The first thing I noticed and liked about this book the moment I opened it was the finished work. There’s nothing more fulfilling than having a work produced with a near-perfect finish. Both the editor/s, and publisher, which I later found out was Author-house, should be given credits for jobs well done. The cover picture could be more illustrative though.
Now, to the content of the book.
The book is a few pages short of 150, a convenient package for those who don’t like to carry big books. The story is about the hilarious (not CRAZY as implied), though at times, depressing, experiences of the writer during his growing up years both in his native country Nigeria, and England.
It begins with the dilemma he has to go through with having to be identified with his first name, a somewhat difficult-to-pronounce Ijaw name; ‘Ayebatonwapiri’, which has to be pulled down and restructured into various forms for convenience, and sometimes, jest, sake. An instance can be found in page 5 when he made reference to his high school days.
‘Junior secondary school wasn’t any easier with the likes of ‘Tomapri’, ‘Tomatopiri’ and ‘Tomapep’…Secondary school, however, got a bit vulgar when my name evolved into ‘Touch My Pr**k’…’
Further, we’re told about more grueling experiences that come with increasing age and maturity. Like trying to impress as a young lover-boy, being an odd mate among peer, having fear of evil spirits. Other almost unavoidable life experiences, like having to cope with living in Plymouth, England where he went to study, as one of the almost non-existent blacks there, unexpected struggles while in search of a respectable job after graduation from the University, sultry relationships with the opposite sex, losing his hair to baldness, and then his eventual decision to return to his country, made the trip down the memory lane of his life worth taking.
The story is fast paced, meaning no space was given for long, unnecessary whining. But it also left the book with a gap; the reader was never really drawn into the life of the writer. Most of the experiences were ‘told’, though not something atypical of an auto-biography.
Then I noticed a cliche. ‘Guinness Book of Record’ was use too often to emphasize exaggerations.
But it doesn’t leave out the fact that the writer is a good story teller. Fact is that his experiences aren’t out of this world. But like each person’s story, it has its own distinct shake.
For me, the book is worth reading, especially for those of us that love quick, hilarious reads. The book is quite good.
Kudos to Tonwa for moving a mile further in the achievement of success in his writing career.