27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
One of the greatest novels ever written,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Famished Road (Paperback)
Like many modern Nigerian authors, Ben Okri bases the Famished Road on Nigerian legends, and to the unitiated, the book may seem symbolic, lacking in connection to the real world. But when read carefully, this book limns all of modern life. From the election campaigns of the hypocritical "Party of the Rich" and the even more hypocritical "Party of the Poor" to the vision of the trees in retreat from the village after having "lost their argument with men" Okri has written a masterpiece about the modern death of the spirit and presented it (as is fitting) in a magical form. From the first page, where the narrator describes his position as a spirit child, born only to die young, often many times to the same parent, a figure of fear and horror, until he decides to see what life is like, the book captivates you. The first three pages are as well written as any novel in the English language, Moby Dick and Augie March included.I ave a soft spot for Nigerian literature (although I myself am a Jew from Brooklyn); for some reason, the Nigerian authors manage to come up with some of the best literature of our time again and again: and this book is the perfect introduction.