Glittering City by Cyprian Ekwensi

Ekwensi’s short story opens with an air charged with adventure as a young woman arrives in Lagos and gets caught up in the tumultuous life of Fussy Joe, a Jazz player. What follows is a quick glimpse into Joe’s philandering ways and the havoc that he wrecks.

I enjoy reading books set in different regions of the world. What I got to see of Lagos of the 1960s made the story engaging just as much as Joe’s character made it displeasing.

Copyright © 2022 Meera Nair

The author doesn’t attempt at creating a redemption arc for Joe at any point. And so, it is pretty evident from the beginning that Joe’s story is being narrated for the sake of storytelling and not to make his character seem likeable to the reader.

Considering that this story is a little over 50 pages long, it certainly is a quick read. This is further reinforced by the fact that a significant percentage of the writing involves dialogues.

The woman characters in the book are portrayed in a way to justify the image created of Joe – they repeatedly allow themselves to be persuaded by Joe’s lies. You are probably not going to like any of the characters in the story.

A part of me does like the author’s writing style because the culture and backdrop of the story come across vividly. But I also wished that there was more to the story than just the gradual downfall of a character.

On the whole, it was an okay read. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Published by Meera Nair

A 27 year-old freelance Content Writer, who spends all her free time ensconced in the pages of a book or writing to her heart's content about topics that excite the creative spirit in her.

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