Book Review: The Carnivorous City by Toni Kan

Published: October 2016 by Cassava Republic Press

Pages: 378The carnivorous city

Genre: Fiction

Purchase from;; Prince Ebaeno Supermarket, Lekki phase 1, Lagos.

Publisher’s Blurb: Sabato Rabato aka Soni Dike is a Lagos Big Boy; a criminal turned grandee, with a beautiful wife, a sea-side mansion and a questionable fortune. Then one day he disappears and his car is found in a ditch, music baring from the speakers. Soni’s older brother, Abel Dike, a teacher, arrives in Lagos to look for his missing brother. Abel is rapidly sucked into the unforgiving Lagos maelstrom where he has to navigate encounters with a motley cast of common criminals, deal with policemen all intent on getting a piece of the pie, and contend with his growing attraction to his brother’s wife. Carnivorous City is a story about love, family and just desserts but it is above all, a tale about Lagos and the people who make the city by the lagoon what it is.

The Author: Toni Kan Onwordi holds both a B.A. and M.A. English (Literature) degrees from the University of Jos and Lagos. His works have been published widely in the Art pages of prominent Nigerian newspapers and his poems have appeared in the anthology ’25 New Nigerian Poets’ edited by Toyin Adewale. He has also had short stories published in anthologies like ‘We-Men, Little Drops (1) and Diamond and Ashes. An award winning poet, essayist and short story writer, his awards have taken him to Scotland and Switzerland. Toni Kan is currently working on a novel, Secrets of the Untold.

My Thoughts: I have always been a fan of Toni Kan ever since I read “Nights of a Creaking Bed’ a few years ago, so when my husband started reading this book, I was eager for him to finish so that I could take my turn. My family moved to Lagos three years ago having spent all our lives in Port Harcourt therefore I can say we are relatively still new-comers to the city (not eligible to be called lagosians). As I started reading this book, I wished it had been written before I moved to Lagos, as it turned out to be some sort of map of the city, with full descriptions to anywhere and everywhere you need to know or go. I must confess, at some point I felt that the descriptions were a bit distracting from the story which got me skipping quite a number of lines but in the end, I enjoyed reading about Abel’s experiences and it got me wondering if I have also been sucked into this Carnivorous City called Lagos (Nah…. I will always be a PH babe). Despite the fact that my expectations for this book fell a bit short (compared to ‘Nights of a Creaking Bed’) I will still read another book written by this author, any day, anytime.


One thought on “Book Review: The Carnivorous City by Toni Kan

  1. Drumrolllllll
    I, Ayo – a true born child of EKO ILE popularly know in English as Lagos, now pronouce you, Biyai a proud Lagosian! (I think I still have my naija card)

    Your summary of the book reminds me of Chris Abani’s Graceland. I’ll check it out!


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