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Measuring Time: A Novel Paperback – February 17, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Mamo, the first born of the twins, inherited sickle cell anemia from his mother, who died in child birth. From an early age Mamo, fragile and prone to health crises, does not expect to grow into adulthood. This makes him reflective and withdrawn, always waiting for something to happen: first death, later on fame, fortune or something else. Expectations and dreams change over time. The younger twin, LaMamo, on the other hand, is a rambunctious youth who "acts before he thinks". Together they make a complete person, one balancing the other's character.
Among the many things uniting them, hatred for their father stands above all else. They are convinced that he made their mother's life so miserable that she died at a young age. Fortunately, they are taken to their uncle Ilya for the first few years of their lives. Then auntie Marina, their father's sister, comes to live with them, dedicating her life to the well being of the boys. Eventually, the young men plan their escape: there are wars being fought in neighbouring countries and they believe that they can make their fortune.Read more ›
First off, I must compare this book to Habila's debut novel. The themes of time are common to both novels. The titles of both novels alone give this away. Both major protagonists are also writers which makes me wonder if both of these characters reflect some true aspects of Mr Habila himself and if he is projecting himself through them.
Where both books differ vastly is that Measuring Time is a utterly more confident book. It does not doubt itself and this alone makes it beautiful.
All the characters in Measuring Time are fleshed out and given skin and bones. He does not attempt to always explain them or their motives but he makes them realistic. Of course, there are a few characters here and there who serve as necessary plot devices but with this book I can forgive Mr Habila. I could not forgive him for those in Waiting For An Angel.
I also really like the deft way in which he challenges unfair social frameworks and questionable traditions without sounding preachy.
He brings the village of Keti and its citizens to a vivid life and reminds us through Mamo that even though intelligence can be greatly enhanced by education, it is not supplied by formal education. Also you will turn the final page feeling that home is where the heart is.
This is a great book. A fantastic narrative work. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The novel Measuring Time by Helon Habila chronicles the parallel journeys of Mamo Lamang and his twin brother, LaMamo, growing up in the small village of Keti in Nigeria. Read morePublished on April 16, 2012 by Ethan McLeod
This starts off slow but I read it to the end and liked it. Has several meanings on different levels.Published on June 19, 2010 by Amazon Customer