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: Malatilar Dozilkree
Country: Eritrea
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Automotive
Published (Last): 16 May 2010
Pages: 260
PDF File Size: 13.58 Mb
ePub File Size: 5.7 Mb
ISBN: 839-5-66842-319-1
Downloads: 96018
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kagal

I liked the feel vivid sense it gave of Nigeria at that time. But there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about it. When the bulldozers and police return, this time with more resources, Sunday leads the charge and dies in the battle that consumes and overtakes Maroko. Oye, Elvis’ tough as nails grandmother, and matriarch of the Oke family, who is as unrelenting with Elvis as his father is, but crhis respect from all in the village.

Enslaved Africans brought the roots of the blues with them to the United States and it made its way back to us in Africa. Graceland is set mostly in the xhris ‘s in the Lagos slum, Makota, and the protagonist is a boy for whom the grandest ambition imaginable is to become an Elvis impersonator.

Sure, Elvis tries to make a living as an Elvis impersonator, dance and smile for the rich white tourists, but nobody wants a year-old black and tonedeaf king of rock’n’roll. There was a problem adding your email address. Those sort of explanatory footnotes are littered throughout the book.

A large part of the novel is concerned with the concept of criminality. To view it, click here. Abani tackles politics without bashing us over the head with it; things are as they are, men and women do what they do to survive until they leave the building. But they’re all graceoand and uneducated and dirty and raped.


Much of the book works as a collage – a collection of brief accounts of how Igbos offer the sacred kola nut to visitors; horrifying accounts of poverty and exploitation in modern day Lagos ; moments of tender love between close friends and complete strangers; and detailed Igbo gracelans which come from the diary of Elvis’ mother. Jun 05, Hafeez added it. Abani’s prose is so effortless and fluid, you can’t help but be drawn into the world he’s created.

Byatt, and when you read Chris Abani you see exactly how the truth can kill.

Quick Review: Chris Abani’s Graceland

It was like a slow moving train chugging toward an unknown destination, and all of a sudden we switched tracks, sped up, and crashed into a place we never thought we’d end up. This was a book that needed discussion.

He’s America and Europe’s little African darling. The story leaves you ramsacked, you feel like a shipwreck. The theme of criminality, which is also addressed through a number of other characters, is useful in discussing the justifications of crime. Story about a young man trying to get by gracelad Lagos slums in the s. To ensure they got their bottles back, the factory charged local retailers a deposit on the bottles, which could only be redeemed when the bottles were turned in.

I really can’t describe the story because there was so much contained in its pages. This story made me laugh, cry agani kiss my teeth.

Graceland by Chris Abani

Oct 26, Saleh MoonWalker rated it liked it Shelves: Aug 29, Christine rated it really liked it. Though Elvis strays from his path and is lost in the dark wood of his country in strife, his mother through her written notes on Igbo culture and her record of recipes for sustenance and medicine, reading more like prophecies, keep Elvis sane and compassionate.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. I even had a couple of them while in Ghana! As Elvis matures from self indulgent and naive boy to awakened chfis, he’s initiated into the sinful ways of his world, and, cgris Dante, he sees firsthand how degrees of sin match degrees of survival. After failing to succeed as a street performer, Elvis goes from being a laborer, to a male escort, to an unwitting human trafficker, and finally to working as a caretaker of young beggars and living on the street.


GraceLand – Wikipedia

Bare bedrooms and drug deals in the shadows. Oct 06, Twodogs rated it liked it. Print Hardcover and Paperback. Loved his conversation with the students. Not fhrisobese and trapped in the Graceland that was to be his palace but got turned into his mausoleum, but when he was young.

Graceland is the story of a son and his father, and an examination of postcolonial Nigeria, where the trappings of American culture reign supreme.

He is always difficult on Elvis and as the story progresses, he begins to soften in his demonstration of love for Elvis. Want to Read saving…. But Abani is no romanticizer; he also implies that the costs of the slow violence of poverty and the rapid and inescapable violence of a military dictatorship are even heavier on women’s bodies–not only through the mother’s cancer, but also through Efua’s repeated rape by her father and eventual we think prostitution, and through a twelve-year-old girl whom Elvis attempts to shepherd through the slums.

Nov 09, Rod-Kelly Hines rated it it was amazing Shelves: I enjoyed Song For Night and hoped Abani would deliver in this book. It’s pathetic, and that is just what so charmed me about this novel. This book is one of those books that, no matter how intense and devastating its content, is written so well that you just don’t want it to end. It was nice reading about the life of a youth living in Lagos.