The Highly Infrequent Review of Books: Open City, by Teju Cole

5 november 2011 | In Books Self-indulgence | Comments?

open_city_-_teju_cole Teju Cole get’s me. The big obvious differences – I’ve no relation to Nigeria, as far as I know – fades in comparison to the big astonishing similarities  – I think like that, walk like that, listen, read, observe like that. And these things, I believe, is what matters here. Of course I do. It’s impossible for me to keep any sort of critical distance to Open City – the effortless elegance of the prose, helps, naturally – I’d blurb it if someone would let me. But the most notable lack of effort is that with which one (or I) submerge into it. There is almost no distance to cover – strumming my not-really-pain with his fingers, typing my life with his words. I would admire him, but modesty (yeah, right) forbids it.

This isn’t really a review, is it? I guess not. You may be sick and tired of Big City Novels where Clever but Somehow Aloof  Young Man walks about making Clever and Profound Observations. And that’s mainly what ”Open City” is. But that’s only the format. You may be sick and tired of 60- 150 White People  playing Notated Music by Dead White Men on Old-fashioned Instruments, too, yet you shouldn’t really rule out Symphonies as something that might be worthwhile, should you?

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