|I have been wanting to read Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan ever since it was selected as an Oprah Book Club pick in 2009.
The thing is this for me... I've have discovered that for me personally, the books that are from Oprah's Book Club are usually very hit or miss for me. I either love the book (i.e. The Poisonwood Bible, East of Eden, White Oleander) or hate it after reading it (i.e. The House of Sand and Fog) and sometimes the book falls somewhere in between each extreme. So, I've had my reservations about reading this collection of short stories by Uwem Akpan.
I am glad that I finally listened to it the abridged audio version of this audiobook on compact disc. But for me, Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan fell somewhere towards the bottom end of the spectrum for me. I didn't love or hate this book. I think that Uwen Akpan is a good writer, but I mostly felt that the stories were sad and not quite as engaging as I would have liked them to be. The stories are ones I shall soon forget about altogether in a short while.
The narrators for Say You're One of Them were really good. My favorite story in this collection was 'What Language Is That?'. I also enjoyed the author interview at the end of the book.
The following is a plot summary for Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan from Amazon:
Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances.I am giving Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan a rating of 2.5 stars out of 5 stars.
A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family’s struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle’s attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees—a microcosm of today’s Africa—a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear.
Uwem Akpan’s debut signals the arrival of a breathtakingly talented writer who gives a matter-of-fact reality to the most extreme circumstances in stories that are nothing short of transcendent.
Until my next post, happy reading!!