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Publisher's Summary

In a Nigerian town in the mid-1990s, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family.

Told from the point of view of nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the Cain and Abel-esque story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local 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 its characters and its listeners. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure, but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal. Seen through the prism of one family's destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions - economic, political, and religious - and the epic beauty of its own culture.

With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation's masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2015 Chigozie Obioma (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Obioma's remarkable fiction is at once urgently, vividly immediate, yet simultaneously charged with the elemental power of myth." (Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl)
"Obioma writes with gorgeous restraint reminiscent of the intricate prose in a Tolstoy novella. Every sentence delivers a precise and heartfelt blow. Hardly anyone writing today is delivering this level of intricacy, lyricism, and control. Add to that, the urgency and importance of his message. It just doesn't get better than this. Get used to the name: Obioma is here to stay." (Alexandra Fuller, author of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness)
"Awesome in the true sense of the word: crackling with life, freighted with death, vertiginous both in its style and in the elemental power of its story. Few novels deserve to be called 'mythic', but Chigozie Obioma's The Fishermen is certainly one of them. A truly magnificent debut." (Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries [Man Booker Prize])

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • jdukuray
  • Seattle, WA United States
  • 01-08-16

Beautifully written, heart-wringing tale

Any additional comments?

This is a lovely book, sad and funny (more sad than funny), but so spirited and passionate. I felt totally involved in the lives of the characters. The author's use of language is just exquisite and the narrator's reading of it is perfect. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Captivating

What made the experience of listening to The Fishermen the most enjoyable?

I couldn't stop listening, trapped by the amazing narration of the writer. The job well done by the reader.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Mortal Kombat, Evil River Spirits, and Boyhood

I'm kind of stumped how to talk about the awesomeness of this Lit-Fic book about boyhood. The best I can do is: Read this. It has Mortal Kombat and evil river spirits, and it will break your heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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loved it

Very good book. Dramatic story. Great performance by Chukwudi. I enjoy stories involving different cultures. Gives you a picture into tumultuous times in Nigeria.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Powerful story

Shows how one incident can change your life forever. It was griping to the end. Really enjoyed the narrator's voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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exquisite

writing that soars on every page and narration that makes one long for a traffic jam or an additional mile to walk

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Engaging

This is perhaps the most well written book I have ever read. Not necessarily my favorite book because of the sadness and brutality of the story, but the story is so well told. The writer is a masterful word crafter. The utter beauty of the turn of phrases and the imagery is stunning and powerful.
The author painted a picture of the Nigerian culture of the 1980's and 1990's with the story of one family who loved their sons and carried dreams for their futures in the satchels of education, discipline, faith, and close knit family and community. The family's struggle to juggle living in a culture that held tightly to both superstition, tribal traditions and the modern world.
The narrator did an excellent performance in rendering the voices of different characters.
I highly recommend this book in any format.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Like fine art

I can't even explain how well written this book is; i appreciated the depth of the storyline and the circularity of the narrative. Really engaging!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

brilliant story

I felt I wa transformed to Nigeria and the story of these brothers touched me immensely. Their bond and the tragedy that occurred was so vividly described by this writer I impatiently await the next book from this writer

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So much to enjoy

I think all of us who are avid listeners or readers think that we have a book inside ourselves - and then along comes a book like The Fisherman and whoosh!, all of those ideas of writing our own story go out the window. That is because the beauty of this story is so elegantly written with analogies that are like poetry, so wonderfully drawn out (you never know where it is going), that you think to yourself why not just sit back and leave the driving (writing) to someone who really knows what they are doing, give up all ideas of writing and just enjoy something that could not be done better.