- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd; Unabridged edition
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1444762753
- ISBN-13: 978-1444762754
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,261,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews
It's pretty rare to find sci-fi and fantasy that isn't Western-centric, and even rarer to find genre fiction built around African culture, both past and present. That alone is a great reason to read this book, but what really makes LAGOON special is the way Okorafor writes Lagos, making the city itself one of the main characters. She doesn't try to glorify Nigeria, or denigrate it, but writes about a real place full of real people that, in many ways, could be any city in the world. There are so many wonderful scenes of powers, people's reactions, and Okorafor even gives a voice to the marine life in the titular lagoon. The Pidgin English sections are a little hard to translate, but Okorafor stands by the submersion method, and I did get the hang of it after awhile.
It's a challenging book in many respects, including the language and the scattered PoVs. Normally, I'm not a fan of novels that leave unanswered questions, or present a situation without explaining its cause, but in this case, I liked the pragmatism. It's not about figuring out where the aliens come from so they can be sent packing, or even investigating why they're here.Read more ›
Brilliantly imaginative, the book nonetheless is firmly rooted in the realities faced by ordinary people in Nigeria. These are revealed throughout the work as the three main characters cope with visitors from another world. Daily life is difficult and stressful. Agu, the soldier, comments after witnessing an eruption of street violence, “The alien invasion was just an excuse to let it all out.” Generalized anger finds expression, one way or another. Of all the portraits sketched in the book, that of Father Oke is perhaps the most compelling. It reveals the dubious character of some, (not all), of Nigeria’s large population of clergy, who at times take advantage of the very people they are supposed to help.
Corruption tops the list of ills Okorafor targets. The President, she writes, “found himself powerless to fight against Nigeria’s soul-crushing corruption. Whenever he tried to make changes, people around him were always trying to drain some sort of shady profit from his efforts.” Fake contracts bled money from programs intended to aid the disadvantaged.
Near the end of the book Father Oke states his belief that the Fin Bank in Lagos is evil.Read more ›
Lagoon is such a beautiful book. Nnedi Okorafor does a wonderful job mixing mystical aspects of Nigerian culture and history into a first contact story with a fascinating extraterrestrial species, while keeping it grounded and personal by telling the tale mostly through three seemingly normal people whose worlds are turned around at the arrival of a new species. I loved all the various characters, seeing how each reacted to what was happening. There are people firmly grounded in the older ways who thought anything out of the ordinary must be caused by a witch. There are scientists who struggled to understand what they were seeing and feeling. There are soldiers of every sort. We have a popular rapper from Ghana who was very different from his onstage persona. We have the various animal species, especially those in the waters around Lagos. And we have the new species who emerge from their ship and set off all the various events that unfold.
I found Lagoon very difficult to put down. For the most part the chapters were very short, and they flowed so well. After finishing one it was so easy to just read one more, then another. The author created characters that seemed very real. It was easy to get sucked into their stories, feel their excitement, fear, anger, at the unfolding events. It all had a very mythic feel to it. I was sometimes reminded of Neil Gaiman stories. I did occasionally struggle with the Pidgin English scattered throughout the book, but that was minor. This was a fun read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written, great read.
Something refreshingly new with a African twist. The characters talk to you. So real it makes me miss home.
A fascinating take on Lagos as the location for a science fiction story.Published 2 months ago by Tegan Bristow
I've read sci fi for 60 years, so am not easily impressed. This was a fresh and exciting take on first contact. Read morePublished 4 months ago by William S. Cordua
One of my favorites of 2014. Lagos -- already a fascinating & alien city by US perspective -- becomes the site of something truly otherworldly. Read morePublished 17 months ago by D. Kittrell