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BOOK REVIEW

JUNGLE DRUMBEATS

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Title: Jungle Drumbeats

Author: Uche Ezeh Al

Publisher: Minshred Media

Year of publication: 2011

Page number: 382 pages

ISBN: 978-978-909-282-6

Reviewer: Akinpelu Yusuf O.

Jungle Drumbeats. It is like a local delicacy garnished with foreign spices. It is like a perfect blend of foreign and local cuisines, seasoned with mouth-watering ingredients and prepared by a hand, gifted with culinary dexterity. Ian Whitehead, a British Reporter, works with the Political Desk of Sunday Mirror. He is a nosy reporter whose eye for big stories is high.

Nigeria had just gained independence. And a war had just broken loose in the country. To Ian, Harros Witson, British Prime Minister, and his cabinet are criminally imbued in the pogrom. No one would believe him not even his Editor. Now, the stage was set between Ian Whitehead and Whitehall, Mirror’s Editor.

With many leaked memos vindicating his belief, Ian’s quest to unravel the truth was undying. His quest would come with a cost: He would be temporarily suspended from his work place and the war front has to be visited. From here, to Lagos he shall go. From there on, his world is on the run for survival.

All through his journeys, it were like I am on course with Ian – the author is able to bring me into the book and make me an imaginative character second only to Ian, the book’s main character. Uche’s words are fluidic and crispy, explicit and fascination, deep and creative. His narratives and descriptions depict beauty and literary vastness, wrapped with cultural depth.

Ian’s journalistic quest turn around to become an adventurous odyssey where hostility, kidnap, bloodbath, starvation, cannibalism, sorcery, trials were in the wait for him. He discovered the truths. He saw the false. He encountered the mysteries. He met the war-battered. He paid the price for daring to delve into the mystical side of the Biafran war. But to Ian, it was worth the price. To Ian, when completed, his discoveries will make a groundbreaking story; for Uche Ezeh, it is debut novel.

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BOOK REVIEW

 

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Title: The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

Publisher: The Random House Publishing Group, New York

Year of publication: 1999

Foreword by Attallah Shabazz

Introduction by M.S. Handler

Epilogue by Alex Haley

Afterword by Ossie Davis

Page number: 466 pages

ISBN: 0-345-35068-5

Award won: Chosen by Time Magazine as one of ten most important nonfiction of the century

Reviewer: Akinpelu Yusuf O.

Written with the a sweet choice of wordings, the book stands alongside masterpieces as The Diary of Anne Frank and others, as one of the ten most important nonfiction of this century by Time Magazine. If there is a book that has the message you need to boost your self-belief, it is this book!

With the ugliest of childhood, littered with host of life-threatening actions, this book describes, in detail, the life of a highly controversial figure in the history of Afro-American Revolution. Growing up in a world thickly-clothed with hostility, racism, poverty, ignorance, he, after a one of too many burglaries, land himself in jail.

In jail, he wrote out and learnt the entire words of the dictionary. It was there he came in contact with books – he read, read and read till he developed astigmatism. Here, he began to ask questions which to his jailers (the devil white man he called them) was a threat. In there too, he met God. And by the time he was out of jail, he was for only two things: Black Americans’ Revolution and religion. There, X the unknown became Malcolm X the renowned. There, Malcolm the gangster became the Superstar!ah Muhammad, his spiritual godhead was the only person he gave his all, until he went on Hajj to Saudi Arabia where he saw how the Orthodox Islam is practiced. It was there he came to realize that not all whites are devil. The stage was set. His ideologies raised dust and pebbles among his admirers and haters. While he toured around the world, the atmosphere back home in America began to light up.

Several death threats and taunts and attempts came; he survived all but one. El Hajj Malik Shabazz as he later became to be called after his Hajj, like many of his ilk, became much more than there was time for to be. His last breath was breathed in front of an audience whose well-aimed bullets burrowed into his stomach. From then on, the Afro-American community was gagged and muted of its only vociferous voice. His life and death were hallmarks of changes. His beliefs were garnished with controversy in the heart of his many contemporaries. 34 years after his assassination, his legacies were reopened by the society that rejected him; his beliefs were rewarded by a society that was threatened by his living. 34 years after his assassination, he was issued a stamp by USA Postal Service in its black Heritage Stamp Series.

His lessons are plethora. Of them, his self-belief and his self-conviction and his resoluteness and his truthfulness, his selflessness for his kinsmen and intellectual-richness stand him tall among the dead living. The “the most important book I’ll ever read. It changed the way I thought; it changed the way I acted. It has given me the courage I didn’t know I had inside me. I’m one of the hundreds of thousands who was changed for better” statement, as said by Spike Lee, dug its hands into my pocket to buy the book.

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