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.