The Age of Magic – Ben Okri

When, after reading, I went to look at this book on GoodReads, I wasn’t surprised to see that Ben Okri is a poet as well as a novelist. This book reads like a very long, slightly prosey, poem. Its definitely novel-as-art rather than novel-as-story, with a claim to take the reader on a journey, but very little actual travel, either metaphorical or actual.

The imagery and flights of fantasy are very good however, its just that it drags a little. Especially with constant short chapters of generally less than a page. A slight change in theme does not need a new chapter!

There is an aim to produce an air of mystery and surrealism. It is however somewhat overdone, and I wasn’t entirely sure what everything was leading to, even after the end of the book. I can imagine Okri is a good poet, but feel he hasn’t quite made a successful leap to novelist.


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