Memoirs of a Porcupine: Short Review

It has been a really long time since I last posted a book review, and I am really sorry about that. I am trying to read as much as I can, as usual, but between my classes and NaNoWriMo, it has been a bit hard since the beginning of this month… Hopefully I can make it up to you before the end of this month!

Memoirs of a Porcupine

Author: Alain Mabanckou
Original publication: 2006
Genre: Fiction, African Culture
My rating: ★★★★✩

The story:

According to an old African legend, every human being has an animal double. Some are harmless, but some are evil.

When he turns 11, young Kibandi is taken into the forrest by his father, who forces him to drink a strange potion. That is his initiation. From then on, he will be accompanied through his life by a porcupine double (the narrator of the story). He soon discovers the use of his animal double, and starts killing people, for revenge, because they annoyed him, or just for the sake of killing…

Memoirs of a Porcupine is a dark and fascinating tale which will take you into a world you most likely ignored until now, and it is a book you will never forget.

My opinion:

A beautiful, poetic and original book. The narration is really captivating, and this book is rather easy to read. It is supposedly narrated by a porcupine, who makes sentences without caps or points, and that makes the book really hard to put down.

I really felt that this book was unique. I actually picked it up because I am studying it for one of my classes, and I am so glad I discovered this author. This book is like nothing I have ever read.

Mabanckou was born in the Republic of Congo, and he writes in French. He is also a Literature Professor in the US. His book Memoirs of a Porcupine has won the French literary prize Prix Renaudot (which, according to Goodreads, is the equivalent of the National Book Award).

If you are looking for diverse, original, and different books, then this is definitely something I would recommend!


2 thoughts on “Memoirs of a Porcupine: Short Review

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