Kintu: The book I didn’t want to finish (Book Review)

I had no idea who Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi was before opening this book. Save for the few tweets I saw on my timeline, I was completely uninterested. In fact, I didn’t not even buy the copy of Kintu that I own (autographed copy, **insert smirk**). Rather, it was a gift given to me at Jackee Batanda’s One Day Novel Writing class. (Plug: She has a professional writing workshop coming up in 3 days. Sign up if you are serious about writing – More info here (PDF). Plus in July she hosts a Writer’s retreat – I do not plan to miss this one, this time around) .

From the moment I opened up this book, I have been raving about it to who ever would care to give me their ear (my poor friends are probably nodding as they read this). I grew up reading a lot of western influence type books – you know the lot: Sheldon, Archer, Bradford, Gardner, Collins, Steel, Grisham, Gould, Clancy.

Makumbi’s Kintu was not something I was expecting.

Riveting is a word we used to discribe it in a Twitter conversation. From the beginning of the book to the last full stop on the story, your mind is on edge wondering, what is this woman trying to do to my imagination.

For someone who grew up in Kampala, Uganda – this book will be an extra treat for you. Your mind is immediately drawn to the different places she mentions, the mannerisms and sounds that we are often fond of doing andsaying… Don’t roll your eyes, where else in the world can you say, “extend” and they will immediately understand your out of context use of the word.

I am not sure whether this the actual story behind the legend of Kintu, but in away, I don’t want to know. She found a way of telling the story of different cultures and the different tuntu that are there, that nobody talks about but everybody knows.

Her writing style is clear, distinct and  descriptive. She immediately captures your imagination and then grips it firmly in her fist, everytime you cry foul – the grip tightens just a little more.

Detailed. I am not sure how long it took her to write this book, because the level of detail that she inserts into the story is amazing. Different lives over different generations without loosing the scarlet thread that binds them.

Ah! This was such a good book.

You should read it!


Side Note: This is the first book review, so excuse the exaggeration but incase you couldn’t tell, I really liked this book. This is the first one I am completing off the 2016 Africa Reading Challenge. My reading list is here in case you are looking for books to add to yours OR if you have book I simply must read feel free to share.

Next book is We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo.

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