Saturday, April 7, 2007

Measuring Time

Title: Measuring Time
Author: Helon Habila
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 383
Edition: Paperback

Helon Habila's Measuring Time is a gripping tale of twin brothers Mamo and LaMamo who grow up in a small Nigerian village "Keti". Having lost their mother during childbirth, the twin brothers are raised by their uncle and aunt. Mamo, the elder one, is a sick child suffering from sickle-cell anemia whereas LaMamo grows up to be a strong man. Though the twins are so divergent in their characters, they are unified in their hatred towards their father Lemang. Lemang, a philanderer and a local politician could care no less for his sons. The twins decide to join army in order to achieve fame and freedom and flee from home. Mamo had to head back home after suffering from an anemic attack on the way and LaMamo goes on to join a rebel army and becomes a soldier. LaMamo fights in Liberia and Guinea and through his letters to Mamo, he describes the gory details of the war. In the mean time, Mamo becomes a school teacher and a historian. After publishing an article about the history of Keti, Mamo gets the attention of the local ruler "Mai" and is offered an opportunity to chronicle Mai's history to celebrate his regime. Mamo uncovers many disturbing truths about Mai during his work as a biographer and when the local villagers agitate against Mai's corruption, LaMamo comes back home and leads the fight only to suffer a fatal death. With an elegant style and prose, Habila has rendered a heart-wrenching story that will stay with you for a long time. Give this book a try!
My Rating: 4/5


Literary Feline said...

I haven't heard of this one, but it definitely sounds like something I should read. Thanks for the great review.

Happy Reader said...

@literary feline - Thanks :)

Lotus Reads said...

You read some very unusual books,'s such a pleasure to visit your blog...I always leave with excellent book recommendations, thank you so much, I am going to have to put this on my list!

Happy Reader said...

@lotus - I am curious to know if your comments on this book! Let me know if you do get a chance to read it.