• Sarina Bosco

The Fishermen | Chigozie Obioma

Updated: Dec 27, 2021

Read If: you want to be profoundly uncomfortable with what children are capable of, you're okay with a story with no real good outcome, you're up for cultural immersion via book.

2021 was, apparently, the year of books that I found genuinely disturbing on a lot of different levels.

That doesn't turn me off to books! Usually, it draws me to them. The Fishermen was no different. It follows a family's destruction after a madman who tells one of the brother's "destinies." I definitely got Oedipus/chicken and the egg vibes from it; do bad things happen because they are fated, or because the boy believes they are inevitable and therefore makes them come true?

Aside from the main story, some of the stories of adjacent characters are disturbing, heart breaking, and overall tragic. The book description itself mentions "redemption," but I'm not sure more than a sliver can be found in this book.

Either way, it's beautifully written, immersive, descriptive, and one of the best things I read this past year.

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