An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Book Review - Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou

Mabanckou is a French speaking Congolese and his is a fresh voice on the literary scene. Whilst not strictly speaking a novel in its modern sense this is an uplifting and joyous read, The narrator, clearly unreliable since he is a recurrent drunk, relate tales told to him by various customers at the Congolese bar Credit Gone West. His little notebook, forced on him by the bar's owner the Stubborn Snail, gradually fills with riveting little lives until he slowly reveals his own version of his own story. The lives he shows us are not our western lives but the problems are similar. Mabanckou writes in a consistently engaging way with scant regard for traditional grammar and punctuation but he always takes the reader with him. Filled with asides to great literature this text shines with a light from within.

Only two of Mabanckou's books have been translated so far but I await more with bated breath.

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