“But I also know how bad it is to send the wrong message, to portray who you are not. To preach what you don’t practice. To practice what you fight”
BUSINESS OF THE DAY
In A Country of Extraordinary Ghosts, we get transported from Sodom (yes, the one you know) to Lagos.
It opens with the Bible’s account of the beginning of the world, then we are introduced to a boy.
A boy who witnessed the destruction of Sodom suddenly finds himself in Lagos State, Nigeria. (I know you can’t fathom that yet)
Unable to marry his present situation with his past especially with the strangeness of this new land, he wanders in the slum of Lagos but gets rescued by an Ajegunle boy, Bolu.
Bolu introduces him to Doctor, from one person to another, one situation to another, this nameless former citizen of Sodom, experiences Lagos and its many faces.
I can imagine the colossal difference between life in Sodom and in Lagos, the boy experiences culture shock but was experienced in other areas. (like with women)
He discovers things that might help him as he keeps experiencing what it really means to live in Lagos.
From the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, to the decadence in Lagos, poverty, sexual abuse (a whole lot), sex and hypocrisy, A Country of Extraordinary Ghosts poses to be a unique narrative.
At the beginning, I could not ignore the biblical parallels in A Country Of Extraordinary Ghosts. I was like, ‘bring it on!’
It is exciting to reading someone’s perspective (aware of its fictitious state) of biblical stories and to add that Nigerian essence to it, is absolutely brilliant.
It was intriguing, reading a story that has Lot in it. I enjoyed the author’s style of writing. It is different, it is personal. I have read stories about biblical events but not something that an individual experience life that way.
It is a short read that follows a story which develops well.
On the other hand, I noticed the inconsistency when the narrator landed in Lagos. He struggled to understand somethings but could totally relate to others? I also wanted to know more about the narrator’s Sodom situation and the doctor, unfinished business lingers there.
I had so many questions, did the narrator look Nigerian when he landed in Lagos? I did not want to dwell on this because it was just a part of the story and not the whole thing.
I am trying hard not to give spoilers, at the end of the day, I was able to understand how the story tried to explain how people who were supposed to be in charge, constantly ignored things that should be corrected. If you turn your face away and pretend that something bad is not happening, you are endorsing it.
I think A Country of Extraordinary Ghosts is good book, crazy in a lot of sense which makes you ask questions and think.
SHOULD I READ?
Yes, it is wholly different which I think adds a different perspective to your reading journey. It is a 4/5 for me and I doubt you have read anything as crazy as A Country Of Extraordinary Ghosts before.
Title: A Country of Extraordinary Ghosts
Author: Onyeka Nwelue
Publisher: Blues and Hills
Pages: 144 pages