22 December 2007

Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation, 2005

A heart-felt, first-person tale of a West African child soldier cynically conscripted to fight the people who murdered his parents, his journey instead becoming a lawless journey from town to town in an orgy of murder, robbery and rape. It didn’t quite extract from me the degree of sympathy I was expected to feel towards the unfortunate and far-too-young narrator, being rather predictable in its direction and the author’s overstated aim to make a visceral impression, but it’s a bracing novel and particularly worth reading for the consistent idiomatic African English Uzodinma Iweala uses. Not for the faint-hearted.   PY

  Beasts of No Nation was nominated for the 2005  James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction.

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