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Graceland (Today Show Pick January 2005) Paperback – January 26, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
The book was very well-written and the format made it particularly realistic. It is not chronologically organized, but the date preceding each section prevents confusion. This format, with excerpts from his mother's journal and descriptions of the kola nut ceremony mixed in, makes it easier to understand Elvis' perspective; details about his earlier life and Nigerian culture provide a context in which the story is set. The only problem I felt there was with the book was I felt Elvis could have been more emotionally developed.Read more ›
If you are looking for an uncomplicated and linear novel, then Graceland isn't for you. Its plot jumps back and forth from Elvis' childhood to his teen years. Although these sudden shifts may seem disconcerting, they ultimately help the reader understand Elvis on a deeper level. The stories of his past make up who he is in the present, giving the reader a fuller sense of his character. The point of view also shifts throughout the novel. While most of the story follows Elvis, some parts of it are instead of his father's point of view, or even his cousin Innocence's. These short dips into another character's life and experience show that Elvis is not the only victim of the circumstances in Nigeria. It would be easy to point a finger of blame at Sunday, Elvis' father, but glimpses into his life show that he too has been irreparably damaged. Although he seems like the cause of Elvis' pain, he is just another casualty of corruption. Every character suffers, and no one lives unscathed. Bits of culture are also thrown into the mix: throughout the book, one can find Nigerian recipes, medicinal uses for herbs and plants, and the procession of the kola nut ritual.Read more ›
The book is not just an exercise in suffering. Its high-life rhythm is almost danceable and the language begs to be sung or rapped with the right lilt and spin. The characters have fantastic names, exotic personalities, and metaphorical heft. The reader is always aware that Abani is working on several levels at once, exposing a real world, developing a complex character, cauterizing an enduring wound, mourning a lost past, and crafting a handbook for survival in the global village. The elements are familiar, the mix is new, important, and vital. Reading this book will expand your mind and delight your soul.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The cover picture is an excellent reflection of content. Characters remained true throughout. Many parallels with real life. A good read.Published 24 days ago by Dorothy Gittens
I've read almost all of is work and apparently, Mr. Abani cannot write a bad book. So far, this is my favorite. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ReadWriteRepeat
Abani can write! He makes English delicious!
I like the story, really liked this book!
The author's writing is lyrical and beautiful even when depicting horrible conditions. The reader will care about what happens to the characters. An excellent book.Published 16 months ago by Lisa Nussbaum
The main character: Elvis tries to make his way in Nigeria. He has been named after an American entertainer who he tries to imitate meanwhile he fights with his father, the failed... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
Enjoyed the many themes and pieces of life in Nigeria explored, but there were too many unfinished subplots. Read morePublished on January 12, 2014 by Elizabeth McGehee
I have not read it yet, it is for an upcoming class. But compared to what I have to pay at the campus bookstore, I love it.Published on December 11, 2013 by LittleMama