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The Famished Road by Ben Okri
The Famished Road

hmarchand, November 29, 2006

It's been said that One Hundred Years of Solitude should be required reading for every human being; if I were to make a list of such required reads, I'd go along with that, and I would include The Famished Road on the list as well.

What Ben Okri achieves in this novel is simply astonishing. The very nature of reality, and particularly of the relationship between flesh and spirit, is iridescently transformed, and there may never have been a more masterly demonstration of the necessity of opposites: love is strong as hate is strong, tenderness overwhelms in the presence of cruelty, life is life because death is death (except in the case of the spirit children, who are born and die and are born again into the pain and the joy of the world).

The Famished Road is truly a glorious work of literary art, focused intently on a small central cast of vividly imagined and indelibly created characters but so broad and surprising in scope that it astounds. It is an exhilarating, fascinating and delightful experience to read this book. What more could be asked of any novel?
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