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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])

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What listeners say about The Fishermen

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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.

5 people found this 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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this 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

4 people found this 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.

3 people found this 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.

6 people found this helpful

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Great story !

The narration is superb. I would have missed out a lot of I’d read instead of listening. The story embodies all the emotions and turmoil families encounter. Good climax.

2 people found this helpful

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Was the ending inevitable?

This book is set up as a parable, and maybe (according to the author) a political allegory about British colonial rule and tribal differences.
Essentially the plot hinges around a prophecy by a local madman. Four brothers' response to this prophecy form the body of the book.
Reminding me of A Chronicle Of A Death Foretold there is an inevitability of their actions.
I know it was the point of the book, but I experienced frustration in how their responses to the prophecy are so self destructive and how they so easily surrendered to them.
This is a very thought provoking and challenging book.
I recommend it.

2 people found this 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.

2 people found this helpful

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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

1 person found this helpful