I hadn’t read a self published book before I started this one. I had the impression that they were likely to be of a low quality, published for the author’s pleasure rather than the reader’s. I had no intention of reading one until someone (completely unconnected to the author) mentioned how good The Native Hurricane was. I was still unconvinced, but then a few weeks later I spotted another person raving about it. The coincidence was too much for my curiosity and so I decided to buy a copy.
I can see why it hasn’t been published in the UK – The Native Hurricane is the most African book I have ever read. The narrative hasn’t been toned down for Western readers, every sentence oozing African atmosphere. Initially I loved it, but unfortunately it soon became too much for me. I don’t have much knowledge of African traditions and so the folklore went over my head. I didn’t really understand what was happening, or the significance of each event.
There was nothing wrong with the book – the writing quality was good and the characters well developed; the fault was with me, I just don’t know enough about their culture and that saddens me. I love reading books set in other countries, but my failure with this one leads me to question how realistic the books we are reading in the West are.
Are we just reading watered down versions of events rather than realistic portrayals of their society?
Are publishers only picking those books which are packed with clichés we think are representative of the countries mentioned?
This book makes me more determined to find books which show how Africans really live. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to come back to this book and understand what is happening.
I recommend this book to anyone with understanding of African mytholgy.
Have you read a self published book before?
Have you read any books which show the real Africa?