Book Review – Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri


This is one of the books I managed to pick up during my huge charity shop haul when I went home to visit my family. I picked it up because I already own a book by Ben Okri that I keep meaning to read and this looked a lot shorter and so I felt it would a much better introduction to his writing. It also just sounded magical and had such a beautiful cover I couldn’t resist.

The blurb on Goodreads reads:

From the Booker prize-winning author of The Famished Road comes this bewitching novel. It is a modern fable about the relationship between love, suffering and creativity. Set on an enchanted island, Astonishing the Gods is shot through with the gentle magic of Ben Okri’s imaginative prose.

The book follows the journey of an invisible man, who reaches an island where all the inhabitants are also invisible but in a different way than he is. He has a series of guides to help him navigate the island and eventually attain the same level of invisibility. The book focuses a lot on perspectives and different ways of thinking and believing and throughout it all, it is full of magical descriptions and the text is just beautifully written.

Although I really enjoyed the writing, I was not as big a fan of the book itself although I definitely felt it was worth reading and would still recommend it to others, it’s just not personally my taste. I’m definitely planning on reading more of his books, especially as I’ve heard that The Famished Road is much better than this, but still with the beautiful prose.


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