Many thanks to Masobebooks for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is my second book by the author and I really loved reading the first one (You can read my review HERE). So my expectations were high with this one.
I had intended to take my time to read this collection, probably one story a day but as I started reading the first story, I was held spell bound in Zango and couldn’t get out until I was done.
‘Dreams and Assorted Nightmares’ is a well written collection of 12 short stories all set in the fictional and somewhat magical city of Zango. It is a quick read but filled with rather dark and hypnotic stories that would sometimes give you the shivers or break your heart. With strong and unforgettable characters who mostly show up in different stories, the author pulls you into this world of love, betrayal, hate, loss, magic, illusions, heartbreak and pain. Despite the fact that Zango is a make-believe city, it seems so real that you can literally feel like you are there or you have lived there or you know a city just like Zango. The author writes all this in an exquisite and sometimes poetic manner that keeps you spellbound despite the heart wrenching experience you are having while reading this collection.
I really loved almost all the stories in this collection and it would be hard to pick favorites but I have to, I would choose ‘Naznine’, ‘The Book Of Remembered Things’, ‘A very Brief Marriage’ (which I found funny), ‘Melancholy’, and ‘House of the Rising Sun’. My least favorite would be ‘Dreams And Assorted Nightmares’ although I must admit that I loved the lyrical way the story was written but the narrative didn’t quite do it for me.
In a nutshell, this was a very good read and I highly recommend to all lovers of fiction. However, it has really dark themes and if you are easily triggered by violence or horrific events such as suicide, murder and the likes, I would advise you read it with caution. Probably scan through the book one story at a time.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Published: November 2020 by Masobebook
Genre: Short Story Collection
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is a Nigerian creative writer and journalist. His debut short-story collection The Whispering Trees was longlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2014, with the title story shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.
Ibrahim has won the BBC African Performance Prize and the ANA Plateau/Amatu Braide Prize for Prose and in 2014, he was selected for the Africa39 list of writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define future trends in African literature.
His first novel, Season of Crimson Blossoms, won the Nigerian Prize for Literature, Africa’s largest literary prize in 2016.
He is the Features Editor at the Daily Trust newspaper. Ibrahim’s reporting from North-East Nigeria has won particular critical acclaim. In May 2018 he was announced as the winner of the Michael Elliot Award for Excellence in African Storytelling, awarded by the International Center for Journalists, for his report “All That Was Familiar”, published in Granta magazine.