Open City by Teju Cole
June 26, 2011 § 8 Comments
I reviewed Teju Cole’s Open City for Pop Matters. I can’t recommend this book enough. I’ve been having trouble reading fiction for awhile now. I’m not sure if I’m having trouble or I just haven’t been interested enough to read a novel or a collection of stories. I’d read only good reviews of this book prior to reading it and, as a result, was dreading it. But having read it – count me in among the swooning masses.
This book was hard to get through because I read it during a time when I wanted to escape my own mind – and it was impossible, because Open City places you smack dab in the narrator, Julius’ mind, and of course this means you’re in your mind while in Julius’ mind. I wanted to be less think-y. Julius is think-y. So I read it slowly, and felt slowly consumed by the ever-present consciousness that belonged not to me, but to a fictional character, and yet one that was refracted through my own consciousness. Short of escaping myself, it was an invitation to dwell.
I think I’ve recommended Open City enough in my review and on Twitter that I probably don’t need to say more besides invite you to read the review for yourself, if you’re into the sort of thing. Speaking of Twitter, Teju Cole is on Twitter, and you’ll want to follow him. None of that “I will be launching my book at ______” or “Read a review of my book at __________.” Nope. “News from the Lagos papers, remixed” is what Cole’s Twitter bio tells us, and that is exactly what you get.
(If I swoon a little too much when I talk about Teju Cole it has nothing to do with anything.)