AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING:
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Shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize (2015), Chigozie Obioma’s debut novel The Fishermen, weaves together a resplendent and arresting allegory of fraternal disharmony and mortal redemption. It tells of the misfortunes visited upon a conservative Nigerian family. Mr. James Agwu, is a strict patriarch, whose work at the Nigerian central bank intermittently places him away from his family. In his absence, his sons Obembe, Boja, Ikenna and Benjamin embarks on a fishing adventure. Upon encountering a local mad man on one of their fishing sprees, their lives take a fatal turn. Employing the disintegration of a family as a figurative vehicle, Chigozie Obioma presents a clever and engaging narrative that subtly glances over Nigeria’s painful political experiences during General Abacha’s military government. Embalmed in mellifluous proverbs, The Fishermen is a moving and punchy celebration of the continent’s rich and relentless tradition of storytelling. It is little wonder that the author has been dubbed as the heir to Chinua Achebe.