Starred Review. The fictional Republic of Aburiria chronicled in this sprawling, dazzling satirical fable is an exaggeration of sordid African despotism. At the top, a grandiose Ruler with "the power to declare any month in the year the seventh month" and his sycophantic cabinet plan to climb to heaven with a modern-day Tower of Babel funded by the Global Bank; beneath them, a cabal of venal officials and opportunistic businessmen jockey for a piece of the pie; at the bottom are the unemployed masses who wait in endless lines behind every help-wanted sign. Kamiti, an archetypal New Man with two university degrees and no job prospects, sets up shop as a wizard; with the help of Nyawira, member of both an underground dissident movement and a feminist dance troupe, he dispenses therapeutic sorcery to a citizenry that finds witchcraft less absurd than everyday life. Kenyan novelist Thiong'o (Petals of Blood) mounts a nuanced but caustic political and social satire of the corruption of African society, with a touch of magical realism—or, perhaps, realistic magic, as the wizard's tricks hinge on holding a not-so-enchanted mirror to his clients' hidden self-delusions. The result is a sometimes lurid, sometimes lyrical reflection on Africa's dysfunctions—and possibilities. (Aug.)
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Magic realism drives this mammoth novel set in the imaginary African country of Aburiria, and exiled Kenyan writer wa Thiong'o roots the wild fantasy in the brutal horror of contemporary politics. His ridicule of the powerful knows no bounds as the novel chronicles greed and corruption in Aburiria and in the West, including the Global Bank's funding of the Aburirian ruler's Marching to Heaven Tower of Babel. But even more than the crazy plot of coup, countercoup, flattery, and betrayal, what holds the reader here is the intimate story of one couple. Quiet secretary Nyawira, secret leader of the people's resistance movement, persuades her intellectual lover, Kamiti, to give up his search for himself in the wild, and they embark on a plan to change the world, with Kamiti disguised as a sorcerer. Set off by the global farce, this unforgettable love story reveals the magic power of the ordinary in people and in politics. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's sprawling tale of a fictional African dictator, a homeless MBA turned healer and a grassroots revolutionary is both poignant and hilarious, biting and hopeful. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Greg
What caused the ruler's illness? Anger? A curse by a goat? The process of aging? His disgraced first wife's rebelliously unshed tears? The withdrawal of demonic support? Read morePublished 10 months ago by H. Schneider
In college I took an African Literature class. At the time, required to read about six novels a week, I could not find time for The Wizard of the Crow and, basically, b.s. Read morePublished 16 months ago by FicktionPhotography
Best book ever. Should be made compulsory text for literature in West African secondary schools. Loved every bit of itPublished 19 months ago by Aderonke Atoke Taiwo
This book is brilliantly written and could not put it down till the end. It looks at politics from a satirical perspective but you never lose the seriousness of the subject matter... Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by m
This is both a cleverly written political critique and a quick-paced tale about Kamiti, who arrives in a large city friendless and alone. Read morePublished on June 7, 2011 by iris flannery