Petals of Blood (2019)

Petals of Blood Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Moses Isegawa Petals of Blood The puzzling murder of three African directors of a foreign owned brewery sets the scene for this fervent hard hitting novel about disillusionment in independent Kenya A deceptively simple tale Peta
  • Title: Petals of Blood
  • Author: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Moses Isegawa
  • ISBN: 9780143039174
  • Page: 283
  • Format: Paperback
Petals of Blood Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Moses Isegawa The puzzling murder of three African directors of a foreign owned brewery sets the scene for this fervent, hard hitting novel about disillusionment in independent Kenya A deceptively simple tale, Petals of Blood is on the surface a suspenseful investigation of a spectacular triple murder in upcountry Kenya Yet as the intertwined stories of the four suspects unfold, a devThe puzzling murder of three African directors of a foreign owned brewery sets the scene for this fervent, hard hitting novel about disillusionment in independent Kenya A deceptively simple tale, Petals of Blood is on the surface a suspenseful investigation of a spectacular triple murder in upcountry Kenya Yet as the intertwined stories of the four suspects unfold, a devastating picture emerges of a modern third world nation whose frustrated people feel their leaders have failed them time after time First published in 1977, this novel was so explosive that its author was imprisoned without charges by the Kenyan government His incarceration was so shocking that newspapers around the world called attention to the case, and protests were raised by human rights groups, scholars, and writers, including James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Donald Barthelme, Harold Pinter, and Margaret Drabble.First time in Penguin Classics
Petals of Blood Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Moses Isegawa

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    283 Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Moses Isegawa
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    Published :2019-09-03T11:07:59+00:00

One thought on “Petals of Blood

  1. Cheryl

    I once gave up on the ambitious narrative sprawl of Wizard of the Crow, only to find my mind and body buried within the passionate scribble of these Petals of Blood,A flower with petals of blood It was a solitary red beanflower in a field dominated by white, blue, and violet flowers No matter how you looked at it, it gave you the impression of a flow of blood.To find oneself lost within an arresting read of love, sex, betrayal, oppression, censorship, and economic strife, while also courted by n [...]

  2. Kris

    This is the first book I have read by Ng g wa Thiong o, and I was swept away by it Written in 1977, Petals of Blood recreates many of the tensions in Kenya at the time Although the book is anchored by investigation into the murder of three highly placed Kenyan officials, it is at heart a sweeping exploration of the tensions tearing apart Kenyan society misplaced quest for wealth, modernity, and power the continued stranglehold of Western imperialism on Kenyan society the questions of the respons [...]

  3. Neal Adolph

    Reading literature that is not written for your eyes is hard as a white man So many of the narratives that I have encountered in my life, from books to movies to advertising to cultural mythologies, have been developed for me to eat up and enjoy with remarkable ease It is quite easy for me to make it through the day without encountering much that challenges these narratives And, even as a gay man, it is easy for me to discover just enough culture through the internet in daily doses of glitter be [...]

  4. Alex

    Petals of Blood comes up in discussions about the most important African novels of the 20th century Ng g wa Thiong o pronunciation if you want to pick one name, Ng g is correct was a disciple of Chinua Achebe s, until they had a violent falling out over philosophy Ng g decided to stop writing in English, switching to his native Kenyan language of Gikuyu African language for African people Achebe had a broader audience in mind 1977 s Petals of Blood was Ng g s final English work.It s a deep and i [...]

  5. Jeya

    At the outset it is a murder fiction The plot unravels with an ongoing investigation of the triple murder of three socially eminent men Kimeria , Chui and Mzigo The investigation leads us to a journey into the past the past of not just the prime accused Karera and Munira but also the victims Kimeria , Chui , Mzigo and the past of Africa itself Set in nascent Kenya the novel is a pungent criticism of the erstwhile European imperialism and its cankerous impact on the African nation It is also a st [...]

  6. Livia

    A very symbolic, yet simultaneously open critique of colonialism and the system it set in place in Kenya It clearly outlines the path of exploitation and corruption that has so defined Kenyan politics This is a must read for anyone coming to visit Kenya or interested in African culture and literature It is no surprise this book was so contentious and that Ngugi was later jailed

  7. Danielle

    The most telling thing I can say about this book is that I was within 20 pages of the end and I was hungry so I got up to make myself a sandwich, and didn t finish the book until later that night.The pace of this book is slow It has about 4 climaxes It never really drew me in But it has some great moments, and some interesting lessons I see the four main characters as symbols of the four post colonial African peasant archetypes The prostitute, the merchant beggar, the socialist revolutionary, an [...]

  8. Andrew

    The dedication at the start of this book reads To The Soviet Writers Union for giving me the use of their house in Yalta in order to finish the writing of this novel and the writer Ngugi was imprisoned for a year in the 70 s for his writing so you know as you start the book that this is not going to be an ordinary murder mystery In fact that is the starting premise as four individuals are arrested in the mid 70 s for the murder by arson of three high ranking wealthy industrialists capitalists Th [...]

  9. Elaine

    I expect he ll get the Nobel Prize sooner or later In this book, what starts and ends as a murder mystery becomes a profound look at what happened to Kenya post independence, and to Kenyan people This is not an easy read for people expecting a quick mystery with stereotypic characters, but by the time your done, you ll have insight into complex characters not of our culture and what shaped them Best book I ve read in several years, even though it took me a while to get into it largely because it [...]

  10. Michael

    This is one of the first Ngugi books I read and I have to admit I enjoyed his earlier work about the Mau Mau rebellion as I was reading it However, looking back I see the brilliance of Petals of Blood This work takes incredible courage I was visiting Kenya when he first came back after decades of exile and he was attacked by thugs To take on the corrupt post independence regime and not just create a mythology about the heroes of independence is what makes Ngugi a master I wish an American write [...]

  11. Simon

    Think of it as Grapes of Wrath set in Kenya It s a highly political novel, chastising imperialism, capitalism, and corruption in Kenya, written by an author with Marxist leanings Nevertheless, the interweaving of four people s stories leaves room for different perspectives, and the novel never descends to the level of a manifesto I couldn t stop comparing Petals of Blood to Grapes of Wrath though, and I must plainly say that Steinbeck, taking time to unfold a narrower story, delivers peasants p [...]

  12. Sara Salem

    Masterpiece He shows the slow encroachment of a whole range of forces from capitalism to modernity post independence in Kenya and does it while implicitly critiquing almost every ideological position that can be taken in such a context.

  13. Dora Okeyo

    Ngugi s writing commands attention This book was published in 1977 but the story was written within seven years pre publication set in an imaginary town of Ilmorog along the Trans Africa highway The story revolves around four main characters Munira, Abdulla, Karega, and Wanja all of whom meet in Ilmorog, and find themselves caught up in the failed promises of post independence in Kenya Munira is a teacher who is posted to the school and struggles to get the basics including keeping the pupils in [...]

  14. Jenny

    It s funny, from reading the Acknowledgments I knew what I was in for when I read his thanks to The Soviet Writers Union for giving me the use of their house in Yalta in order to finish the writing of this novel Written in 1977, this was a time when Communism was where it was at, right So I figured that this would be a revolutionary anti capitalist post colonialist Kenya read And it was I didn t enjoy it as much as Wizard of the Crow, which I really loved and would recommend highly, and than th [...]

  15. Heather

    This book was on my shelf for a long time, one of those should reads that I wasn t very inspired to pick up Finally, I had nothing else at home to read, and I picked it up It still felt like a should read in the beginning, and I found the novel slow going, only reading a few pages a night I couldn t relate to the characters, who seemed to just be wandering around in the story which didn t seem to be going anywhere Then, at the very end of part one, when the community of Ilmorog decides to journe [...]

  16. Marc

    The plot goes nowhere after the initial murder mystery dissolves into a sparsely conceived framing device, dislocated in both time and attention by the agonizingly slow progression of the main narrative, itself enacted via extended flashback The characters are abstract and lifeless, and the novel s sociopolitical impetus, though admirable and understandable, impede the development of anything of interest The prose is generally flavourless, if technically sound, but the descriptions of a Kenya st [...]

  17. Tinea

    A screed against post colonial indigenous capitalism in Kenya tucked into a character driven story about personal relationships to power and history Memory, passion, and perspective bias everyone so the story barely tells itself but instead is formed from the impressions of those living it Ngugi is one of the great anti imperialist writers and also a great novelist This book allows the author a few moments of utopian soapboxing and revolutionary memorializing, but mostly he buries the politics u [...]

  18. Sisa Petse

    I m not surprised the book is a classic and now I understand I was engrossed by the story from start to finish There is obviously a main character in the book like in others but novel is about socio and political challenges in post independence Kenya the main protagonist here is the people and government But I bet all Africans who lived post independence in their own countries will find resonance.I have also learnt that after the publication of the book in late 70 s and plays that were subseque [...]

  19. Diana

    3.5 4 A book laden with mysteries of the past which need discovering, and several different social aspects which emerged in independent Kenya The reader explores the primarily rural old Ilmorog as it progresses and develops, and watches how people either eat or are eaten.Rather slow at times but everything fits neatly together in the end, so that the author s message is delivered effectively to the reader While the African words, phrases and songs put the reader in the right Kenyan atmosphere, h [...]

  20. James K/isb

    This book really touched my heart Ngugi wa Thiong O truly understands Kenya s Neo colonism era and depicts the reality of ordinary Kenyan people s life during that period Further, he also mentions the legacy of the British colonialism as well as the difficulties and consequences of modernization Overall, the hardships that ordinary Kenyan people went through in creating New Kenya were mentioned throughout the book It shattered my old conception of Lion King Kenya and allowed me to see the realit [...]

  21. Lit Bug

    This is a disturbing novel with substantial violence in Kenya, and deals with issues of brutal neo colonization Not for the faint hearted Not exactly an easy, thrilling book A moderately difficult read, because it has numerous underlying themes, interrogating Western values and our own notions of civilization and law enforcement.

  22. Rosemary

    Very interesting riveting in places, but my eyes glazed over in other places If a book combines a socio political message with a fiction plot, I prefer the fiction plot to be straightforward, otherwise it can turn out like this one, with too many flashbacks to too many different events Perhaps just not the right book at the right time.

  23. Kaelyn

    Not often do I have to read a book twice in order to attempt to formulate an idea of what I want to talk about Usually, as I read I think of the topics or themes in the novel that most interest me, and by the time I get around to writing this blog, I have a fairly coherent outline of what I want to explore But I found a new kind of obstacle in Africa, specifically Kenya, and its literature It s nothing than the fact that Kenya baffled me, both in Ngugi wa Thiong o s Petals of Blood and in my ac [...]

  24. Umar Paswal

    This book isn t necessarily about Kenya, it can be set in most post colonial countries in Asia and Africa The story is about the struggle against the European colonial power, and after achieving that success, things going sour The Europeans are physically gone but they still control Kenya through other means money, power, the world economic system that they have created It s different kind of colonialism.The book is set in small town that is losing its young to bigger cities The town is at the m [...]

  25. Vincent de Paul

    Literary pundits and Ngugi fans, please don t thirst for my blood or send goons to finish me off I m sorry to say that I m finding Ngugi books kind of a drag for me This is the second book of Ngugi I am not finishing in a span of one year Even after skipping several pages occasionally still I didn t make it past P.90 I m stopping right there I have read the voluminous Game of Thrones series without skipping even a word, but this I liked Wanja by the way and Munira is kinda ostentatious Karega a [...]

  26. Tineke Dijkstra

    There s no denying it Thiong o is a genius He knows what he s talking about Petals of Blood is a well written piece of work filled to the brim with interesting ideas, critique and opinions But what s always confronting about Thiong o s works for me is that I m clearly not part of his target audience His works take me a long time this one took me a month , despite the fact that I am experienced in reading African literature His works are packed with cultural references, Swahili and Gikuyu It does [...]

  27. Stephen Hunt

    Excellent read The tensions of the new Kenya presented in this book echo today across much of the region However, it s eerily reticent of the important movement of a return to culture emerging among contemporary African literature I am a big fan of Ngugi s work, particularly Decolonising the Mind, and Petals of Blood is a clear example and standard which invites the reader to understand theimportance of this need to recenter out language and literature in the place and space it is coming from a [...]

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