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).

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His character highlights the rampant corruption, manipulation, and military control of the government sweeping through Nigeria at this time, following the Civil War, keeping the country poor and reeling. Elvis’s story also touches on issues related to globalization, and how Nigeria’s impoverished communities are affected by this phenomenon.

But it’s the type of book that both Black and Elvis would want to write. This would have been a far better book if he could have kept that tone of abxni parody up for the length of the novel.

Books by Chris Abani. Sailors would come back and teach kids on the docs of Accra and Mali all the American guitar movements, which later produced people like Ali Farka Toure, who plays this hybrid Malian music that sounds so aban like the blues.

And throughout the book there is the waning influence of British colonial rule, the loss of indigenous knowledge, and the expanding influence of American pop culture. I think you can judge this book by its cover.


GraceLand – Wikipedia

Notes on it structure—the main story is set in …but in Book 1, every other chapter is set in the past until the timeline intersects at the end of Book 1 i. View all 3 comments.

I had lunch with Chris Abani last week. They vibrated so badly, the picture often gracland and danced insanely from side to side, sometime spilling out onto a nearby wall. GraceLand by Chris Abani. Published January 26th by Picador first published I was especially fond of the way Oye speaks. I liked the feel vivid sense it gave of Nigeria at that time. If you choose to read this book, get ready for an experience unlike any other. And so, torn by the frustration of unrealizable dreams and accompanied by an eclectic chorus of voices, Elvis must find a way to a Graceland of his own making.


Some people name their children after saints or forefathers in the hope that they will be, well, graced with their good sides. GraceLand left me satisfied, but I hope that Abani – who was raised in a mansion with cars and servents – cheis continue to romanticize the poor, abused artist.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. And when you take characters who speak English like Nigerian street kids it’s part of the theme, too and translate it into Swedish, it ends up sounding like an old 50s comedy half the time.

Graceland by Chris Abani

Abani’s stories show us life balanced on the blade of a knife. Bare bedrooms and drug deals in the shadows.

Elvis father is named Sunday, his best friend is named Redemption, and Elvis himself is of course named Elvis. Elvis is tempted to a life of crime by the easy money his friend Redemption tells him is to be had in Lago’s underworld. Despite all of this, there is a fine silver thread of hope and beauty woven throughout the story, and it kept me going. Sept 6 33 Jun 26, There’s that dialogue going on all the time Both are lower class artists, always with a sophisticated book tucked under their arm, with one dead parent and one abusive one.


To view it, click here. Details are what bring it back to Lagos each time. There was a problem adding your email address.

His dreams and hopes feed off movies and music, which are then appropriated and made new by his Nigerian culture. Graceland isn’t quite up there, it’s a little too self-conscious and meandering for that, but it’s a very good read nonetheless. However, other reviews, such as Kirkus Reviewschrix a slightly more critical view on the novel, stating: Shaun Randol founded The Mantle in The tale about Elvis’ life in Lagos, his relationships with his family esp.

It came to me just in time. Still, it was a good read. Jul 02, Trevor rated it it was ok Shelves: Loved his conversation with the students.