I got this book as a gift from my husband who told me he had heard good things about it. Since it is the author’s debut, I wasn’t sure of what to expect so I went into reading it with an open mind.
‘The Eternal Audience of One’ is a well written, engaging and witty story centred around Seraphim, a Rwandan born law student at Remms University in South Africa. Seraphim’s family had fled to Kenya in the wake of the genocide in Rwanda and eventually settled in Namibia to a somewhat stable life. The story is mostly told by Seraphim and an omnipotent narrator. Both narrators take the reader through different times and places in Seraphim’s life and also the lives of his parents. Several themes such as racism, migration, friendship, family ties, relationships and love were explored in this book.
This one, I thoroughly enjoyed. Although the story has quite a number of heavy themes, it was so well written with a good dose of wit that I found myself smiling or laughing a lot. I loved the concept of Seraphim having conversations with the other Seraphims’ or personalities in his head, it added perspective to several thoughts or ideas the protagonist was trying to express. The way the story went back and forth across timelines is usually tricky but the author tied it altogether so neatly that it made the story better for me. The only reason I didn’t give this book a 5 Star rating is because as charming as the protagonist was in many ways, I still couldn’t fully connect with his character but that’s just me.
I would recommend this book to everyone especially if you love books with good humour in it. I look forward to reading more books by this author in the near future.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Published: First published July 19, 2019
Rémy Ngamije is a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer. He is the founder, chairperson, and artministrator of Doek, an independent arts organisation in Namibia supporting the literary arts. He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Doek! literary magazine, Namibia’s first and only literary magazine. His debut novel The Eternal Audience of One is forthcoming from Scout Press (S&S). His work has appeared in The Johannesburg Review of Books, Brainwavez, American Chordata, Azure, Sultan’s Seal, Columbia Journal, Lolwe and other places. He was shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing in 2020.
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