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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Grain of Wheat, 2 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Petals of Blood (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This offering by Ngugi is not as powerful as his earlier work "A Grain of Wheat" but nevertheless it is still a passable read. The book tells of the story of four people who arrive at a village for different reasons, their actions and decisions leave the village transformed. Munira, a teacher is the character that is given the most voice and he is he is also the one that is most real. Haunted by the fact he did little to gain Uhuru for his native land he now takes up teaching in the village of Ilmorog in a bid to do his part. We witness his struggle to start the school and most of his struggle to possess Wanja, one of the other four protagonists and the only notable female character in the book, though as if to make of for this lack of females Wanja's promiscuity is present with almost monotonous regularity. The story is about their struggle for justice, how they are exploited by the capitalists and how ultimately they get their revenge.

Here a very unsubtle political message is on display and Marxist tendencies constantly litter the text. So too worryingly is the nationalism that is very overt and almost lauded by Nugugi, at one point a half Indian half black man is writing a letter to his Indian father telling him to get out the country. Unfortunately the story sometimes gets lost in the politics he tries to put across, though for most part it is still an enjoyable read.
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