The Fishermen: Book summary and reviews of The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

The Fishermen

by Chigozie Obioma

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma X
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2015
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the Cain and Abel-esque story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings.

What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact - both tragic and redemptive - will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal. Seen through the prism of one family's destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions - economic, political, and religious - and the epic beauty of its own culture.

With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation's masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. 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." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Made vivid by the well-rendered specifics, Obioma's quietly unfolding story of family tragedy gathers strength as its cycle of violence spins faster and faster. All fiction readers will enjoy." - Library Journal

"The talented Obioma exhibits a richly nuanced understanding of culture and character... A powerful, haunting tale of grief, healing, and sibling loyalty." - Kirkus

"Obioma's remarkable fiction is at once urgently, vividly immediate, yet simultaneously charged with the elemental power of myth." - Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl

"Obioma writes with gorgeous restraint reminiscent of the intricate prose in a Tolstoy novella...It just doesn't get better than this. Get used to the name: Obioma is here to stay." - Alexandra Fuller, author of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

"Awesome in the true sense of the word: crackling with life, freighted with death, vertiginous both in its style and in the elemental power of its story. Few novels deserve to be called 'mythic,' but Chigozie Obioma's The Fishermen is certainly one of them. A truly magnificent debut." - Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries (Man Booker Prize)

"I find the author Chigozie Obioma formidably articulate and with great talent. I believe that he has it in him to become one of the best writers of the upcoming crop of young African authors." - Nuruddin Farah, author of Maps and Hiding in Plain Sight

The information about The Fishermen shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Kankston

Depressing
I would not bother with this book. Life is a b*tch and then you die. I found it difficult to read and really depressing. No hope!

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Author Information

Chigozie Obioma

Chigozie Obioma was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria. His short stories have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review and New Madrid. He was a Fall 2012 OMI Fellow at Ledig House, New York. He has lived in Nigeria, Cyprus and Turkey, and currently resides in the United States, where he has completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. The Fishermen is his first novel.

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