Bookati Book Review

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Ever wished your boss would drop dead?

 

Of course not. Well, not really. And neither had Rachel Benjamin—until she finds herself working for Wall Street terror Glenn Gallagher on his latest pet project. Rachel thinks the deal—and Glenn—are more than a little shady, but she has a promotion at stake. It’s either keep her lips sealed or kiss her partnership goodbye. Or kill Glenn. (Just kidding!)

 

At least she has Peter. Rachel’s too-good-to-be-true fiancé has moved in, and while his stuff is everywhere and he’s strangely jealous of her friendly new coworker, she’s confident they’ll figure things out. It would help if Glenn’s killer schedule didn’t have Rachel working around the clock. Really, the man must be stopped.

 

Rachel’s jokes about killing her boss don’t seem so funny when Glenn is murdered. And it’s even less laughable when she becomes the prime suspect. With the police hot on her very stylish heels, and the threat of an unflattering orange jumpsuit in her future, Rachel’s learning the hard way to be careful what you wish for. She needs to catch the true killer quickly, before the killer catches her.The Key

 

I was having my favorite type of dream, a flying dream, when the phone rang.

 

I opened one eye, testing to see if this was part of the dream. But in my dream the skies were blue and lit by golden sunlight. In my bedroom, it was dark, and freezing, since my new roommate liked to sleep with the windows wide open, even in March and even in Manhattan. And the phone was still ringing.

 

Peter mumbled something unintelligible and pulled the duvet over his head. I thought about doing the same, but surely nobody would call in the middle of the night unless it was important. I reached out for the phone.

 

“lo?”

 

“Rachel. Glenn Gallagher here.”

 

This had to be a joke.”What time is it?”

 

“Almost six. Listen, I need you in the office. We don’t have much time to get ready.”

 

“Ready for what?”

 

“I’ll tell you when you get in. See you in an hour.”

 

“But it’s Satur—” I began to say before I realized I was talking to a dial tone.

 

I was still half-asleep, so my reaction was somewhat delayed. It was nearly five seconds before I’d collected myself sufficiently to say the only appropriate thing that could be said in such a situation.

 

“You asshole!”

 

Peter gasped and shot into a sitting position. I’d spoken more loudly than I’d intended. “And a good morning to you, too.” Even in the dark, I could make out the silhouette of his sandy hair.

 

“You look like Alfalfa.”

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“From The Little Rascals. You know, the one with the piece of hair that stuck straight up. He sang.”

 

“I’m in the Mood for Love.”

 

“Uh-huh. He had a crush on Darla.”

 

“And that makes me an asshole? Get this hilarious novel for N1,000 at Bookati

Finally,

I finally went ahead and did it. For sometime now, I have been a bit reluctant in reading Chimamanda’s novel “Half of a Yellow Sun”. I usually steer clear of African books that focus too much on conflict and tragedy. Personally, I believe we need more positive books and role model characters that can make the transition from books to films. I also believe we need to submit more challenging stories as possible winners of the Pulitzer, Caine and other international awards out there for burgeoning and established writers.

I’m still waiting to see “No Longer at Ease and A Man of the People” on the big screens. My leading man for both books would be Ramsey Nouah. Yeah! he’s a gorgeous hunk, but from what I have seen over the years while following his career as an actor, he has finally come of age and matured into fine wine. That’s the best analogy I can make. Watch ‘The Figurine” and you’d catch my drift. What were my conclusions after reading this book?

I actually haven’t finished but i’m almost through. I’m currently at the chapter denoted “The Sixties”. I found it a bit disturbing and hauntingly sad. War or conflict always leaves a scar that never heals. It is often said that “time heals all wounds”. However, there are some wounds that time cannot heal. Experience has taught me that. I also found some aspects of the book hilarious. Ugwu was such an entertaining character and likewise Miss Adebayo. I realise that this is a touchy subject in the history of this country and I like the way and manner Chimamanda has cataloged the tragedies of war. I also realized that we are yet to learn our lessons. The aftermath of war did not just start now, it has been a thorny issue since post independence and we are yet to deal with this issue once and for all. This is why we still have recurring hostilities within our various communities.

Kainene and Olanna, two sisters (twin) torn apart by their own selfish acts and parental neglect. We see this often and it’s good to know that books such as this are talking about sibling rivalry. It exists no matter how much we try to deny or avoid talking about the issue. I found Olanna a bit selfish and self absorbed due to unwarranted and warranted attention to physical beauty. Behind that beauty also lay a lot if insecurities which was evident in her relationship with Odenigbo and her refusal to tie the nuptial knot, which she eventually did. I also thought it amusing when she tries to create an image of humility when it’s so obvious that she’s so uppity. Kainene who had been described as the ugly duckling seemed to be more sensible even though she’s a bit withdrawn and rarely gets emotional. It happens if you’ve constantly been overlooked and denied of some things based on your physical features.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable read. I just might buy my own copy.

Now that Jonathan has taken over…

What next for our future as Nigerians? Why are we bedeviled with bad leadership on the African continent? Did you happen to watch Aonodakaa’s interview with Christianne Amanpour on CNN? It was embarrassing to say the least. When asked if it was normal for a president to be absent from his country for more than 60days, he had stated that there was nothing abnormal about the situation.

Now that the Vice President has been sworn in as Acting President, I hope things will better. Notice that I do not use the word ‘pray’. I’m not against praying, I think we have prayed too long and God would pretty much appreciate if we dust off our asses and get to work by becoming an advocate of ‘No More Mess’ in this country.

The danger behind a single story

The above named title was coined from a recent interview Chimamanda Adichie granted ( I think it’s all over YouTube). I have not watched the video clip but from the title, it is safe to assume that she was talking of the need to project our own stories and not one woven around Famous Five, Barbie, Fawlty Towers and others.

While reading an article on Oprah’s website last week, I came across her book of the month. The title was ‘Say You Are One of Them’, written by Uwem Akpan, a Nigerian author. Anyway, while reading through its’ synopsis, I discovered that the story revolves around genocide and war issues in Africa. If Chimamanda Adichie thinks that there is a danger in projecting stories from a particular race, I agree.

However, the danger behind the single story our African writers are projecting is a continent of despair, famine, inter tribal wars, communal strife, voodooism, witchcraft, female subjugation and other dark things you can associate with Africa. No wonder, it is referred to as ‘the dark continent’. Is it just me or am I biased in thinking that for every burgeoning African writer, there’s this urge to centralize their story themes around one war or the other to continually project dark stories to be a potential winner of ‘The Pulitzer Prize, The Caine Prize and other international awards available. I’ve often wondered why books such as ‘A Man of the People’, ‘No Longer at Ease’ or ‘Jagua Nana’ never won international acclaim. Guess, we’ve been feeding the world wrongly.

Why can’t we weave our stories around more positive elements? Why must it be the usual suspects? I am looking forward to the day, an African writer will win the Pulitzer prize for stories woven around more central positive themes than what is prevalent now.

I realize we need to tell our stories and keep it for future generations yet unborn, so they can have an idea of how we waded through the storms to finally find heaven (this is assuming and hoping we do make something bright out of Africa).