Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Blackass - A. Igoni Barrett

Today I'm doing a little book review, of A. Igoni Barrett's first novel, Blackass. This book is on my reading list for the module Last Year's Novel, which I'm taking next year, and although I was reading it for uni (having to read books can sometimes put me off from the start), I really liked it.

The text is set in Nigeria, where it's author is from, and revolves around the life of Furo, whose life is turned upside down when he, a black man, wakes up white. White apart from his butt, thus, the novel's title.

What I found most interesting is the change in mentality based on the way people treated him. He gains more respect as a white man, and is handed pretty much everything he wants, and yet he loses some of his kindness and his humility, he essentially gives into the greed of white consumerism. At the beginning of the text, it's easy to feel sympathy for Furo, and by the end, you feel like he really doesn't deserve all that he is offered. And more than anything this seems to be a comment on racial politics and the unfairness of it, which I don't think could be any more obvious.

The satirical style of the novel drew me straight in and really brought out all the ignorance and iniquity. I really like the cliffhanger ending and all the ambiguity the text leaves off with, it's how I personally prefer a book to end, but I understand that this may be something that bothers others as you don't get a 'proper' ending.

I would 100% recommend this book, it's a gripping satirical text, commenting on issues surrounding racial politics and identity, comprised in a bold and compelling style.

Until next time.

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