African Psycho by Alain Mabanckou

imageGregoire Nakobomayo with a decayed childhood as a ‘picked up’ child, abandoned. Gregorio swears to committing the ultimate atrocity – murder, the idea of this heinous act obsesses him.

There are subtle voices besides the neurotic ramblings of Gregoire. Anger, poverty, corruption,racial tension, deception found in Central Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The direct nature of the language forces the reader to explore the rooted issues of Africa and the narratives protagonist. A compelling read on various levels.

Gregoire’s hero is a well known serial killer who is deceased. Gregoire has long conversations with the deceased killer as he spirals into the abyss of madness. As the story unfolds, you ask if Gregoire will indeed seek and slaughter his prey.

Interesting story with overlapping topics addressed. I’m lukewarm – wasn’t sure what to expect but was not disappointed. A rather sophisticated work by a talented author. More than a story of madness, its political tones create a work filled with substance revealed in a unique manner, a madman the cog of disgruntled appendages, along with a forever turbulent nation.

“I love vulgarity. I claim it loud and clear. I love it because only it says what we are, without the hideous masks we wear by nature, which turn us into mean beings, hypocrites, ceaselessly running after decency, a quality I couldn’t care less about.”

Published January 23rd 2007 by Soft Skull Press, Transition Books
Pages 176
ISBN13: 9781933368504

Recommendation: 3/5

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