Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala
Weight: 5.6 oz
Method of Disposal: Donated to the Decatur Library
This book was disappointing in that it was “one of the most acclaimed novels of the year.” It was okay, but it was not brilliant. A story about a child soldier is bound to be emotional, trying, and of interest, but it does not automatically get to become an incredible piece of fiction in and of itself. So, that’s how I felt. It was a great story and a poor delivery.
The novel is told in something like Pidgin English, and it starts to wear on you fast. Something just doesn’t fit. It doesn’t feel right, and it doesn’t seem consistent. I once had a creative writing instructor who told us to be wary of using dialect. If not done well, you could end up pissing all over your character and if you don’t care about them (no matter how deplorable) why should the reader? Sometimes, I felt like I was hearing from a character covered in urine and scrambling for identity.
It wasn’t deplorable, but it won’t show up on any Best of List I create. A lot of people LOVED it, and you might too.