The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma: The African Kite Runner?

fisherman

You have to feel a bit sorry for an author who is being touted as having written ‘The African Kite Runner’. It puts just a little bit of pressure on. I’m not sure that I totally agree with that idea, although I do understand what the people who are saying it mean. The Fisherman is set in a small village in Nigeria in the 1990’s. Benjamin is nine years old, and it is his point of view telling the story. He is the fourth brother in a family of six children, and when their father starts living away for weeks at a time for work, the boys take advantage of their mother’s inattention as she deals with the two youngest children, one of whom is a baby. They start playing at being fisherman, a lowly past time. Their parents, in particular their father, are ambitious for the boys’ future, and being a fisherman and skipping school is not in the plan. One day when they are fishing, a homeless man, considered to be the local madmen, predicts that one of the brothers will kill another. The fallout from this prediction is tragic and reaches into the future for all of the family.

The Fisherman is a look into another world, one most of us know very little about. It is a sad tale of brotherly love and madness. It’s very good. $30

 

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