Astonishing the Gods: A Novel
Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri relates the story of an unnamed young man as he travels through a land of invisible beings where he encounters strange places and sees marvelous things, although not without encountering challenges along the way. These challenges lead him to a greater understanding and insights that he wasn’t looking for but found anyway. The young man’s wanderings take the reader along with him and his guides on this classic hero’s journey.
A difficult yet deceptively simple book, Astonishing the Gods may be a challenge to readers. It can be, and has been, read as political allegory, myth, fable, social commentary, a discourse on the Atlantic slave trade, or a description of the illusive nature of storytelling itself. First published in 1995, this is the first US edition, after finding quite a following and much acclaim in the UK. This is the type of book where the meaning shifts with every read.
Told in an episodic style, the book is quick to read, but it leaves much by way of food for thought afterward.
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