Every Day Is for the Thief

Every Day Is for the Thief

Fiction

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
5
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"Visiting Lagos after many years away, Teju Cole's unnamed narrator rediscovers his hometown as both a foreigner and a local. A young writer uncertain of what he wants to say, the man moves through tableaus of life in one of the most dynamic cities in the world: he hears the muezzin's call to prayer in the early morning light, and listens to John Coltrane during the late afternoon heat. He witnesses teenagers diligently perpetrating e-mail frauds from internet cafes, longs after a woman reading Michael Ondaatje on a public bus, and visits the impoverished National Museum. Along the way, he reconnects with old school friends and his family, who force him to ask himself profound questions of personal and national history. Over long, wandering days, the narrator compares present-day Lagos to the Lagos of his memory, and in doing so reveals changes that have taken place in himself. Just as Open City uses New York to reveal layers of the narrator's soul, in Every Day is for the Thief the complex, beautiful, generous, and corrupt city of Lagos exposes truths about our protagonist, and ourselves"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2014]
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780812995787
0812995783
Branch Call Number: F COLE-T
Characteristics: 162 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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u
uncommonreader
Oct 22, 2015

Cole returns to Nigeria from New York City after a 15 year absence and comments on changes in Nigeria and in himself.

q
Qwfwq
Aug 08, 2015

I was a little disappointed that this book was not quite at the level as Cole's first novel Open City, which took a similar approach of a narrator giving impressions and revealing memories as he wanders around a city. But while Open City added a few plot elements which played off this charming, introspective background to almost shocking effect, Every Day does not. In some ways this makes sense, as this book was largely written before Open City, and has simply been reworked and published after it. The writing is less assured and Cole stumbles a couple of times when trying to transition through time in his narration, making it seem like this indeed is his first novel.

Still there are scenes of great power and the descriptions and observations are often quite startling. One hopes that Cole's talent is still developing, because if so then the next book should be amazing.

l
luzeng
Dec 21, 2014

Stunningly relatable to anyone who's gone home to Beijing or Bangalore and realized that they no longer have the bribe-muscles to live there.

b
bookwormjeph
Jul 27, 2014

An excellent read giving enormous insight into how the economy functions in Nigeria, the basis of which is the art of palm greasing, whether it be an 'early' xmas present or a direct bribe.
the story is of a Nigerian man who has lived in New York for many years but returns home and is shocked , but not surprised in a way, the level, extent and overtness of corruption at all levels of society. He attempts to rail against it at first but finds his principles compromised when renewing his passport. A touching, sad, but also uplifting tale of the reality of life in some countries- as Nigeria is not the only country to operate under such largesse.

m
mclarjh
Mar 27, 2014

Matter of fact storytelling, more a memoir or travelogue than a novel. The book is dotted with instantly forgettable photographs by the author.

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