Broken Glass is a Congolese riff on European classics from the most notable Francophone African writer of Alain Mabanckou was born in in the Congo . Broken Glass, By Alain Mabanckou. Magical tales from a bar in Africa. Peter Carty; Thursday 9 April 0 comments. Best known for his novel African Psycho, the Congelese novelist and poet Alain Mabanckou likes to write playfully about his country’s more.

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This means that the reader sometimes glosses over significant portions of the novel as she stumbles through the language. I don’t think Mabanckou tried hard enough; the book was too angry, too uninvested and too self-assured.

Verre cassé by Alain Mabanckou

In fact, though Broken Glass ruminates regularly on his sex life or lack thereof, since his wife kicked him outthere seem to be almost no females present in Credit Gone West.

Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. It was translated from French by Mabancmou Stevenson. There are so many hidden marvels that an average reader will probably pick up about one third of them. After a hundred and twenty odd pages of his desultory jabbering he lays out, nice and clean: The owner of the bar asks him to write down his observations of the alsin and surrounds.

I’ll tell you what they do with the poor little ducks in cold countries during winter time. The regulars’ stories, and Mabajckou Glass’ own story, are all self-serving explanations of their failed lives, by turns tragic, funny, and sometimes spectacularly vulgar.

Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. He was selected by the French publishing trade journal Lire as one of the fifty writers to watch out for in the aoain century.

In an interview with Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina for Bomb MagazineMabanckou recounts his early experiences with the French language:. Great book, would highly recommend.

In Broken Glassthis oral tradition is brought to bear on the stories of this collection of Congolese riffraff, and marvelously so. There are serious things here as the art the journal collides with the reality of the characters and the reality of Broken Glass himself.


Alain Mabanckou’s Broken Glass – The Critical Flame | The Critical Flame

Are the “heroes” of his stories victims or villains? Our narrator eventually grows impatient with the task he has been burdened with. Lists with This Book.

He considers it one of the primary challenges that writers of his generation face—those born into independent Africa but whose work has yet to receive the kind of international attention and prestige enjoyed by those of the Parisian or American literary establishment. Read more Read less. It was only when we were on the train when she told us that she was eavesdropping on a mabancku of friends who were discussing dramatic events of the night before.

Or strict plot rules.

So I discovered that in Kenya, for instance, you can have great literature in Kikuyu and Swahili. So if you’re looking for a story revolving around the life in a congolese bar who isn’t?

At a first sight the narrative looks like chaotic ramblings of a drunkard but under this thin surface there lies a true treasure chest of various literary, popcultural, political and historical allusions.

Here’s a description of a fist fight between Broken and another damaged patron, other customers gather to witness, ” In the least successful passages, the style is just distracting. Refresh and try again.

Literary allusions Holden Caulfield has a cameo and gentle ironies punctuate this wickedly entertaining novel. It takes the form of the notebook jottings of the customer at a bar called Credit Gone West. Hitchcock was a real life-size character, a talented man, a guy who could make your spine shiver just with a few birds, or a rear window, he could turn you into a psycho with a single characteristic little trick….

Call this a literary feat, a tragedy a good ramble Aain Mabanckou is a novelist, journalist, poet, and academic. As the material becomes more personal the tone shifts from comic to melancholy, and the book ended up being more moving glas I would have expected after the first couple of chapters.


The way it is written, without any punctation or capitals is weird in the beginning, but the longer you read the more you understand, that this is part of the story.

Issue 8 July-August For Mabanckou, this has national, personal, and literary importance. Broken Glass, a year-old former teacher who renounced a conventional life for the drinking life, jots down his and others’ stories in a notebook given to him by the bar’s owner, Stubborn Snail, because the days when grandmothers reminisced from their deathbeds was gone now.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. This means that before six I was speaking five or six African languages: Update requests for Broken Glass reissue.

Are the “heroes” of his stories vi This book must be read in French.

Verre cassé

There starts a book with no capitals or full stops, some humorous episodes and reflections of Broken Glass’s world. He used to be a teacher, a calling that he loved, but his alcoholism led him to do many unacceptable things in the classroom until he was finally fired.

It may shine through in my description, that I’m not really amused. Then about halfway it changes, as the narrator starts to talk about himself, and his own story, and by the final pages a narrative even emerges despite the episodic nature After a few big, dour, historical reads, it was good to get into a Fiction Book — and a novella to boot, clocking in at barely over pages, so it’s not too intimidating.

Despondent over this apparent triumph of self-delusion over self-awareness, Broken Glass drowns his sorrows in red wine and riffs on the great books of Africa and the West. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.