The Fishermen

The Fishermen

by Chigozie Obioma


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New York Times has crowned "the heir to Chinua Achebe."

Told by nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, THE FISHERMEN is the Cain and Abel-esque story of a childhood in Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river, they meet a madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of the book's characters and readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, THE FISHERMEN is an essential novel about Africa, seen through the prism of one family's destiny.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316338370
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/14/2015
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

CHIGOZIE OBIOMA was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria. His short stories have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review and New Madrid. He was a Fall 2012 OMI Fellow at Ledig House, New York. He has lived in Nigeria, Cyprus and Turkey, and currently resides in the United States, where he has completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. The Fishermen is his first novel.

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The Fishermen: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the Faulknerian sweep of an African novel. Highly original, riveting--moving. As Eleanor Catton, Booker prize winning author said: "few novels can be considered mythic, and this novel is one of them."
19340882 11 months ago
Just an incredible writer. A John Steinbeck of Nigeria. I have recommended the author to many friends. Have also read his work, "An Orchestra of Minorities". Obioma's writing will certainly be brought to movies, but please enjoy the original. You will smell the dust on the roads, hear the chickens cackle, have your heart skip a beat too. I read constantly, four to seven books at a time. I could not put down "The Fishermen."
Anonymous 11 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I look forward to reading more by this young writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book but I didnt expect it to be so dark and depressing!!
PrincessCarter More than 1 year ago
SPOILER ALERT!!!!! Set in the 1990s, “The Fisherman” follows nine-year Benjamin and his four older brothers through their lives and hardships as a family in Nigeria. The family’s life changes for the worse when Eme, Benjamin’s father, leaves to work in another city. The boys start to act out due to the lack of authority and discipline being enforced onto them. Benjamin, and his brothers Ikenna, Boja, Obembe all start to fish in the Omi-Ala river. Once a divine and prosperous river, the Omi-Ala is now deserted and seen as an evil place. The boys knew that if their parents found out, they would be in a lot of trouble. One day while at the lake, a madman named Abulu, known for his prophesies, tells Ikenna that one of his brothers is going to murder him. After their father found out that they had been fishing in the river, he beat the boys, Ikenna the worst. This cause Ikenna to rebel, yell at his mother and drift away from his brothers. Boja, who was closest to ikenna, got tired of him treating them poorly and killed him. Abulu’s prophecy was fulfilled. Because he felt shame, Boja committed suicide a few days later. The death of her son’s caused Ben’s mother to have a mental breakdown. Wanting to avenge his mother and dead brothers. Obembe told Ben that he was going to kill Abulu and asked for his help. Although Ben was reluctant, he agreed. He felt that he had to stay unified with his brother after all that had happened. After killing Abulu, Obembe got scared and ran away. He wanted Ben to come with him, but he wanted to stay with his mother. The next morning, soldiers took Ben away. At the end of the book, Ben said that David and Nkem did not experience the events of the family like the rest had. He compared them to egrets. This whole story was told inside a courtroom at Ben’s trial. I really liked this book. I usually hate books like this, but for some reason, I really enjoyed this one. I liked the fact that Obioma started each chapter comparing them to animals. It strengthened the biblical aspects and the irony. It was also a really good style choice to have the story told through Ben since he was the one who got arrested and not Obembe or David. It wouldn’t have been as strong through Obembe because he left and the ending would have been more abrupt and David was too young to have these events have a strong impact on him. Compared to “The Headstrong Historian”, “The Fisherman” is a lot sadder. They both include death but you are not as attached to the characters nor does it give details. They are similar in that they both explore Nigeria in a time of struggle. “The Headstrong Historian’ however dives deeper into the interactions between Europeans and Nigerians and the effect it had on the society.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed reading this novel. The story is captivating.