Wednesday, 21 June 2017

THE FAMISHED ROAD

THE FAMISHED ROAD - BOOK COVER
The Famished Road is the Booker Prize-winning novel written by Nigerian author Ben Okri. The novel, published in 1991, follows Azaro, an abiku or spirit child, living in an unnamed, most likely Nigerian, city. The novel employs a unique narrative style incorporating the spirit world with the "real" world in what some have classified as magical realism. Others have labeled it African Traditional Religion realism. Still others choose to simply call the novel fantasy literature. The book exploits the belief in the coexistence of the spiritual and material worlds that is a defining aspect of traditional African life.

The Famished Road is told in the second person from Azaro's point of view. His life is difficult because he lives in a world where he alone sees the spirits. For the first half of the novel, Azaro acts mainly as an observer, trying to understand who he is and what is happening to him. Later, he grows wiser and closer to his father. Azaro learns to take action at several pivotal points in the story. Where his early point of view is merely as a bystander, he later attaches meaning to seemingly bizarre events

Plot synopsis

Azaro is an abiku, or spirit-child, from the ghetto of an unknown city in Africa. He is constantly harassed by his sibling spirits from another world who want him to leave this mortal life and return to the world of spirits, sending many emissaries to bring him back. Azaro has stubbornly refused to leave this life owing to his love for his mother and father. He is the witness of many happenings in the mortal realm. His father works as a labourer while his mother sells items as a hawker. Madame Koto, the owner of a local bar, asks Azaro to visit her establishment, convinced that he will bring good luck and customers to her bar. Meanwhile, his father prepares to be a boxer after convincing himself and his family that he has a talent to be a pugilist. Two opposing political parties try to bribe or coerce the residents to vote for them.

Download the book: The Famished Road.pdf


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