Let’s just say I had high hopes going into The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma and I was not let down. There has been a lot of murmuring in literary circles that Obioma is one to watch and I think people are right – Obioma can write!
I won’t mince words, The Fishermen is a heart breaking story about four brothers who seem bound by fate to live out the prophecy of a madman. It is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. As the story proceeds, the reader sees the path the boys will follow, and as much as you don’t want it to happen, it seems inevitable.
I like a well structured novel, and that is one of the strengths of The Fishermen. While I found myself skimming through some digressions, the broader structure kept me going. It is finely crafted.
Who would like this book? While many people may be grabbing The Fishermen in a bid to read more diversely, I think that ultimately this book will appeal to those who like books about brothers. The bond the brothers in this book share goes beyond all else. It is a fidelity that can’t be shaken. And I’m pretty sure it would appeal to fans of Shakespearean tragedy. If I knew my Shakespeare a little better, I’d be willing to bet that one of his plays follows a similar course.
A tragedy of Shakespearean proportions? That sounds interesting enough for me to check it out!
It was agonising, but in a good way.
This sounds a bit depressing for my taste, but if it really does parallel one of Shakespeare’s plays, I’d get more excited about it 🙂
The thing is, it is depressing, but it isn’t. I don’t like sad books, and although lots of sad stuff happens, overall I wouldn’t classify it as a sad book. It didn’t depress me.
I read a review of this in the Guardian a couple of months back and put it on my list to look for. Alas that’s a bloody long list and I’ve not paid much attention to actually doing anything about looking for this – I will now.
I just happened across it at the library and grabbed it before anyone else could. I would like to say I had to beat back other grabbing hands, but…
Ooh – I like your view that this is a book about brothers. That appeals to me, as I have 2 of them 🙂 I’d shied away from this one because of the whole prophecy thing, which kind of turned me off.
I haven’t heard of this one, but it sounds like an good read. Siblings always have such an interesting relationship with each other!
I might have to add this one onto the TBR list.
I definitely have to check this out! Obioma was interviewed on the Lit Up podcast, and he was super interesting.
I’d love to hear him. I’m going to download the podcast right now.
I really, really enjoyed this book. There are many subtle lines that the author uses with deftness. I would love to take one of the classes he teaches.
He teaches classes? That’d be amazing. He’s brilliant. I can’t wait for his next book.
Yeah, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Go figure.
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