I was given Graceland as a present, and when I looked it over, I thought it would be a book in which the political statements would dominate in the entire the story. But I was wrong. In Graceland, the writer successfully avoided that with his rich characters, fascinating details, fast pace and the emotional expressions of the characters, especially the protagonist. The characters in the story stand very well for themselves. I think GRACELAND is one of the most remarkable novels I have read and surprising enough, it showed that Nigeria has adopted so many things usually thought of as essentially American. I also recommend The Usurper and Other Stories,The old man and the Medal for encompassing many rich themes.
Chris Abani's Graceland is a great book.It details cultures,change,struggle,good,evil,forces and allows us at the same time an opportunity to be apprehensive and sentimental.It deals with Elvis's struggles with sexuality in a perverse and ethically erased diatribal way.Some telling details of rape,schiophilia,incest,anal sex,crucifixes,human trafficing,renouncing politics and just the age old struggle of men are evoked by Abani.The Igbo traditions are also examined and add a fine contrast to the western way of life which permeates aspects of the Nigerian cultural frame.The book even touches on issues such as minelstry and burlesque which was exciting and Abani's detail is commendable.Its a great book.Lively,energetic,real(a bit too real at times),harrowing,concealing but nonetheless contemporary in its questioning and perhaps subtle denounciation of the status quo.
This was my first read from Abani and I thoroughly enjoyed it though at times I felt frustrated and sometimes annoyed with the characters. Nevertheless it was an insight into the grimey labarynth of Lagos