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The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
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The Fishermen (2015)

by Chigozie Obioma

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5963923,715 (3.81)1 / 109
  1. 20
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (pbirch01)
    pbirch01: Mentioned in the book and many similar themes
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English (35)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I listened to the audiobook of this novel, read by Chukudi Iwuji, who did a wonderful job bringing the story to life. The tale of four brothers is a story of tragedy which begets more tragedy, and is set in Nigeria in the late twentieth century. The prose is rich and full of imagery. It is unsurprising that this debut novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. ( )
  JGoto | Aug 9, 2018 |
This book is magical, the story is created little by litter by the comparison to animals, the descriptions are almost magic. The book almost demands you to read it from beginning to end in just a couple of seats (and that is what I did) . It has magic it has a great narration and the story develops in surprising ways.... ( )
  CaroPi | Aug 9, 2018 |
The book reminded me of a Greek tragedy. It starts with a deathly prophecy that results in bad things happening to everyone involved. The reader knows that the events happening in the book will not end well, but still can't help but be hopeful for the young narrator. The author has stated that this book is an analogy for the history of Nigeria, it was very interesting reading it with that in mind. It was a good book over all that was a little too tragic for my reading tastes. ( )
  Cora-R | Jun 20, 2018 |
This was a captivating story! I can completely understand why it would be considered for the One Book, One Lincoln winner. It was so beautifully written, and so descriptive. I really enjoyed following these fishermen.
  trayceetee | Apr 9, 2018 |
Raw, mythical, poetic. A real treat. ( )
  bulgarianrose | Mar 13, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
In his exploration of the mysterious and the murderous, of the terrors that can take hold of the human mind, of the colors of life in Africa, with its vibrant fabrics and its trees laden with fruit, and most of all in his ability to create dramatic tension in this most human of African stories, ­Chigozie Obioma truly is the heir to ­Chinua Achebe.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, Fiammetta Rocco (Apr 14, 2015)
 
Set in 1990s Nigeria against a backdrop of modernisation, westernisation and political upheaval, The Fishermen tells the story of four brothers whose lives are destroyed by a madman’s prophecy. Using myth to great effect, Obioma explores the customs of the community of Akure, detailing how the fates of its people are intricately linked to their beliefs.

The narrator is nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of the brothers, whose imaginative world view lends a striking voice to the tale. In a book that is loaded with metaphor, where parents speak in parables to warn their children of danger, many of the chapters start with Ben likening his family to animals: “Ikenna was a python: A wild snake that became a monstrous serpent living on trees, on plains above other snakes.” These comparisons mark changes in characters and presage the dangers to come.
 
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Epigraph
The footsteps of one man cannot create a stampede.

IGBO PROVERB

The madman has entered our house with violence
Defiling our sacred grounds
Claiming the single truth of the universe
Bending down our high priests with iron
Ah! yes the children,
Who walked on our Forefathers' graves
Shall be stricken with madness.
They shall grow the fangs of the lizard
They shall devour each other before our eyes
And by ancient command
It is forbidden to stop them!


MAZISI KUNENE
Dedication
For my brothers (and sisters),
the "battalion",
a tribute.
First words
We were fishermen:
My brothers and I became fishermen in January 1996 after our father moved out of Akure, a town in the west of Nigeria, where we had lived together all our lives.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Four brothers encounter a madman whose prophecy of violence threatens the core of their family in this exciting debut novel.

Told from the point of view of nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the Cain and Abel-esque story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria. When their father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river, they encounter a madman who predicts that one of the brothers will kill another. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact — both tragic and redemptive — will transcend the lives and imaginations of both its characters and its readers.

Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the best new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation’s masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.
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"Told from the point of view of nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the Cain and Abel-esque story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria. When their father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river, they encounter a madman who predicts that one of the brothers will kill another. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact--both tragic and redemptive--will transcend the lives and imaginations of The Fishermen's characters and its readers"--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

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