The Fishermen: A Novel
By Chigozie Obioma
Narrated by Chukwudi Iwuji
Ⓟ 2015, Hachette
9 hrs and 51 mins
The Fishermen is a lif-fic novel set in Nigeria in the mid- to late 1990s, and features four brothers who decide to take up fishing at a nearby river… As innocuous as the premise sounds, that one decision sets off a series of events that underscore pride, loyalty, extreme and graphic violence, superstition, vengeance, and ideas of redemption. You don’t need to know anything about Nigeria to get the setting; but it may be helpful to know that during the time period of the novel, Nigerian politics were extremely corrupt and led to civil unrest.
The narrator is Nigerian and reads the text with native cadences, bringing the various characters to life. Of particular note, are the voices given to the father and priest, characters whose voices are delivered with immediacy and heat that reflect the mood and personalities of the characters vividly. Iwuji also reads the textual cues expertly; so when the author writes that a word is stressed a certain way, the narrator actually takes it as direction instead of blowing it off. Iwuji gives a really great performance. There’s a smattering of Igbo (one of four official languages of Nigeria), and the English spoken is based on the Queen’s English (so there are some seemingly odd stresses to words to American ears like “tarpaulin”); but the authenticity of the narration cannot be denied.
OTHER: I purchased The Fishermen: A Novel (by Chigozie Obioma; narrated by Chukwudi Iwuji) from audible.com. I receive no monies, goods (beyond the audiobook) or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
The Fishermen: A Novel (by Chigozie Obioma; narrated by Chukwudi Iwuji)is a finalist in the 2016 APA Audie Awards in the Classics & Literary Fiction category.
The Armchair Audies is an annual, unofficial event in which audiobook fans each pick a category from the APA Audies Finalists announcement, and listen to each of the 4-6 titles nominated. After listening, and reviewing each of the contenders, the listener(s) picks the winner for his/her selected category. This year, I’m listening to the finalists in the Classics & Literary Fiction category along with The Sleepless Reader. You can read her review of The Fishermen on her blog, The Sleepless Reader.com.
03/28/2016: Added 2016 APA Audie line;
03/28/2016: Added Armchair Audies logo;
03/29/2016: Added Armchair Audies paragraph including links to The Armchair Audies, the APA Audies finalists announcement, and to The Sleepless Reader’s review of The Fishermen