In January while I was in Nigeria I went book shopping. The Nigerian literary scene is pretty vibrant at the moment and I was keen to discover new authors. There were three books I was particularly interested in but while I was in the store, I stumbled on a book by an author called Chimeka Garricks. If I’m honest, the book looked like a QC literature text. The quality of the paper and cover, typography and layout of the print was less than impressive. The synopsis got my attention though. The story is set in the Niger Delta and tackles the world famous issues surrounding oil and kidnapping in the region, using the lives of four young men as a platform. As a full blooded child of the Niger Delta, I was interested to read what the author had to say.
That said, I put off reading the book for as long as I could because it really is very unattractive and looks like a drag. One day when I had nothing else to read, I decided to give it a chance. I’ve been playing it cool and holding back on my opinions on my recommendations but I have to quell my resolve and tell you that this book is genius! It is brilliantly written… the plot was well researched, artfully constructed and delivered with truck loads of verve. What really struck me about this book was how powerful the dialogue was. You’ll notice from my blog posts that I tend to lean quite heavily on dialogue when story telling. It is very difficult to keep sustained dialogue punchy and captivating but Chimeka Garricks does it flawlessly.
I was in two minds about recommending this book because if you don’t live in Nigeria, I’m not sure how you can get your hands on a copy. I’ve scoured the internet but no online retailers or bookstores in the UK (or US) seems to stock it. I’m trying to get my hands on a copy or two to give away and as soon as they arrive, I’ll let you know what you need to do to get your hands on them.
If anyone has read this book, I’d love to know what you thought about it. To the rest of you, happy reading…if you can find it!