Customer Reviews for

The Famished Road

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2003

    A Post-Colonial Wonder

    The opening line of The Famished Road explains, 'In the beginning there was a river. The river became a road and the road branched out to the whole world. And because the road was once a river it was always hungry.' The Famished Road is an excellent book that shows a small abiku child literally and metaphorically caught between two worlds. He is caught between the world of the living, which he refers to as the world of illusion, and the spirit world. More than that, Azaro is caught between the fading old customs of Nigeria and the new modern world, the colonial British Empire and new Nigerian independence, and the harsh poverty of those around him, sharply contrasted by the riches of self-seeking politicians and peoples. The road in the novel is constantly devouring, yet never fulfilled, much like the characters that surround Azaro, the Nigerian politicians, the self-seeking upstarters, and poverty itself which is represented by the growing hunger of the road, as the forest recedes and poverty spreads. The road is the dilemma of post-colonial Nigeria. Azaro's spirit companions are constantly trying to bring him into the world of the spirits, so that he may escape the harshness of a reality that offers him pain and suffering. However, Azaro fights with the temptation to return to the spirit world through the love of his parents, which is a shelter and an amplifier of the real contrast of forces that move around him throughout the novel. Okri's use of language is vividly brilliant and magnetic, while the story is mesmorizing in it's lucid sadness and vague triumphs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2012

    The book is entirely too long. After 140 pages of urinating, vom

    The book is entirely too long. After 140 pages of urinating, vomiting, and nighmarish hallucinations, I realized I had a lot left to read. This was not for me. Every 4-5 years I run into one of the award winners that defy any reasonable justification.

    Kudos to B&N for returning my money.

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    Worst

    This is probably the worst book I have ever read. If you pick it up, be prepared for confusing, strange scenarios, unnecessary detail, and basically just meaningless dribble.

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  • Posted July 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful yet strange

    A young Nigerian boy named Azaro is caught between two worlds: the real world, and the spirit world he came from when he was born. He's in a constant struggle to keep his soul here in the real world, with the spirits trying to get him to join them again in their world. Azaro's real world family lives a hand-to-mouth existence, with his father doing manual labor jobs for very little money, and his mother peddling what cheap goods she can get ahold of. They live in a compound in the ghetto, and are often in conflicts with the neighbors and landlord because of the father's sometimes eratic behavior. Add to this political thugs, herbalists, boxers, beggars, witches, and other strange beings and you've got a rich and powerful story.

    This book is possibly one of the wierdest books I've ever read. I can't say I always understood it, but the journey through it and into Azaro's bizarro world made for some of the best reading I've had this year. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys imaginative storytelling.

    Steeped in magical realism, it has everything from talking animals to dream adventures to witches and curses. The setting however is very grounded in reality, and it makes in interesting contrast to read about the fantastical creatures and then the ghetto finally getting electricity in the same chapter. The writing is wonderful; Okri has such a perfect way of expressing himself that it really makes the story come to life. Not a book I'll forget any time soon, I hope to read more by this talented author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2007

    Famished Road

    The book was good if you like weird, trippy, stories. I liked what I read, it was hard to follow, but it keeps you thinking. I found Okri's analogies and metaphores kept me pretty absorbed in the book. Though a lot of the book was miserable, almost apocolyptic sounding, there was a still tranquility in Okri's narrations that always left an inspiring imprint. Some of the book, I could relate to on a spiritual level. All of the book was inspiring and beautiful. Truely a work of art.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2007

    Spirt Child

    Famished Road is sort of a sci-fi book because in this story a child known as an abiku child, an abiku child is a spirt that is caught in between two worlds. The world of the dead and the world of the living, in some ways he is much like the new seris ghost wisperer. He is among the living but can comunicate with the dead. Through out the book it explains how Azaro, deals with his spirt friends that haunt him for abandoning the spirt world. As he goes about living the spectors try to force him back to the spirt world, by death. Either making him very ill or banshee women carrying him off to sacrifice him to a goddess. But Azaro fights to live, and this book explains every detail in full. A well done job using the senses, but this book is not recommend for those with low patience. You have to fallow it very carefully in order to enjoy Azaro's jorney.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    My Journey Through the Famished Road

    I had a great experience reading this novel.the stories in this book are interesting and made me want to continue reading it.there are so many details which i like because it expands my imagination and form that i can make a sort of film in my head. i recogmand this book to readers who like to picture and create a view from reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    The Famished Road

    Hats off to Ben Okri for writing this stellar book about a spirit child who is caught between a median of life and death. Throughout the book he uses exceptional detail and vivid stories that make the mind unfold and imagination tingle. As you move closer and closer to the end of this novel you hear his stories and experiences through his contact with the dead. He describes in detail one story where he is taken in by a family who lost their son. At a dinner with them he sees miserable spirits around him and as he studies one of them in detail he notices that one of them is the families son. The son is badly injured in the face and looks depressed. This book is not for all ages for it experiments with the human mind and how it can interact with such a tragic and interesting storylines. There are many more interesting details that are mentioned throughout the story that will keep you wanting and questioning for more. Okri's amazing walkthroughs of the African bazaars and cities that the story guides you through provide a very potent sense of culture within the setting. Overall this is must read for any one who is looking for a vivid and descriptive novel that will send you on a literature journey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    The Famished Road

    Though I enjoy reading, this book was definitely a hard read. The book is a story of Azaro, a spirit child. Through the book we follow Azaro as he encounters some very odd sequences through his life, for he can see spirits, and sees weird humans and creatures. At first I found the book to be hard to follow, but then I did get more interested as it went along, the descriptions of the characters and scenes caught my mind. However, as I read on I lost a lot of interest, as it seemed to just be repetitive of him getting lost, and seeing peculiar spirits. It also began to seem random, and after the first few hundred pages, it was hard to follow. I probably would have never read this book had it not been assigned to me, it wasn't bad though, and I would recommend it to anyone who's interested in African culture, or spirits. The author did do a great job in thinking of odd characters for the book, but none of it really kept me wanting to read it, or not be able to put the book down. I did like the last few words of the book 'A dream can be the highest point of a life', and I think that is a lot of what the book is trying to tell you. I enjoyed the message of this book and learning more about African culture. If you want something different than any other book you've ever read, definitely pick this book up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    The Famished Reader

    although this book was stunningly descriptive and made me think about what each character was gong through,I had a hard time relating to any of the events in the book. this book uses very detailed descriptions about the world around azaro, 'the main char.' but often times i find it does not give very detailed information about the background or the vocabulary in used in the book. i recommend this book to someone who is interested in reading about strange and macabre stories staged in africa. If anyone wants to gain an understanding of african peasent life than this book shold give you wonderful insight. i enjoyed following azaro through all his adventures with the spirits and gained alot of expierience on how life really was, and still is, in Africa.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    It was a very interesting book.

    I have to say, this book was by far the most unusual story I have ever read! The novel is narrated by a boy who lives in two separate worlds. One of the worlds is the present time while the other is a fantasy where many, many wierd things happen. For me, it was way to confusing! You could not figure out what world he was in at times unless it said, for example, 'the snake crawled up the bear and eventually did not eat it, but shared a meal with it.' -pg 141. If you're a reader who likes a tough read and can figure things out by using challenging context clues, this is the book for you. Otherwise, just say pass!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2007

    Reality sucks

    Famished road was an interesting but confuesing book. It had a lot to do with spirituality and Politics. The only parts of the book i liked was when Azaro the main character was sunk in his mind and the spirit world. The part when the book was about polotics and reality it became boring and i lost interest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2008

    Confusion at it's best

    A famished Road shows you the life of the spirits and mind games i really did not like this book because of the constant confusion when i was in reading it.I would say if you have a short patience for a book than dont read this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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