RBC Reviews Open City By Joel Cicero

RBC Reviews Open City By Teju Cole

The Rainbow Book Club monthly reading held on April 27th at the Pool Side Lemeridien Hotel Port Harcourt. Teju Cole’s novel Open City was the book-of-the-month. The response that always greets each reading was impressive as usual.

Teju Cole in Open City explores the life of a young Nigerian German Psychiatrist Julius living in the highly multicultural society of New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Julius attempts to blend into the society as he engages in several walks in the subways of New York. This walk from place to place is as a result of a need to get relief from work stress and also a quest for self discovery. This sets in motion the major theme of the novel as this young medical student tries to find elixir to his isolation and the overriding interest in human relationships in the city.

Samuel Ojukwu, author and member of the book club during the open discussion observed that: “Teju Cole has been able to give a vivid lifestyle of immigrants living abroad who are clueless of their origin and the drive in them to go back to their roots”. This comment set the pace for the reading as each member engaged in thorough review of the novel. “The work empathizes with the deplorable state of humanity” said Mr. Anaele Ihuoma, poet and writer. This is evident in the encounters of Julius with individuals at various places in the novel as the story unfolds and how he listens to them as they tell their pitiable stories.

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Members lauded the author for his new work. They appreciated how he was able to tell the story from the point of view of a psychiatrist despite being an art historian and photographer by profession. The date for the next reading was announced as 25th May and the book-of-the-month ‘Why Women Won’t Make it to Heaven’ by Dul Johnson.

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