On one hand, I think The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma is a brilliant piece that many young Nigerian children may relate to in one way or another. I particularly love that the story line ascends and unravels new suspense in each chapter to keep the reader hooked. The fishermen is about 4 brothers who went fishing at a sacred river, without their parents knowledge. They sell the fish and spend the proceedings on things like football. They were caught by their nosy mother's friend who reported them. Even after facing the wrath of their parents upon their father’s arrival, they did not quit fishing. The doom spelled on them when a mad-man who usually sat by the river prophesied that one of the brothers will be killed by a fisherman. Which fisherman? You will have to read the book to find out.
For me, this book hit home and brought memories of how I would leave the house even when my mother strictly instructed that I shouldn't. I am lucky that I did not face serious consequences like the brothers did in this book.
In addition, Chigozie; the author, added themes like love, education, mental health, hope and parental roles in marriages. Towards the end of the book, a relief that was proposed was for two of the brothers to travel abroad, to Canada as an escape from the poverty, poor education, and the sad events that occurred in the family. This relief is a reflection of the common mentality that anywhere outside home aka abroad will give a better life without deep thought of the possible consequences.
On the other hand, I will criticize the author's choice of ending the book abruptly. When Chimamanda Adichie did this trick with "Half of a Yellow Sun," it was cute and acceptable because it was one of the first Nigerian novels to try that act. Now, I think it is problematic when every story writer thinks that a book with "no ending" or "abrupt ending" is "good ending." It may keep the readers curious and thirsty for more and it may make good sales for an author who plans to write a "volume 2" but it doesn't seem fair to a reader/listener who has drowned in the story.
Another criticism is that the story line is slightly dragged and it gives room for a reader/listener to get lost along the way. However, the author's pace in The Fishermen is commendable compared to The Farmished Road written by Ben Okri.
I enjoyed this book.
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