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10 thoughts on “Stars of the New Curfew

  1. says:

    This collection of short stories confirms that the surreal style of The Famished Road, which consistently blurs the boundaries between the material and spirit worlds, was not a one off This collection includes six stories, of which four rely heavily on the same technique So we meet an unemployed man who flees the crumbling city into the bush and almost loses himself in the spirit world Worlds that Flourish a patent medicine salesman whose product keeps sending him into the spirit world This collection of short stories confirms that the surreal style of The Famished Road, which consistently blurs the boundaries between the material and spirit worlds, was not a one off This collection includes six stories, of which four rely heavily on the same technique So we meet an unemployed man who flees the crumbling city into the bush and almost loses himself in the spirit world Worlds that Flourish a patent medicine salesman whose product keeps sending him into the spirit world Stars of the New Curfew a singer whose unkindness towards his dying girlfriend draws after her When the Lights Return and a palm tapper who is thrown into the other world after a fall from a tree Okri does surreal well, but it all runs together Of these stories, Stars of the New Curfew was the funniest, longest, and offered the most trenchant critique of a world in which everybody is on the make The two other stories I found powerful In the first In the Shadow of War , a young boy discovers the eclipse of human decency in wartime The other In the City of Red Dust explores the grinding misery of poverty, the way it tears people s basic decency down, but also the way people can still give of themselves in a form of grace that transcends their degradation It is not a hopeful story, but it does show the humanity and virtues of its deeply flawed characters


  2. says:

    Excellent book of short stories about modern life in Africa, by an African It s a bit demoralizing for those of us Westerners that have never lived in Africa but there is a magical element to the book too Utterly addicting I ll share it with you if you can t find it at the library book store, but I want it back


  3. says:

    Ben Okri Stars of the new Curfew Worlds that flourish , ,, , Ben Okri Stars of the new Curfew Worlds that flourish , ,, , spirits, , 5 6 , , ,Laos,The Wizard of the Crow,,Everything shimmered like mirages in an omnipotent heat , , , , , , , ,, ,Stars of the new Curfew, , , ,,, , ,, Everybody seemed to need a cure for something , , , I had begun to see our lives as a bit of a nightmare I think I prefer my former condition, , , , ,Worlds that flourish What the Tapster saw , , ,When the lights returnEdde ,, , ,It was as if a nameless instrument, whose terrible music is fashioned out of the extremes of human chaos, were being strained to cracking point ,In the Shadow of War Omovo, ,, Worlds that flourish, ,


  4. says:

    When chaos is the god of an era. If we except the first story, In the Shadow of War , which seemed slight and unworthy of the rest, STARS OF THE NEW CURFEW contains five topnotch stories by Nigerian author Ben Okri To use a national adjective like that is sometimes to say everything and sometimes to say nothing In this case, it is obvious that though you can take Okri out of Nigeria he lives in London , you cannot take Nigeria out of Okri The gritty, sweaty, illogical desperation of When chaos is the god of an era. If we except the first story, In the Shadow of War , which seemed slight and unworthy of the rest, STARS OF THE NEW CURFEW contains five topnotch stories by Nigerian author Ben Okri To use a national adjective like that is sometimes to say everything and sometimes to say nothing In this case, it is obvious that though you can take Okri out of Nigeria he lives in London , you cannot take Nigeria out of Okri The gritty, sweaty, illogical desperation of his characters, hanging on to life by hook or by crook in the slums of Lagos or provincial towns, is so vivid that so called magical realism seemslike realism The smell of sewerage and dried fish, the clash of traffic, drums and trumpets, the spieling of patent medicine salesmen, the dust, the heaps of garbage, the roar of military trucks and aircraft drown out your disbelief Okri is the Tutuola of the modern age, acontrolled, apolished Yoruba tale spinner with none of the hopes of theplacid colonial era when independence was only a goal Published after 28 years of freedom, these stories reflect the chaos, the corruption, the lost chances and the waste of human abilities and natural resources Maybe they are just stories, maybe they are a protest from the soul what has happened to our Nigeria The military governor s birthday where one of the crazily zooming planes celebrating the occasion crashes into a slum the competition of two wealthy families in a small town which takes the form of a money throwing contest in which poor and unlucky fellow citizens abase themselves by fighting over notes and coins the irony of a bewildered Rastafarian from the long vanished diaspora, returned to preach and cry out Africa, we counting on yuh in the streets of chaos and ruin People live on their wits, people live at the expense of others health and earnings, violence rules, the beautiful girl will die, life is cheap, yet dearly held for all that The last story, What the Tapster Saw , ripped from the same cloth as Tutuola s The Palm wine Drinkard , is a tale as told by the traditionally powerless to deliver subtle messages about affairs in the real world without pointing any fingers It can be a message for Nigeria, it can be just the fantastic wanderings of a storyteller s fevered brain These are wonderful stories, Okri is a worthy addition to the pantheon of Nigerian literature There are several ways to burn in your own fire p.191 Here they are


  5. says:

    The first In the Shadow of War , third In the City of Red Dust , and fourth Stars of the New Curfew stories were the best of the six In these stories I found the surrealism added to the tenor of horror and social decay pervading the stories without overpowering them The surrealism was grounded in the characters own understanding schema of the world around them the otherworldly horror of chaos gods complimented the daily horrors of violence, poverty, and military dictatorship besetting th The first In the Shadow of War , third In the City of Red Dust , and fourth Stars of the New Curfew stories were the best of the six In these stories I found the surrealism added to the tenor of horror and social decay pervading the stories without overpowering them The surrealism was grounded in the characters own understanding schema of the world around them the otherworldly horror of chaos gods complimented the daily horrors of violence, poverty, and military dictatorship besetting the people In the remaining three stories, while the surrealism is still rooted in characters schema, I found the surreal dream sequences overpowered the story, with characters dream visiting the land of the dead and returning over several pages I wished these dream sequences were linked a littleto the characters lives, as they were in the other stories


  6. says:

    First published here out the site forgreat reviews My three favourite authors, who are widely revered as giants of world literature and have claimed numerous literary prizes to boot, are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami and Ben Okri The literary establishment in its usual manner of boxing and labeling have tagged their writing magical realism, but the surreal actions described in their books, books like 100 Years of Solitude, 1Q84 and First published here out the site forgreat reviews My three favourite authors, who are widely revered as giants of world literature and have claimed numerous literary prizes to boot, are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami and Ben Okri The literary establishment in its usual manner of boxing and labeling have tagged their writing magical realism, but the surreal actions described in their books, books like 100 Years of Solitude, 1Q84 and The Famished Road may be the reality in other climes.Some tales tagged as urban legend which actually occur in some places may read as fiction when people hear it In Benin City where I spent my university years, it is a sacrilege to go to the center of a market and try to bend and look through your legs They say you would see that all who buy and sell in the market are not humans In that position you would see some people floating, their feet not touching the ground I never got around to trying it, but a close friend who came close said as he was about to try it, a woman appeared beside him and warned him not to.Stories cut from this kind of cloth form the vortex in Ben Okri s piercing collection of short stories Stars of the New Curfew The 1991 Booker Prize winning author for The Famished Road tells tales which show an original imagination and a fabulist master at work But, if you are wont to dismiss these tales as false and outright lies think again In places like Nigeria, where people believe that witches exist and can fly into your room at will, and that in the forest, spirits and strange creatures live and commune, you know that Okri s fiction may just mirror reality.The collection opens with The Shadow of War It tells the story of a boy, Omovo, who witnesses a horrendous attack on a strange woman in an unnamed village by 3 soldiers during a war Tinged with magical realism that forms the coating of Okri s writing, the woman is considered strange by the children in the village because they say she has no shadow and her feet do not touch the ground And because she always goes deep in the forest The soldiers, considering her a spy, follow her to the forest with Omovo tailing behind The meeting of the 3 soldiers and the woman, with Omovo lurking in the bushes, leads to a shattering climax.The second story starts pretty normal for an unnamed protagonist who has lost his job due to the austerity measures of a particular Head of State From then on the story as well as his life turns on its head He decides to flee the city for his village on a road trip and along the line he has an accident When I was out of the wreckage I saw that the car had run into a large anthill Thorns of the forest cut into me I didn t bleed I came to a river When I swam across I noticed it was flowing in a direction opposite to how it seemed As I came out on the other bank the water dried instantly on me Almost every animate and inanimate object in life is impregnated with stories and Ben Okri knows how to tell a good one Not all the stories are magical realism or contain magical elements the hero and his friend of In the City of Red Dust sell their blood and pick pockets to earn a living The story defines what it is to be a friend within the shambles created by evil rulers.Scholars who have a bone to pick with Okri refer to him as a postmodern writer The scholars have issues with how village life and the spirit world encroach into his works It is possible what Okri is trying to show is that there is a thin line that separates the modern from the past.In the next two short stories Stars of the New Curfew and When the Lights Return you see the line of the past and the modern merging together The first one tells a tale of hustling in the city and the other tells the tale of inadequate power caused by NEPA and how it interferes with living as experienced by Ede the lead character.The last story What the Tapster Saw islike a philosophical expose using transfiguration and communication with an alternate reality You tend to see this kind of writing in Okri s later works like Starbook.Some of my earlier listed favourite authors have some motifs that repeatedly appear in their works Murakami s novels and stories contain cats, jazz music and alcohol drink mixes Marquez s works consist of solitude, Macando and La Violence A civil war that occurred in Columbia Okri s motifs are palm wine, transfiguration, civil war, talking animals and spirits.Stars of a New Curfew is a good read for people who like books to be a mesh of everyday life and an in depth look at what occurs beyond what we can see or what we refer to as real


  7. says:

    A book of African short stories which wore me down quickly Lots of nifty magic realism and the extreme brutality of African military regimes make for a never boring set of circumstances But Okri s too short, too simple sentence structure drives me mad An entire book of Ngonko left his hut He carried his knife in his belt The air was still The night was warm He walked down the path, isthan I could take Somehow this is important literature, but it stultified me.


  8. says:

    Zvezde novog policijskog asa je mala zbirka kratkih pri a novela koja me je mal ice smorila na neki neizreciv na in, verovatno zbog atmosfere svi su mladi, bez posla, zbog siroma tva prinu eni da prodaju sopstvenu krv, da se prostitui u Prosto, ne volim u asavanje nad svakodnevnom dru tveno polti kom torturom, pa ma koliko daleka da je Pisca sam odabrala kao predstavnika Nigerije jer mi se pored svih navedenih kriterijuma uklapao i u ami na polici Zapravo je re o osobi koja je sazr Zvezde novog policijskog asa je mala zbirka kratkih pri a novela koja me je mal ice smorila na neki neizreciv na in, verovatno zbog atmosfere svi su mladi, bez posla, zbog siroma tva prinu eni da prodaju sopstvenu krv, da se prostitui u Prosto, ne volim u asavanje nad svakodnevnom dru tveno polti kom torturom, pa ma koliko daleka da je Pisca sam odabrala kao predstavnika Nigerije jer mi se pored svih navedenih kriterijuma uklapao i u ami na polici Zapravo je re o osobi koja je sazrela u Britaniji, ostav i posle studija u Londonu Nije da nije uspeo da mi do ara sliku siroma ne afri ke zemlje sa bizarnim de avanjima koje su prate i element svake vojne diktature Rekla bih i da je Okri solidan pisac kao i svaki dobitnik Bukera , stil mu je le eran, naginje ka svedenosti Po malo je mra an, voli kafkijanske bezizlaze, tumara izme u ko mara i jave, s tim to u prvom slu aju previ e za moj ukus, a u negativnom kontekstu podse a na magi ni realizam.Re ju, korektno, ali ni ta vi e od toga


  9. says:

    very good book of short stories the writing is poetic and the stories are engaging and multi layered part mystical and part mundane they all chronicle the adventures of various people in nigeria where,than almost anywhere else in africa, the imperatives of capitalist development combine and modify old ways and old modes of understanding and living cities and rich governors stand side by side with witch doctors, herbalists and and the extreme poverty of the slums i first heard of okri i very good book of short stories the writing is poetic and the stories are engaging and multi layered part mystical and part mundane they all chronicle the adventures of various people in nigeria where,than almost anywhere else in africa, the imperatives of capitalist development combine and modify old ways and old modes of understanding and living cities and rich governors stand side by side with witch doctors, herbalists and and the extreme poverty of the slums i first heard of okri in Monsters of the Market Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism and i see why david mcnally used okri s works throughout his own very deep and very rich from a marxist standpoint this whole book of short stories could be called a snapshot of combined and uneven development this is what the theory means in terms of individuals living their lives in places like nigeria very enjoyable reading


  10. says:

    This book got me into Ben Okri The stories are trippy, vaguely political but only indirectly, and sparsely written in a good way I like how he blends the unpredictability that you get from living in a place with a terrible government Nigeria with the unpredictability from living in a magical place Africa, according to African mythology At least, this is what I remember it s actually beenthan 10 years since I read this book


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Stars of the New Curfew download Stars of the New Curfew , read online Stars of the New Curfew , kindle ebook Stars of the New Curfew , Stars of the New Curfew 3f86fcfaba91 This Collection Of Short Stories Is Set In Nigeria And Reflects The Mad, Exotic And Often Dangerous Chaos Which Reigns There They Include Jumbled Up Voodoo Stories, Stories Of Shanty Towns And Of Men From The Villages Seeking Their Fortunes In The Streets And Filthy Gutters Of The New Towns