Stephen Buoro

Teoksen The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa tekijä

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Told through the fifteen year old eyes of Andy Africa, this is a coming-of-age story that is probably the clearest description I have read of why young men might want to leave their country, in this case Nigeria, for the West. Andy Africa loves white women ith blonde hair, and one in particular, Eileen- she is the only one he has ever met - and this desire for her drives his whole life. Although this is the main story, there are plenty of other things going on as well.

First off, is who is Andy's father? He really wants to know and can't understand why his mother won't tell him. There are the religious battles between Christians and Muslims where parents and children are slaughtered and Andy and his friends are imprisoned wrongly for being young when the students are protesting. They have no money and most of all want to be like young people in the West with their named clothing and goods, speak like them and live like them.

Wrapped around all of this is religion, Catholicism, and all that brings including the structuring of the book based on the five sorrowful mysteries of the rosary: the agony, the scourging, the crowning, carrying the cross and crucifixion or death. In some places these are made crystal clear and in others less so. He makes a crown for Eileen or Eiqueen, as he calls her, after they have slept together and after the death of his mother he has to carry the burden of knowing who his father is. The moral of this story could well be 'careful what you wish for'.

The character of Andy is very likeable, up-beat and making the most of what he has and his life up to the point until his church is attacked. He is well-educated and loves nothing more than deep conversations and maths.

Father McMahon is writing a book about his archaeological excavations of communities alongside the River Niger, and how the creation stories of Northern Nigerian tribes parallel and dovetail that of Genesis. I visit him occasionally on weekends, and we spend evenings talking about Darwin (how his theory doesn't negate Genesis) and Georges Lemaitre (how faith can guide and strengthen reason). We spend nights in his garden peering through his telescope at Alpha Scorpii and Proxima Centauri b, wondering about possible lives out there, whether they have that hole deep in them to understand things, whether they know God exists, God's plan for creating other planets apart from earth.

The book is a mix of genre: realism, sci-fi, fantasy and Afrofuturism where Andy believes that he lives in a 'continent of simulations' and his role is to explore the mysteries: his obsession with whiteness, who his father is and the future of his country.

i am andy africa

greatest of all superheroes

suffering servant

conqueror of the sands

i'm fly!
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allthegoodbooks | 1 muu arvostelu | Jan 14, 2024 |



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