- Profile Books Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 19 February 2009
- Modern & Contemporary
Showing 1-3 out of 3 reviews.
Written in the first person perspective of Gregoire, an orphan who was shipped between foster homes as a child, is unattractive and struggles to fit into society, African Psycho begins with the ominous statement “I have decided to kill Germaine on December 29.”, and centers on this one task. Desperate to please the sprit of Angoualima, an infamous murderer who terrorized the township of He-Who-Drinks-the-Water-Is-An-Idiot in the past, Gregoire explains all the inter workings of planning a murder, include what weapon to you, where to do it and the steps that have lead him to believe that he can pull off the crime that will set the township ablaze with terror like his master did.Although the plot is interesting, beautifully written, especially for a book that discusses rape and murder, and creates an interesting self-portrait of a man who is obviously searching for acceptance by anything, I think the story would benefit from a more in-depth explanation of what created Gregoire. Yes we know that he was given up by his parents and he was unattractive and rarely liked, but it often lacked the substance that would fully create a picture. Though it touches on the society norms that create him, I believe it could use more.
When AFRICAN PSYCHO by Alain Mabanckou arrived in my book stack, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I've finished it now and I'm still not sure what I got. But I do remember it!Gregoire is a neglected child - an ugly child - an anonymous child - abandoned by his parents - he's raised in an increasingly haphazard manner really by himself mostly. He vows he will be different. He will be remembered. He vows to escape his humdrum reality and commit a spectacular murder. Just like his idol - the serial killer Angoualima. Angoualima is Gregoire's guide, his mentor, his hero. He's dead, but that doesn't mean that Gregoire is separated from him, often sharing his plans when sitting on Angoualima's grave.Told in Gregoire's own voice, AFRICAN PSYCHO is a journey into the macabre, the funny, the sad, the desperate and the disturbing. At the same time, there are great sweeping vistas of the absurd - not the least because the author uses the most bizarre names for places - "He-Who-Drinks-Water-Is-An-Idiot" is where Gregoire lives. The novel isn't set in a real place, just as Gregoire's life is somehow not quite real.AFRICAN PSYCHO isn't a book that fits into any "category" that's for sure. It's frequently weird, it's often confusing, but at the same time it's compelling, intriguing and just a little sad. Gregoire's an unreliable narrator in some ways, not by artifice or to manipulate. He's fragile. He's very damaged. The world he lives in isn't anywhere near where the rest of us lead our lives. It's not an easy book to read, partially because it doesn't fit into any particular pattern or mould. It's also not an easy book to read as Gregoire's somebody who despite everything, that you could very well find yourself caring about - a lot.
A disgusting tract written in a first person narrative. The protagonist, from The Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) lives in a town called He-Who-Drinks-Water-Is-An-Idiot, and the names of the streets and bars are equally amusing--perhaps the only amusing portions of the novel. The hapless protagonist--is he harmful or harmless?-muses about methods of committing murder, and relates details of his 'idol's' crimes that are graphic and disappointing. The book is only somewhat similar to the book American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis. The protagonist's foil and mentor speaking from the grave is perhaps the only realistic character voice outside the Gregory, the main character.
Reviews provided by Librarything.
No reviews here.