Book Review: Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad by Damilare Kuku

Sistah Girls, have you ever not been looking for and yet found just the book you wanted? I mean, it is the sweetest feeling ever!

The hard work of searching for a good novel no be here (not easy), which is why my baby gal, Sandra, deserves an award for recommending Damilare Kuku’s Nearly All the Men in Lagos are Mad. Just hearing the title alone I was like, “osheyyy!” (that’s what I’m talking about)

By the way, just putting it out there, this book is not a man-bashing narrative, rather it is a mix of experiences that is centered on the lives of women.

Let’s Get Into It

First off, short story collections are not my thing, but this babanla (king) of all attention grabbers book title drew me in. You know how some short story collections can feel like disjointed ends of a fabric that is sewn together?

This doesn’t feel that way, I would say that it feels as good as reading a thread of tweets around the same focus. So no, moving from “The Anointed Wife” to “International Relations” and then to “Ode-Pus Complex” does not give you a headache or leave you confused.

If anything, Nearly All the Men in Lagos are Mad is equal parts depth and cruise.

What I Enjoyed

One of the main things I enjoyed about this book is that the stories are relatable–the tales are such that you cannot help but draw parallels to real ones.

Me, reading the story of “The Anointed Wife” and saying, “spot on,” (Damilare, we know who this could be about o, but carry on, I’m loving it). Leaving that aside, Kuku’s choice of words are culturally accurate.

And not just culturally accurate but current: replete with the lingo and whatnot that is sure to draw more than a few laughs from you while also giving a picture-correct description of scenes as they occur in the Nigerian space.

I appreciate a book that has lots to offer; when I was reading “International Relations,” I felt treated to someone’s personal diary. In contrast to that, “The Gigolo from Isale Eko,” felt like a dramatic somrin’ (something) with its character-audience dialogue, like in The Bernie Mac Show and Modern Family, omo (men) the book reading would be something.

Sistah Girls, the vibes on vibes I was getting while reading Nearly All the Men in Lagos are Mad, had me wishing for more when I noticed I had finished it.

Oh, did I forget, the nod in referencing Ayobami Adebayo’s novel, Stay with Me, is the kind of thing that trips me. See ehn, I know, I’m a certified aproko (gossip) with my full-chest (proudly), so, that kind of reference gives me a glimpse of Kuku’s own novel preferences, which I may have never been privy to.

Plus, it adds a realistic appeal to the work, in my opinion, sa. Bottom line, I enjoyed this read, this is her first book, I’m impressed and excited to see whatever she writes next.





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