The Fishermen

Chigozie Obioma. Little, Brown, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-33837-0
Seamlessly interweaving the everyday and the elemental, Obioma’s strange, imaginative debut—the translation rights to which have been sold in 12 countries—probes the nature of belief and the power of family bonds. Set in 1990s Nigeria, it is narrated by Benjamin Agwu, who is nine when his father departs for a distant banking job, leaving his wife and six children behind in the village of Akure. Despite stern admonitions, the four oldest brothers soon test their mother’s discipline. Their worst transgression is to fish in the Omi-Ala, a once-pure river that has become dirty and dangerous. There they encounter a mentally ill man named Abulu, who is locally believed to have powers of prophecy. Inexplicably, Abulu knows the eldest Agwu brother, Ikenna, by name. In a trance, he foretells the teenager’s death in detail, adding that it will be at “the hands of a fisherman.” Convinced that one of his brothers will kill him, Ikenna is enraged and destructive, isolating himself and throwing his home into chaos; ultimately, not just Ikenna but the whole family will be transformed by the power of Abulu’s words. Obioma excels at juxtaposing sharp observation, rich images of the natural world, and motifs from biblical and tribal lore; his novel succeeds as a convincing modern narrative and as a majestic reimagining of timeless folklore. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/23/2015
Release date: 04/14/2015
Ebook - 359 pages - 978-0-9929182-5-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4789-0613-1
Hardcover - 443 pages - 978-1-4104-8256-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-6473-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-6474-2
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-316-33835-6
Show other formats
FORMATS
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X