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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Review: Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou | Books | The Guardian

Lists with This Book. Please try again later. I’ll tell you what they do with the poor little ducks in cold countries during winter time. As the material becomes more personal the tone shifts from comic to melancholy, and the book ended up being more moving than I would have expected after the first couple of chapters.

In many instances, the endless stream of commas make grammatical sense even if they would be mangled by any traditional proofreaderbut the text regularly indicates clear breaks in thought and narrative that appear to be willfully marked by commas rather than periods. I cannot express something directly to my people…. I bet there’d be all sorts of themes you could pull here, if you wanted. 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.

Overall, an odd book to judge.

Broken Glass

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.


In a country that appears to have forgotten the importance of remembering, a former schoolteacher and bar regular nicknamed Broken Glass has been elected to record mabanckoy stories for posterity. It’s not just French writers who make an appearance. Maybe something was lost in the translation but a could have been great book became an OK one. He considers it one of the primary challenges that writers of his generation face—those born into independent Africa alian whose work has yet to mabaanckou the kind of international attention and prestige enjoyed by those of the Parisian or American literary establishment.

A lovely read and more than worth its 5-stars. It has layers that reveal themselves as it goes. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. This questioning extends to Mabanckou himself, and I ask myself how much of those stories are the work of fiction and how much of mbaanckou are, at least, inspired by true events? The alai, the society, the politics, are all post-colonial, 21st century Africa, and for that reason I was glad to dip into it, even if I wa This was a difficult book to read!

Literary allusions lace these ramblings. The publisher notes on the bromen that the book contains the title of classics of international literature – I didn’t spot anywhere near that many, and indeed it would be nice to see a list so one can play a literary game of i-spy as I did with Vargas Llosa and Garcia Marquez titles once I noticed them appearing. And relative to a lot of other African literature, this is, refreshingly, more human than political Explore the Home Gift Guide.

The owner of the bar asks him to write down his observations of the people and surrounds. I was shocked to see later on that there was no literature in these languages. I loved this book! Stylisticly it’s a strange creature: Mass Market Paperbackpages. Read more Read less.

I had to stay with it all the way. But this is not just a play fo laughs. These parts are not always cheerful, rather sad. Showing of 13 reviews. 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.


Oh and for the literary student there’s a running game of “Spot the title” Broken Glass, the narrator of the novel, has been given a notebook by the owner of the bar he frequents and has been told to immortalise this drinking den for the benefit of the future generations. They have hardly forgotten, at least on a personal level.

Great book, would highly recommend. The themes of self-delusion and self-awareness are central, and Mabanckou invites us to ponder whether the narrator is peddling an alternative history, just as other customers of the bar seem to be.

AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. In an interview with Kenyan mabancou Binyavanga Wainaina for Bomb MagazineMabanckou recounts his early experiences with the French language:.

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Thanks for telling us about the problem. My friend, who studied French studies right away picked up the references to the history of francophone Africa. Buy the selected items together This glazs Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.

Or strict plot rules. The setup is that Broken Glass, the narrator, is asked by Stubborn Snail, proprietor of the bar named Credit Gone West, to write a journal to memorialize the bar and its patrons.

The bar owner, Stubborn Snail, asks Broken to create a chronicle of the other inhabitants.