The Famished Road by Ben Okri

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Synopsis

In the decade since it won the Booker Prize, Ben Okri's Famished Road has become a classic. Like Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children or Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, it combines brilliant narrative technique with a fresh vision to create an essential work of world literature.

The narrator, Azaro, is an abiku, a spirit child, who in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria exists between life and death. The life he foresees for himself and the tale he tells is full of sadness and tragedy, but inexplicably he is born with a smile on his face. Nearly called back to the land of the dead, he is resurrected. But in their efforts to save their child, Azaro's loving parents are made destitute. The tension between the land of the living, with its violence and political struggles, and the temptations of the carefree kingdom of the spirits propels this latter-day Lazarus's story.

 

About Ben Okri

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Ben Okri was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He lives in London.
 
Published January 1, 1991 by JONATHAN CAPE LTD. 480 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for The Famished Road

Kirkus Reviews

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but as the election nears, Azaro's father enjoys a brief success, and in a subsequent vision proclaims that life is a road we're building that does lead to death but also to ``wonderful things'' for ``so long as we are alive, so long as we feel, so long as we love, everything in us is an energy w...

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The Guardian

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Is the abiku a youthful spirit – a Pan who sees the world in its full strangeness and plenitude – or one of Nigeria's displaced children, cut off from a culture far richer than the material world of his birth?

Feb 27 2010 | Read Full Review of The Famished Road

Publishers Weekly

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The cyclical nature of history dooms human beings to walk the road of their lives fighting corruption and evil in each generation, fated to repeat the errors of the past without making the ultimate progress that will redeem the world.

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Entertainment Weekly

Azaro, the narrator, is a spirit child who chooses to stay in the world of the living rather than, as his fellow spirits do, die young and return to the idyllic world he came from.

Jul 17 1992 | Read Full Review of The Famished Road

Los Angeles Times

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BOOK REVIEW : Seeing the Poverty and Riches of the Spirit : THE FAMISHED ROAD, by Ben Okri, Nan A.

Jun 08 1992 | Read Full Review of The Famished Road

The Bookbag

Yes Pages: 592 Date: August 2009 Publisher: Vintage ISBN: 978-0099535126 After eternities in the ever beautiful and kind spirits world, Azaro the spirit child decides to be born, and to be born for good - not wander between the world of spirits and the living, as he used to, not ...

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Famished Road

Spirituality & Practice

Reviews Philosophy About Our Affiliates Books & Audios Recently Reviewed This story revolves around Azaro, a "spirit child" who lives in an African village.

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Malinda Charter 27 Jan 2014

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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Malinda Charter 27 Jan 2014

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