The sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator hoping to. GraceLand has ratings and reviews. Jon said: I have mixed feelings about this book and while I’m glad I read it, it’s a difficult book to recom. By switching between flashbacks and the present, and sprinkling in some gritty scenes (child rape) and colorful detail (quoting John Wayne).

Author: Goltilmaran Mazuzilkree
Country: Guatemala
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Marketing
Published (Last): 19 April 2010
Pages: 311
PDF File Size: 18.30 Mb
ePub File Size: 9.45 Mb
ISBN: 310-6-14754-848-9
Downloads: 97925
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Arajind

Would love to read more by him. Cousin Efua, who is Elvis’ best friend in Afikpo. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. But up on stage Abani impressed me more than just about anyone else with the exception, probably, of Kei Miller.

Chris Abani Nigeria Quick Review. This story made me laugh, cry and kiss my teeth. Maybe I took too long reading it. Here is what Abani tells Tayari Jones about the scene in an April interview in In the very first scene of the book, when the protagonist Elvis is awoken by a pounding Nigerian rainstorm, we read this: Publishers Weekly highlighted its two-fold ability to tell the story of Elvis, and the larger issues of poverty and globalization: Still, Graceland seems to me to be a story that is—in its particulars—very Nigerian.

Abani expresses his impotency: Possibly the most important line in the book is actually a quote from Bob Marley: A powerful exploration of the costs of colonialism registered through masculinity and sexuality. The story leaves you ramsacked, you feel gracelanc a shipwreck. Abani’s stories show us life balanced on the blade of a knife.

Sept 6 33 Jun 26, Jun 19, Matt rated it it was ok. I think you can judge this book by its cover. But I think Abani does care, and that actually leads to some of the worst passages in the book, which read more like narrative travel guide than good literature.


GraceLand First edition hardcover. Chriis in a soft voice that reminds me of brushed velvet, he can talk forever about the intricacies of grace,and, writing and words.

GraceLand by Chris Abani

I really can’t describe the story because there was so much contained in its pages. We allow access to the Western reader, but also say we don’t care about what you think.

Desiring to do something to intervene, Elvis tells his father, only to be met with derision and consternation. Details make a story unique to the author, place, and narrative. Jun 05, Hafeez added it. Be the first to discover new talent! Published January 26th by Picador first published Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger.

GraceLand – Wikipedia

Set in the Nigerian city of Lagos, GraceLand is the story of a teenage boy named Elvis Oke, who is trying to escape the poverty of his community. Jun 03, R. And I see a lot of it happening in literature as well. In the spirit of Western capitalism, free cigarettes are handed out at the beginning of the movie. What I like about the book is the poetry, the sheer grace of the language. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

Dec 30, Frances rated it it was ok Shelves: He talks about the concept of the African extended family, saying so much in his description of a distant cousin still being Elvis’ “brother”.

Jul 03, Michelle rated it it was ok Shelves: Chrus his stories just don’t add up and a bunch of people, Nigerian and other, have noticed and written extensively about it. Abani’s prose is so effortless and fluid, you can’t help but be drawn into the world he’s created.


The projectors, archaic and as old as many of the silent stars, sounded like small tanks. Notes on it structure—the main story is set in …but in Book 1, every other chapter is set gracelanf the past until the timeline intersects at the end of Book 1 i.

An honest account of the flaws of humanity. Later, after some very scary tribulations, Elvis has an exchange with a soldier who roughs him up. So, I expect I’ll read more of him. While I certainly think it’s about time a mass-market paperback about the current conditions in industrialized West Africa, Abani presents his critique of American imperialism within a whole lot of artistry or subtlety.

For Elvis, his criminal activities are motivated by his desire to lift himself out of poverty. To view it, click here. In addition to structure, I found A new writing mentor—someone I really admire.


In this case, Lagos, Nigeria in the early s, with flashbacks a few years earlier. If you want to see Nigeria through the eyes of a disenfranchised kid trying his best to survive in post independent Nigeria, set during the late 70’s and early 80’s. Empty bottles were valuable because the local Coca-Cola factory washed and reused them. Many of the slums in Lagos are makeshift structures built above swampland: About halfway through I felt eager and anxious that the rest of the chriis would be a frightening, downward spiral—I was right.

As Barthelme’s writing reveals, no part of our life is left unadulterated by the media, and, in Abani’s novel, we also find that no corner of the earth is left untainted by Western influences.