Susanita (bardhlul) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 37 - Open City by Teju Cole

Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor named Julius wanders, reflecting on his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. He encounters people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul.

Someone recommended this book to me a year or so ago -- I don't remember now who it was -- and I finally got around to it as part of the Read Harder Challenge. I'm afraid I didn't especially like it, and I think that's mostly because I didn't care for the main character who is also the narrator. It seems that he spends much of the time wandering around the city and ruminating on various ideas and occurrences. There is in fact more to the story, but I found this style to be rather off-putting. Some of his thoughts are indeed rather profound, but his interests are very specific and esoteric. As one character tells him at a party, he's a bit of a know-it-all. While she's angry at him for a specific reason, her opinion put words to what I'd been feeling during the entire story. It was a struggle to finish this book, and the ending comes out of nowhere.
Tags: africa, fiction

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