Review: “African Titanics” by Abu Bakr Khaal

“African Titanics” by Abu Bakr Khaal

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 19 October 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: African Titanics is the untold tale of the African boat people and their desperate exodus to the merciless shores of the Mediterranean. The novel is one of fleeting yet profound friendships, perseverance born of despair and the power of stories to overcome the difficulties of the present. Alternating between fast-paced action and meditative reflection, the novel follows the adventures of Eritrean migrant Abdar. As he journeys north, the narrative mirrors the rhythm of his travels, at one moment speeding away from bandits in the Sahara and at the next patiently awaiting news of a calm sea, maintaining a constant tension between life and death, hope and despair.

Connecting today’s migrants with legendary adventurers of the past, Eritrean author Abu Bakar Khaal places the phenomenon of migration in a broad perspective. The “bug” which grips the hearts and minds of young Africans is just one of many phases which Africa has traversed in its long history from man’s first cradle. With moments of comedy interspersing the harsh reality of migration, African Titanics provides an intimate take on a phenomenon so often in the news.

Review: I seem to be getting a lot of “interesting” stories lately and I know I’m overusing the word, but it’s the one that seems to fit!

African Titanics was another book that gave you that window into something you might not otherwise know much of, at least not in the place/time/heritage of myself. And seeing these things through the eyes of fiction tend to present, I think, an almost truer image. And that’s something that can hold your focus, and this did in that.

We followed a sort of narrative that was almost…First Person Omniscient? Which really isn’t something you see, at least not too often and particularly not in modern novels. Where we followed the narrator in First Person, but he also narrated things that he wasn’t there to witness, and often had a feeling of being very…removed from the narration, whereas most First Person Voices are very into it. It kind of reminded me of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” in that way, and I liked that book so that’s not a negative comparison.

That feeling of removal, though, almost makes you feel it more. The almost clinical description of some of their hardships almost makes the sorrow you feel for these migrants greater. Which is interesting, but true. It was a relatively quick read, but he held me engaged.

So, this book feels like a 4 Fireballs to me.

4 Fireballs

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