In this dazzling debut by a singular new talent, the sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Graceland by Chris Abani. GraceLand is a novel by Nigerian-American author Chris Abani. Graceland is a dazzling debut by a singular new talentThe sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis.

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Graceland CL first read: Much of the book works as a collage – a collection of brief accounts of how Igbos offer the sacred kola nut to visitors; horrifying accounts of poverty and exploitation in modern day Lagos ; traceland of tender love between close friends and complete strangers; and detailed Igbo recipes which come from the diary of Elvis’ mother.

Also be sure to read the somber audio book performed by the author. Want gracekand Read Currently Reading Read. GraceLand addresses the topic of globalization in a number of ways throughout the novel. But it’s worth it, if only to witness the brilliance that one writer can achieve within the space of pages.

: GraceLand: A Novel (): Chris Abani: Books

Moody, they tended to burn films at the slightest provocation, melting the plastic into cream and brown cappuccino froth. Return to Book Page. Beset by floods, vermin, and the ubiquitous Colonel, chief of military security in Lagos, Elvis lives from day to day, saturated by a bizarrely out of date, misunderstood version of American pop culture and remembering his life in the country before his mother died and his father lost his career.

As a Western reader I don’t mind them, but I think its disingenuous of Abani to not own up to them. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands.

The story leaves you ramsacked, you feel like a shipwreck.

GraceLand – Wikipedia

You are with Elvis in the beat down dirt of his country bungalow and in his rat infested, waterlogged Lagos apartment, seeing what he sees and feeling what he feels. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Read more Read less. Because bad press is the best kind of press there is. May 25, Cat rated it it was amazing.


Skip to main content. Get to Know Us. Throughout the novel, Abani also threads the recipe book from Elvis’s dead mother, which demonstrates the culinary connection to the local environment that has now been severed as Elvis and his father live in a slum which in turn is destroyed!

And, no, such a book would not produce any money. The wide cast of characters surrounding Elvis is a strong showing of both characterization and storytelling. In this way, Abani tells the story of a country through the story of one of its children; even though his hopes and dreams may be out of the ordinary, they are – at their basest level – the hopes and dreams of a country.

Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Through one of these jobs–a job where Elvis provides companionship to rich, foreign women in nightclubs–Elvis angers a character known only as the Colonel, a powerful military figurehead, who rules through fear and with violence, and engages in many different acts of corruption.

Quick Review: Chris Abani’s Graceland

Two male role models try to take Elvis under their wing–a petty criminal named Redemption and a political dissident called the King of Beggars–while his alcoholic father Sunday struggles with his own legacy and feeling of failure. Which unfortunately affected my enjoyment of the book. The consequences of this is a protagonist who is hyper self-conscious. The abaji and settings gracelanv rich and deep and the feelings they evoked were much the same.

Despite all of this, there is a fine silver thread of hope and beauty woven throughout the story, and it kept me going.

He tells Elvis Oke’s bumpy, brutal coming of age story with immense skill and verve. Now that he’s been living in Southern California for some time, I’d love to read a book about LA targeted specifically toward Nigerian readers. Jumping back and forth between rural and urban settings, Abani seems chronologically and spatially confused, not completely committing to any character as he traces the “progress” of his protagonist, an adolescent boy named Elvis living in the slums of Lagos. Be the first to discover new talent!


Names play a part in this, yes.


Each play tug-o-war with Elvis’ conscience. Details are what bring it back to Lagos each time. Some of the characters that are featured prominently are his father, Sunday Oke, a brusque drunk, who after GraceLand is about man named Elvis Oke, told in alternating narratives between the time he arrives in Lagos and the time of his life living in an area called Afikpo, prior to arriving in Lagos.

Is this feature helpful? For example, it is only the presence of foreign journalists that prevent the Colonel from massacring the protesters at the end of the novel.

Worth reading for its searing depiction of modern Africa, but Abani is abanj Chinua Achebe. I felt a bit cheated, like the male characters were more developed and the female characters functioned as sources of tragedy or of frustration. One of the best passages in the book describes movie night in a Lagos slum.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. To view it, click here. Oct 26, Saleh MoonWalker rated it liked it Shelves: But up on stage Abani impressed me more than just about anyone else with the exception, probably, of Kei Miller. Still, Graceland seems to me to be a story that is—in its particulars—very Nigerian. Every alternating chapter brings us back into the past, starting with Elvis as a five-year-old little boy and moving all the way up to his present so that both times eventually meet, in an almost seamless fashion.

Let’s get back to the author then. It was like a slow moving train chugging toward an unknown destination, and all of a sudden we switched tracks, sped up, and crashed into a place we never thought we’d end up.