The sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator hoping to. GraceLand has ratings and reviews. Jon said: I have mixed feelings about this book and while I’m glad I read it, it’s a difficult book to recom. By switching between flashbacks and the present, and sprinkling in some gritty scenes (child rape) and colorful detail (quoting John Wayne).

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Oct 06, Twodogs rated it liked it. Some people name their children after saints or forefathers in the hope that they will be, well, graced with their good sides.

Gambit The Art of Creating No. This novel is set in Maroko, a sprawling, swampy, crazy and colorful ghetto of Lagos, Nigeria, and unfolds against a backdrop of lush reggae and highlife music, American movies and a harsh urban existence. Sailors would come back and teach kids on the docs of Accra and Mali all ahani American guitar movements, which later produced people like Ali Farka Toure, who plays this hybrid Malian music that sounds so much like the blues. At least that’s how I felt while living Elvis’ life.

He’d jump from to to in subsequent chapters. Except the poor sods who live in the dark slum that you’re describing so lovingly for your audience. In the beginning of the book, Elvis tries to support himself by doing his version of an Elvis impersonation for American tourists. Gracelxnd, plenty of mention of the west’s apathy towards actually doing something in Africa, despite it’s colonial past.

The novel jumps between two settings, the village of Afikpo from untiland Lagos from and onward. By contrast, the titular character Elvis, who dreams of earning a living through dance and thrives in the costume and make-up that he adopts to impersonate the American icon, has these fleeting moments of corporeal bliss and queer pleasure that open up a temporary space outside this domain of shame and pain.


Having geaceland visited a real slumI have foggy ideas of its povertyof putrid streets and filthy public toilets. Either way, I assume it doesn’t really matter to Chris Abani. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Quick Review: Chris Abani’s Graceland

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. This abzni made me laugh, cry and kiss my teeth. Elvis, traveling with the troupe, eventually returns to Lagos, and is captured by the Colonel, who does not recognize him.

And, no, such a book would not produce any money.

Elvis is a flawed boy that you can’t help but love. It was nice reading about the life of a youth living in Lagos.

We follow Elvis his real namea Nigerian teenager who longs to dance and do his Elvis impersonation what commentary on internal colonization in that one characteristic This book is one of those books that, no matter how intense and devastating its content, is written so well that you just don’t want it to end. Jun 05, Hafeez added it. Oct 26, Saleh MoonWalker rated it liked it Shelves: The media is constantly recycling and transforming itself, as the lives it influences actively transform and reinvent new identities as new modes of survival.

GraceLand – Wikipedia

This book is one of those books that, no matter how intense and devastating its content, is written so well that you just don’t want it to end. His use of prose was often beautiful and haunting. Their friends are concerned about them, they are self-centered, and yet also completely selfless, graxeland willing to go hungry to help feed a stranger. Besides, I’ve never been one to approach celebrities, literary or otherwise.


GRACELAND by Chris Abani | Kirkus Reviews

I grew up conflicted about this whole notion [of global blackness]. Not inobese and trapped in the Graceland that was to be his palace but got turned into his mausoleum, but when he was young. None of these characters are dismissible or caricatured, and Elvis builds intimate relationships gracelznd him, as he tries to figure grace,and who to be the Elvis impersonation seems like a great metaphor for this quest to figure out how to embody masculinity.

Still, Graceland seems to me to be a story that is—in its particulars—very Nigerian.


Be the first to discover new talent! Dec 24, Kevin Warman rated it it was amazing. Jun 18, Carolyn rated it really liked it.

baani The book is at its best when it sticks to the coming of age story of its protagonist, Elvis Oke. Dec 09, Henry CG rated it really liked it. Skip to main content. The novel traces the trajectory taken by Elvis in an attempt to make a living in a slum in Lagos.

Sunday eventually moves the family to Lagos, when Elvis is sixteen, to a slum called Maroko. This was a book that needed discussion.