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

Broken Glass

by Alain Mabanckou

Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2010
    176 pages
    Genre: Novels

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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

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