Ake: The Years of Childhood Paperback – 5 Oct 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
Through his young eyes, Soyinka also weaves into the story the importance of the role of the people in bringing about change in the their country. Even though his reports are intended to be the views of child it is obvious that he was very aware of what was happening around him.
Soyinka tells his story with honesty, insight and never ending humour. A truly enlightening, enthralling and delightful book.
Born into a teaching family, Wole Soyinka lovingly recalls a headmaster father he calls Essay and a severe mother nicknamed Wild Christian, who certainly is the ruler of the household. But around this potentially unlocatable family, there exists an eclectic mixture of Yoruba tradition, imported educational values and imposed colonial rule.
The young writer's concerns, however, are exactly what might be expected of a growing lad. He chases things, explores, is naughty - sometimes very naughty! He is punished and rewarded. Life goes on. There are local concerns, sometimes wider ones. He eats plenty of good food and, by no means uniquely, but certainly eloquently, describes the multicultural reality of colonial West Africa.
Whether it was the reader or the writer is unclear, but when, about half way through the book, Wole Soyinka starts to relate his school experiences, Aké seems to change into a different, much more vivid book. Recollections become stronger, more deeply felt, more keenly described. What had already been a joy now becomes thoroughly engaging as well.
Wole Soyinka's neighbours did become objects of great interest, and not merely because they figured in this book.Read more ›
Soyinka's early chapters show him as a very small child, just becoming aware of the world outside his home. I was reminded of the similar 'feel' that Laurie Lee conjured up in his recollections of infancy in 'Cider with Rosie' (albeit in a very different setting!) Later we see his early intelligence, and his attaining a scholarship. In the last couple of chapters the fairly tame Women's Group to which his mother belongs starts to take up politics, fighting the iniquitous tax levied on the poor and gradually becoming part of the anti-British rule movement.
Extremely well-written with some amusing episodes, bringing his world to life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I flew through this book. And that's exactly what makes Wole Soyinka a literary icon. Loved it! I would be reading this book again!Published on 1 Mar. 2014 by Book Lover