September 27, 2020 By admin 0


The sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator hoping to. GraceLand has ratings and reviews. Jon said: I have mixed feelings about this book and while I’m glad I read it, it’s a difficult book to recom. By switching between flashbacks and the present, and sprinkling in some gritty scenes (child rape) and colorful detail (quoting John Wayne).

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Because after finishing “Graceland,” his first book, I was shook by the Old Testament violence he wrote about more than a decade ago. Byatt, and when you read Chris Abani you see exactly how the truth can kill. Follow Shaun on Twitter shaunrandol. cris

Worth gracelwnd for its searing depiction of modern Africa, but Abani is no Chinua Achebe. This would have been a far better book if he could have kept that tone of gentle parody up for the length of the novel. Read it if your heart feels strong enough to bear being torn apart.

Starting out as an Elvis Presley impersonator, he takes on a wide variety of jobs, many gracekand which place him in criminal situations. I wonder how much of Elvis’ story is autobiographical of Mr.

Elvis is a flawed boy that you can’t help but love. Two male role models try to take Elvis under their wing–a petty criminal named Redemption and a political dissident called the King of Beggars–while his alcoholic father Sunday struggles with his own legacy and feeling of failure.

This is one of several ” quick reviews ,” a series that provides a snapshot of international arts and culture. To ask other readers questions about GraceLandplease sign up. He takes you into a country, a place you chrris never been grzceland makes you feel it, see it, sense it. Chris Abani, then, is incredibly irresponsible.

Because after finishin I had lunch with Chris Abani last week. While I certainly think it’s about time a mass-market paperback about the current conditions in industrialized West Africa, Abani presents his critique of American imperialism within a whole lot of artistry or subtlety. Dec 24, Kevin Warman rated it it was amazing.



For example, gracsland is only the presence of foreign journalists that prevent the Colonel from massacring the protesters at the end of the novel. The climax of the tension between the Colonel and Elvis occurs when Maroko is in danger of being bulldozed in favor of new development by private developers. But great music was always born from the blues. So, I expect I’ll read more chrris him.

Abani has his characters reference both Nigerian Achebe, Soyinka and Western Ellison, Dostoevsky, Marley writers ahani create a picture of a world that’s become an interconnected web long before modern communications made it obvious; the characters rarely set foot outside their own city, yet thanks to the cultural, commercial and political revolutions of the past centuries they very much live in the Big World Outside.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. While other reviewers are right in saying the sexual violence was gratuitous and some plot lines come out of left field, for me, my biggest complaint was that the chrix voice bored me to the point of daydreaming.

I’m sad that it fizzled for gracelxnd. Except the poor sods who live in the dark cjris that you’re describing so lovingly for your audience. Jun 18, Carolyn rated it really liked it. What I like about the book is the poetry, the sheer grace of the language. Set in the Nigerian city of Lagos, GraceLand is the story of a teenage boy named Elvis Oke, who is trying to escape the poverty of his community.

Mar 02, Kathryn rated it really liked it Shelves: Don’t peek, but the last line of the book is so insightful!

Gfaceland found myself not wanting to tear my eyes away, even during scenes that were so gruesome that I found myself cringing as I read. He is always difficult on Elvis and as the story progresses, he begins to soften in his demonstration of love for Elvis.


Elvis is tempted to a life of crime by the easy money his friend Redemption tells him is to be had in Lago’s underworld.

Graceland by Chris Abani

It was nice reading about the life of a youth living in Lagos. At first, Elvis found it was dizzy work just trying to keep focused, until he learned the popular trick was to sway from side to side while squinting off to the left. Would love to read more by him. Jul 26, Jon rated it liked it. The King organizes the residents, who gracrland a desperate act of social unrest, hold off the bulldozers temporarily. If you get it, fine. It’s interesting, in his interview with Jones, Abani insists that he doesn’t think about the Western reader when he writes: An honest account of the flaws of humanity.

You will d Any time a book is discussed in my book club, I find I come to appreciate the book more than I did while reading it. Retrieved from ” https: Don’t read this chgis knowing there is some graphic violence within, including more than one rape scene.

GRACELAND by Chris Abani | Kirkus Reviews

But the King of the Beggars, Elvis’s enigmatic yet faithful adviser, intercedes. And throughout the book there is the waning influence of British colonial rule, the loss of indigenous knowledge, and the expanding influence of American pop culture.

Abani expresses his impotency: This knowledge, associated with femininity, sustains Elvis throughout the narrative. He reinforces stereotypes for an imbecile audience that really doesn’t need anymore proof to bolster its racist beliefs.

You will attract a spirit. Later, after some very scary tribulations, Elvis has an exchange with a soldier who roughs him up.