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House of Stone

by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma X
House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
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  • Joane W. (Berlin, MD)
    House of Stone
    This book is about a young Zimbabwean man who lives vicariously through a man who has a missing son. He calls this man a surrogate father. The book includes racism, discrimination and revolutionaries. The young man attempts to infiltrate his surrogates life by digging into the man's personal history.
  • Margaret H. (Springfield, VA)
    House of Stone
    This was not an easy book to read although parts of it were captivating. Occurring during the time Zimbabwe was struggling for real independence and dealing with poverty and violence, the tale is narrated by a man looking for his family and trying to become part of a new family. (Perhaps an analogy of the start of a new country). Real events and people like Black Jesus are incorporated into the story which is filled with sexual and violent overtones. Parts of it were moving but at times I had to put it aside for a less violent book. Not only was there violence and sexual contact during the story but also evident in the history of the country. This connection of fiction and nonfiction was the main element in the novel. I felt that some editing would have made it more readable. It will be interesting, however, to follow the writings of this author.
  • Amber H. (Asheville, NC)
    This book was a struggle
    I had a lot of difficulty reading this book. I wasn't able to follow the story line and frequently had to re-read the description on the back to remember what the point of the story was. It appeared to consistent of random stories about people and I was never really sure how this flowed.

    I was intrigued by the description initially. I struggled to get through this book and am not even now clear on what it is about. This writing style just isn't for me and I hope others are able to enjoy this book more.
  • Laura P. (Atlanta, GA)
    House of Stone
    Narrator Zamani, an orphan himself, attempts to attach himself to a family (Abednigo and Agnes) with whom he boards and whose 17-year-old son has recently disappeared. His approach seems to be to collect the family history and adopt it as his own, so he becomes a surrogate son. He collects this history through all kinds of trickery and manipulation, playing on Abednigo's alcoholish, plying him with drugs, and emotionally manipulating Agnes, although I was never clear on why he felt the need to take this approach. Since the family story is tied to the downfall of Rhodesia and the rise of Zimbabwe, there's a good bit of historical (and unpleasant) information contained in those stories. The telling of them is scattered , not chronological, and confusing. There are extraneous characters and complicated flashbacks, including a strange emotional relationship between Zamani and his vision of Abednigo's first wife. I found reading this book to be a pretty unsatisfying experience, and although the general topic of the Rhodesia/Zimbabwe revolution is of interest to me, this is not the way I would chose to experience it.
  • Nancy H. (Lisle, IL)
    Obscuring of issues
    I would have loved to learn more about Rhodesia and the political and cultural turmoil surrounding the country of Zimbabwe, but I found the mode of storytelling in this novel convoluted. I felt that the author obscured the issues, rather than clarifying them. I came to this novel with little understanding of the people or policies of Zimbabwe, and left the novel feeling I knew even less. The author’s style did not engage me, and I felt disappointed that I was missing an opportunity to learn more about the times and people.
  • Catherine O. (Altavista, VA)
    Difficult read
    I found House of Stone to be a stilted, confusing novel. It didn’t give me a sense of the culture and chaos of the birth of Zimbabwe. The novel focused on the narrator’s desire to be a beloved son and the lengths he goes to in order to achieve his goal. I never felt swept along in the story. I was hoping to connect with the author, but I never did.
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