposable People: Inspired by true events…
Loading...

Disposable People: Inspired by true events (edition 2012)

by Ezekel Alan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1411,112,155 (4.33)12
REGIONAL WINNER - COMMONWEALTH BOOK PRIZE 2013Ten year old Kenneth Lovelace often went to bed without dinner. Instead of feeling hunger, however, what he mostly felt was fear and shame, knowing that his family's poverty was the reason he had no food. Kenneth also recalls his bitterness whenever his parents locked him out of their tiny, one-room house to act on their 'urge'. This was in the 1970s, when Jamaica's socialist regime was dragging the country into bankruptcy, and when an Old Timer had told him that he was cursed since birth. Beginning with his earliest memories, "Disposable People" traces the life of Kenneth Lovelace, now a consultant living in the USA. After a string of failed marriages, bad relationships and other misfortunes, Kenneth looks back at his life in his old, hateful village with hopes of finding the roots of his latest tragedy. What comes out is a story of mischief and adventures, sex, prejudice, evil spirits, adversities and, progressively, violence."I listened to these and other trinkets of information with interest, as they read his eulogy. At the end of the service, and while our ageing Methodist choir sang with the melody of hogs in labor, I went to look at him again in the open casket. I wanted to see if I could match all the kind words spoken about him, with the person that was lying there. I wanted to see the young boy tending kindly to the animals, dutifully cutting the grass, always obeying his mama and helping those in need, respectfully going to church and worshipping the Lord. That boy wasn't there. Instead there was a man about 1.92 meters tall, with thick, coarse hands (that had once hit me so hard they nearly broke my ribs) folded gently across his chest. His beard looked grayer than it did before, and had been neatly cut so that it didn't have any bristles. I had seen his beard close up a few times before while he slept, but I had never played in it like those kids sometimes did with their dads on TV. He had the same long creases stretching across his forehead, like fossilized worms, and his eyes were closed - like they seemed to have always been towards me. He was my papa for sure. People expected me to cry while looking at his body, but I didn't. The only times I had ever cried because of my papa was when he whipped me. But it sure was nice to see him in a suit."… (more)
Member:katepolicani
Title:Disposable People: Inspired by true events
Authors:Ezekel Alan
Info:
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Disposable People: Inspired by true events by Ezekel Alan

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 12 mentions

Disposable People
by Ezekel Alan

Poverty and desperation describe the start of life for Kenneth E.S. Lovelace, or Kenny. Born into a squatters village called a "Depression" in 1970's Jamaica, he struggles with all the dangers and trials of poverty. He and his kind, living in one-room self-built houses on someone else's land, are "Disposable People." Kenny shows us his world through a collection of diary entries written to Semicolon, his true love. Peppered with bits of his writing collection, poetry, and reminiscence over time we gradually hear his tale. This novel takes a train-of-thought approach to Kenny's experiences. A progression of understanding, rather than a chronology, takes the reader scene by scene through his childhood and out of the "Depression", or "That hateful f***ing place", and into his life as a successful author, far from the squalor of his childhood.
Ezekel Alan's book wowed me on so many levels. Kenny is thoughtful and honest, confessing all his sins to Semicolon. Ezekel displays gorgeous poetry, joy, beauty, culture, ideals, horror, sin, murder, fear, suspicion and faith, all surging through his tale. The graphic nature of many of Kenny's experiences are often witnessed while Kenny and his cousins eavesdropped without shame "because we all knew that everything we did was being quietly observed by the cold unblinking eyes of Eternity." It's all part of the honesty and depth of every bit of the book. Kenny bared his soul to Semicolon, telling her what he experienced and valued, but also what he felt, learned, and how he failed. Scandalous or horrific scenes are highlighted with a knowing, dark humor, but contain profound lessons learned.
There seemed to be a kind of love/hate relationship between Kenny and his old home. Though he describes it with stark and unforgiving frankness, he does so with an underlying pride and affection.
Even the source of the book is mysterious and poetic, "A Novel Inspired by True Events". Somehow I heard the voice of my own grandmother, transported across time, culture, race, and nationality. I guess some opinions appear everywhere: "If he had gone to church, none of this would have ever happened to him." ( )
  katepolicani | Feb 26, 2012 |
Ezekel Alan writes with an intensity that astonishes. This is a rousing text, full of energy and venom, and tells multiple stories of 'disposable people" while building an understanding of the lot of Jamaica's poorer children.
It is a magnificent piece of work, combining different modes of storytelling including poetry, letters, journal writing, and sketched images, and covering a plethora of issues, including attitudes to homosexuality.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

REGIONAL WINNER - COMMONWEALTH BOOK PRIZE 2013Ten year old Kenneth Lovelace often went to bed without dinner. Instead of feeling hunger, however, what he mostly felt was fear and shame, knowing that his family's poverty was the reason he had no food. Kenneth also recalls his bitterness whenever his parents locked him out of their tiny, one-room house to act on their 'urge'. This was in the 1970s, when Jamaica's socialist regime was dragging the country into bankruptcy, and when an Old Timer had told him that he was cursed since birth. Beginning with his earliest memories, "Disposable People" traces the life of Kenneth Lovelace, now a consultant living in the USA. After a string of failed marriages, bad relationships and other misfortunes, Kenneth looks back at his life in his old, hateful village with hopes of finding the roots of his latest tragedy. What comes out is a story of mischief and adventures, sex, prejudice, evil spirits, adversities and, progressively, violence."I listened to these and other trinkets of information with interest, as they read his eulogy. At the end of the service, and while our ageing Methodist choir sang with the melody of hogs in labor, I went to look at him again in the open casket. I wanted to see if I could match all the kind words spoken about him, with the person that was lying there. I wanted to see the young boy tending kindly to the animals, dutifully cutting the grass, always obeying his mama and helping those in need, respectfully going to church and worshipping the Lord. That boy wasn't there. Instead there was a man about 1.92 meters tall, with thick, coarse hands (that had once hit me so hard they nearly broke my ribs) folded gently across his chest. His beard looked grayer than it did before, and had been neatly cut so that it didn't have any bristles. I had seen his beard close up a few times before while he slept, but I had never played in it like those kids sometimes did with their dads on TV. He had the same long creases stretching across his forehead, like fossilized worms, and his eyes were closed - like they seemed to have always been towards me. He was my papa for sure. People expected me to cry while looking at his body, but I didn't. The only times I had ever cried because of my papa was when he whipped me. But it sure was nice to see him in a suit."

No library descriptions found.

Book description
"Brian was already dead when they got there, but they still got something to watch as some of the farmers continued to chop. Chop, chop, chop. Some dogs find it hard to stop barking at cars that have long driven away.

Diary entry: Watch him wail. Wail Brian wail. See them chop. Chop, chop, chop. See him bleed. Bleed boy bleed. See them hack. Hack, hack, hack.

Here are three things I just can’t do, no matter how hard I try: (1) I cannot spell Nietzsche without looking it up in the dictionary; (2) I cannot prepare Jamaican fried dumplings perfectly, no matter how many times I see others do it; (3) I cannot get this image out of my head: a large group of men swarming my cousin like flies, killing him, and continuing to chop as though they were also trying to get down to his soul.

A little while later, our older family members also came. Brian’s papa, Uncle Thomas, came. Said nothing. Just stood there. By then he was well into his can only make love twice a month stage of life but, like a true Jamaican, still wanted it to be with two different women. His mom, Aunt Beverley - Auntie B for short, also came. Not one intelligible word from her either, but her body shook and trembled like a Pentecostal caught by the spirit, before she was taken away by Aunt Josephine and Aunt Frida.

Aunt Martha came also, and she led the screaming. She was in her 300th month of pregnancy (growing up I cannot remember a time when she wasn’t pregnant), and we all worried for her health as she hit those high-pitched notes. When I looked around I saw that Miss Jacky had come as well. She was not a member of our family, just one of those that lived on the other side of the yard. Like a second-hand car, she always had a used look about her. She lavished more attention on her face, and had more control over her hair, than she did her kids. I remember she spent endless hours at the hairdresser and beauty salon, and took those birth control pills that reduce acne. Anyway, I digress, perhaps because I was distracted by her long, flowing, artificial hair at the time.

Every one of the other older folks also came, except Grandpa, who had something (not someone, for the Old Timer was long past that stage), eating him. [For clarity: cancer had taken over where the girls had left off ]. After his second heart attack, he was stuck on his verandah with spit on his chin, hanging down like stalactite. Useless and abandoned like a condemned building, he sat there with his shriveling skin looking like a roll of wet toilet tissue put out to dry."

This is part of the story of Kenneth Lovelace, a young boy growing up in a deeply superstitious, crudely sexual, dishearteningly poor, and increasingly violent rural community in Jamaica in the '70s. The story is inspired by true events.
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Member Giveaway

Ezekel Alan's book Disposable People was available from LibraryThing Member Giveaway.

LibraryThing Author

Ezekel Alan is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.33)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 1
3.5
4
4.5
5 2

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 151,716,535 books! | Top bar: Always visible