Broken Glass: Book summary and reviews of Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou

Broken Glass

by Alain Mabanckou

Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou X
Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou
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  • Published Jun 2010
    176 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Alain Mabanckou’s riotous new novel centers on the patrons of a run-down bar in the Congo. In a country that appears to have forgotten the importance of remembering, a former schoolteacher and bar regular nicknamed Broken Glass has been elected to record their stories for posterity.

But Broken Glass fails spectacularly at staying out of trouble as one denizen after another wants to rewrite history in an attempt at making sure his portrayal will properly reflect their exciting and dynamic lives. Despondent over this apparent triumph of self-delusion over self-awareness, Broken Glass drowns his sorrows in red wine and riffs on the great books of Africa and the West.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Literary allusions (Holden Caulfield has a cameo) and gentle ironies punctuate this wickedly entertaining novel." - Publishers Weekly

"... Mabanckou is funny, and his Rabelaisian riffs are a brilliant counterpoint to the real despair and dysfunction he depicts. Important, entertaining and subtly moving." - Kirkus Reviews

"This is not cute Africa, as described by Alexander McCall Smith ... Mabanckou is one of Africa’s liveliest and most original voices, and this novel pulses with energy and invention." - Kate Saunders, The Times (UK)

"A dizzying combination of erudition, bawdy humor and linguistic effervescence." - Melissa McClements, Financial Times (UK)

"Mabanckou ... positions himself at the margins, tapping the tradition founded by Celine, Genet and other subversive writers. His bursts of grandiloquent magical realism are a promising approach for a region where realism and naturalism have become blunted in the face of intractable problems. The accompanying humour, too, is welcome. With his sourly comic recollections, Broken Glass makes a fine companion." - Peter Carty, The Independent

This information about Broken Glass was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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