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Mũrogi wa KagogoE Aburirian people Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic this magnificent novel reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexit. I have a thing for books that create their own mythologies and Wizard of the Crow has risen to the top of that list Set in a fictional African country this novel takes a serious romp through a stretch of land containing a Postcolonial dictatorship at odds with its people hysterically played out through a young couple claiming to be The Wizard of the Crow a sorcerer capable of knowing even The Ruler's deepest secret the guilt of white envy by divination through a mirror I realize this review sounds like bad jacket copy and fails to capture even the slightest amount of subtlety truth or the vast geopolitical landscape at work here This is an amazing book and like so many of the best is funny and sad simultaneously There is a wonderful kind of magical realism at work here a world I was happy to occupy while reading it one that often seemed real than the political surrealism we're surrounded with everyday

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” and set in the fictional “Free Republic of Aburiria” Wizard of the Crow dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of th. While I enjoyed the first part of this satire of political unrest economic hypocrisy and social upheaval I was distracted by too much going on too many pages characters sub stories and Three hundred pages in and it was all so much that I couldn't stay with Kamiti as he morphed from graduate student to unemployed man then homeless beggar and then Wizard of the Crow I wondered if a few pages could have been edited out the narrative arc tightened and the countrywell which African country is it for Africa is too big a continent to tackle in one novel as the blurb on my hardcover copy suggests Admittedly I'm a fan of Wa Thiong'o's; I found his memoir Dreams in a Time of War A Childhood Memoir singular and stunning Yet while I'm grateful that he is a feminist who in his fictional plot has reminded me to reread African women writers like Emecheta and Dangaremgba and to try Indian women writers like Arundhati Roy and Meena Alexander I do think it best that I save this book until the time when I can truly appreciate its ambitious sprawl For now I'll look for a shorter Thiong'o read

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characters Mũrogi wa Kagogo 109 ↠ In exile now for than twenty years Kenyan novelist playwright poet and critic Ngugi wa Thiong’o has become one of the most widely read African writers Commencing in “our times” and set in the fictional “Free Republic of Aburiria” Wizard of the Crow dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a batIn exile now for than twenty years Kenyan novelist playwright poet and critic Ngugi wa Thiong’o has become one of the most widely read African writers Commencing in “our times. This is a monumental epic book that encompasses most of Africa's post colonial history and one which I feel hopelessly unualified to review It was originally written in the Gĩkũyũ language for local consumption in Kenya and was translated into English by the author himself It is an outrageous mixture of fantasy farce and social commentary which draws on history religion and local mythology At different times I was reminded of Bulgakov Rushdie and Maruez but it occupies a truly uniue space of its own It is surprisingly easy to read for such a big complex book and is often very funnyAt its heart is the fictional Free Republic of Aburĩria which has been ruled seemingly in perpetuity by a brutal despot known simply as The Ruler From the start it becomes clear that there are outrageous and supernatural elements at play The Ruler's principal advisers are Machokali whose eyes have been surgically enlarged for his role as the eyes of the ruler and Sikiokuu who has done something similar with his ears Their latest scheme to aggrandise the Ruler is a grandiose project called Marching to Heaven which involves building a new wonder of the world a tower to surpass the Biblical Tower of Babel and the building project aims to draw funding from the Global BankMeanwhile a young man Kamĩtĩ is trying to find a job after returning from India with a degree In the process he meets Nyawĩra who is working as a secretary for a construction company run by Titus Tajirika but is also involved in a resistance group largely composed of women While they are fleeing from police after a demonstration Kamĩtĩ successfully reinvents himself as The Wizard of the Crow This is just the start of an epic good and evil struggle full of outrageous imagination Thiong'o never entirely loses track of the hope that Africa's corrupt elites can be defeated by the unified will of its people The storytelling owes much to local narrative traditions and normal ideas of what is plausible and rational do not apply but at the core is a strong moral parable and some telling ideas on the sources of Africa's problems and its perennial exploitation by the Western powers and particularly AmericaThanks to The Mookse and the Gripes group whose inclusion of this book in their Mookse Madness discussioncompetition earlier this year prompted me to read it A uniue and powerful book and one I expect to remember long after reading it