Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Friday, February 19, 2021

Welcome to Lagos: A Novel by Chibundu Onuzo - 2016 - 298 Pages

Welcome to Lagos: A Novel by Chibundu Onuzo - 2018 - 298 pages

As Welcome to Lagos opens Chike Ameobi, a Nigerian Army officer, is ordered to have his platoon kill civilians.  He knows he cannot carry out this order so he deserts.  He knows he will be a hunted fugitive so, with his second officer Yemi, he feels he can escape discovery in the teeming capital Lagos.  Other young people looking for a new way of life form a new platoon under the leadership of Chike.  Among them are Fineboy, a former member of a rebel army who hopes to become a DJ in Lagos. There are two women in group.  One’s father is presumed killed by rebels.  Ona is escaping a wealthy abusive husband.

The plot turns on their complex involvement with a minister of education now on run for stealing ten million dollars.

The star of the novel is Lagos.  Lagos is presented as a place of extreme coruption, where no one can be trusted.  We see people living in extreme luxury with millions in squalor, living as squaters.

This is very much a novel about lingering impact of colonial rules combined with the corrupting influence of oil riches.  The rich send their children to London for education. We do spend a lot of time among Nigerians in London.  

There is an exciting plot and we are given a very real feel for the poor side of Lagos.

I am glad I read Welcome to Lagos.  I acquired this as a Kindle of $1.95.  It is now back up to $11.95.

I am not comfortable suggesting a purchase of this book for $11.95 to those who I don’t know. If it goes back on sale, I see it as worth the risk.

“Chibundu Onuzo was born in Nigeria in 1991, the youngest of four children of parents who are doctors, and grew up there in Lagos.She moved to England when she was 14 to study at an all-girls' school in WinchesterHampshire, for her GCSEs and at the age of 17 began writing her first novel, which was signed two years later by Faber and Faber and was published when she was 21.She was the youngest female writer ever taken on by the publisher.[Reviewing her second book, Welcome to Lagos (2016)

Onuzo received a first-class bachelor's degree in history from King's College London (2012)and went on to earn a master's degree in public policy from University College London.As of 2017, she is studying for a PhD at King's College London.” Wikepedia 


1 comment:

Marianne said...

That sounds like a very interesting read. Thanks.