The Fishermen Synopsis
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 MAN BOOKER PRIZE Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award Winner of the FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Award Longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature In a small town in western Nigeria, four young brothers - the youngest is nine, the oldest fifteen - use their strict father's absence from home to go fishing at a forbidden local river. They encounter a dangerous local madman who predicts that the oldest brother will be killed by another. This prophesy breaks their strong bond and unleashes a tragic chain of events of almost mythic proportions. Passionate and bold, The Fishermen is a breathtakingly beautiful novel firmly rooted in the best of African storytelling. With this powerful debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature.
The Fishermen Press Reviews
It's like being in a Zola or Theodore Dreiser novel... The Fishermen is an elegy to lost promise [...] and yet it remains hopeful about the redemptive possibilities of a new generation Guardian Obioma's beautiful, quasi-biblical allegory-like debut The Fishermen...is set to be one of the novels of the year -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times A passionate, jostling and flamboyant piece of work Daily Telegraph A mighty fry-up of pop culture, fable and verbal invention New Statesman A striking, controlled and masterfully taut debut...The tale has a timeless quality that renders it almost allegorical and it is the more powerful for it FT Full of deceptive simplicity, lyrical language and playful Igbo mythology and humour...an impressive and beautifully imagined work Economist Equal parts supernatural fable, rip-roaring schoolboy adventure and period re-enactment Observer, Paperback of the Week There is much to recommend in this debut, not least the insights into Nigerian culture and history...The novel excels in its depiction of the tribal landscape and the townspeople Irish Times Suffused with an air of legend and the supernatural...The Fishermen establishes Obioma as a writer to be taken seriously...ingenious, subtle, ambitious and intriguing TLS Reveals Nigeria's historical, political and cultural complexity Big Issue A debut that is packed with power and tragedy Shortlist A novel with an intimate canvas but also an undercurrent of something larger, more primal We Love This Book Terrific Irish Examiner A startling debut...auspicious...leaps off the pages -- Mariella Frostrup Open Book Nowhere is the mythic quality of The Fishermen felt more than in its...vivid images, often drawn from the natural world, through which its narrator recalls his childhood -- Lorien Kite Financial Times Mythic... a truly magnificent debut -- Eleanor Catton, author of 'The Luminaries' Hardly anyone writing today is delivering this level of intricacy, lyricism and control... it just doesn't get better than this -- Alexandra Fuller, author of 'Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight' An exciting new voice in African literary fiction...astonishingly vivid...beautifully written...read it slowly, savour the writing, enjoy Bookbag Skilfully building the atmosphere from light and innocent to ominous and mysterious, gradually becoming claustrophobic and ultimately tragic...engrossing Curious Animal Magazine, Book of the Month [A] strange, imaginative debut...A convincing modern narrative and... a majestic reimagining of timeless folklore Publishers Weekly (starred review) [A] lively, energetic debut novel...the talented Obioma exhibits a richly nuanced understanding of culture and character. A powerful, haunting tale of grief, healing, and sibling loyalty Kirkus [An] elegantly near-mythic debut novel..a deeply personal story that mirrors the larger social and political tensions in Africa... All fiction readers will enjoy Library Journal This book is astonishing...The writing is perfectly tuned, lyrical in places and bracing in others BookRiot An entrancing modern-day legend... Mr. Obioma's long-limbed and elegant writing is shot through with strikingly elevated phrasings... rich with ancient themes of filial love, fratricide, vengeance and fate... its power is unmistakable Wall Street Journal Storytelling at its most captivating...The Fishermen is a must-read Brittle Paper Chigozie Obioma truly is the heir to Chinua Achebe The New York Times Darkly mythic...a kind of African Cormac McCarthy, committed to a stark vision of life in which our pretensions to civilisation are forever held up and exposed as skin deep USA Today [A] confident debut novel... frank and lyrical New Yorker Obioma brings terrific authorial dexterity to the family's story and its small place in Nigeria, and evokes a worldview which brings with it a terrible tragedy. This is the best novel I have read so far this year, and that, I can assure you, is saying plenty. -- Kathrine A. Powers Christian Science Monitor Outstanding... sits finely balanced on the cusp between myth and reality Intelligent Life The Fishermen is compelling stuff, acute and remorseless Literary Review Lyrical... a writer to watch -- Books of the Year Economist The best debut of the year by some distance -- Alex Preston Observer In contemporary Nigerian literature, muscular heroes of postcolonial independence have lost their swagger... Chigozie Obioma's debut novel, The Fishermen, recuperates this toothless archetype with superb grace Guardian