Novel Review: Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah




Eiyo dearies,

Bonne September. Fadima Mooneira is back with a new post and novel review. I just finished reading a novel titled Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah last week. So in this post, I would like to share my thoughts on this novel with you guys. So let's get started...



ABOUT ABDULRAZAK GURNAH

The author for Paradise novel - Abdulrazak Gurnah (Image: alchetron.com)


Abdulrazak Gurnah is a Tanzanian novelist based in the United Kingdom. He was born in 1948 on the island of Zanzibar, East Africa. Abdulrazak Gurnah came to England as a university student in 1968. He later resides in England and now is a lecturer at the University of Kent. He teaches English Literature.

As a novelist, Abdulrazak Gurnah has achieved numerous successes. Some of his books are Memory of Departure (1987), Pilgrim's Way (1988), Dottie (1990), Essays In African Literature: A Re-evalution (1993), Paradise (1994), Admiring Silence (1996), By The Sea (2001), Desertion (2005), The Cambridge Companion of Salman Rushdie (2007), and The Last Gift (2011). 


PARADISE SUMMARY



Paradise is Abdulrazak Gurnah's fourth novel. This novel was published in 1994. Paradise was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize Award and the Whitbread Prize for Fiction. 

Paradise follows the story of a young boy named Yusuf. The story took place in a town of Kawa in Tanzania at the turn of the Twentieth century. At the age of 12, Yusuf was sold by his father (who is in debt) to a powerful Arab merchant named Mr. Aziz. To pay for his father's debt, Yusuf had to work as an unpaid servant for Mr. Aziz.

Later in the story, Yusuf joined Mr. Aziz on a caravan journey. Together with Mr. Aziz and his workers, Yusuf traveled far to Central Afrika and Congo Basin. During his travels, Yusuf met different kinds of African tribes, wild animals, and faced difficult terrains.  Yusuf also learned the ways of the world as he encounters an Africa rife with tribal warfare, superstition, disease, child slavery, and marriage.  

In the middle of the story, Yusuf hopelessly fell in love with Amina, Mr. Aziz's very young wife. As Yusuf returned home, the World War I begins. Mr. Aziz helped the German Military in recruiting young African men as soldiers.


MY REVIEW ON PARADISE

The novel Paradise was given to me by my mother. My mother told me that this book is a brilliant one, and I should not miss it. I agree with my mother. Paradise is a novel that I must read. Thank you, Eomoni. You are the best!

First of all, I would like to compliment Abdulrazak Gurnah for his brilliant writing style. Abdulrazak Gurnah's writing style makes it easy for readers to visualize the story. As a reader, I can say that I was able to travel in the book. The book took me to East Africa. While reading this book in my room, I fell as if I was one of the workers in Mr. Aziz's caravan. I fell that I was close to the protagonist. To me, that was amazing.

I describe Paradise as an eye-opener book. This novel is also a window for me to learn about the world before the World War I started. Besides that, I also learned some stories in the Al-Quran, African myths, and folktales just by reading Paradise. The author added some African myths, folktales, and stories from Al-Quran in Paradise. 

Overall, Paradise is a brilliant novel. I rate this novel 10/10. I highly recommend this novel to those who majored in Social Science and Anthropology. I also recommend this book to those who are working in civil service especially diplomats. But at the same time, I also would like to inform my blog readers that Paradise is not a novel for those who are under 18 years old.


Before I end this post, I would like to ask you guys two questions...

1) Has anyone read Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah?
2) If yes, what are your opinions about this novel?

Ok, that's all for now. Last but not least, thank you for reading this review. Hope to see you guys again soon.

XoXo,

Fadima Mooneira ^_^



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Comments

  1. I haven't heard of this book before but its set in a time I usually enjoy reading about. Great review!

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    1. Cool! Then this book is for you to read. I’m sure you’ll like it.

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  2. Good review I have never heard of the book but it sounds like an interesting read. I need a good book to read as I have not read anything good in a few years so now is a good time to read a good book.

    https://www.wattophotos.co.uk/?m=1

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    1. Yeah,......I believe Paradise would be good for you ☺️

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  3. Woah, great review! I have never heard of this author but I will definitely be checking him out, since you gave this book such a high rating

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    1. Yeah.......go check this book out πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

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  4. Wow - great review! This author is new to be but I definitely want to check him out - esp. since he's a Tanzanian author

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  5. I have never heard of this book before, but it sounds like a great read.

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  6. Paradise sounds like such a good read! I hadn't heard of it before but it really sounds like the author is captivating in his storytelling. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Macam best. Nanti akak nak cari. Kalau buku keluaran Penguin ni bukan biasa-biasa penulis dia. Mesti best.

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    1. Yup.....btul! Penguin x publish buku dari calang2 author. This book memang listed as one of the best in 1994. So it’s a MUST read Puan Ruby.

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  8. 1. That lion plushie is so cute ...
    2. That book is a recommended from your mother? so fun to exchange the hobbies/mind with our moms and i cant do that...

    And i havent read anything from the this writer but u make it sounds that i should read it... Thanks for the review

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    1. 1) I got that little lion plushie from Mekdi. It was a Mekdi Happy Meals.
      2) Yep, my mom made me an avid reader. I’m grateful for that.
      3) Yes, this book is a must read.

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  9. saya banyak baca buku melayu je, tak pernah dengar lagi nama penulis atau buku dia. nampak menarik juga buku ni :)

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  10. I never read this book before but the story of Yusuf i could relate it with the story of prophet Yusuf in Quran.

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    1. Yep, author nie banyak ambil kisah dari Al-Quran sbg inspirasi.

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  11. Not suitable to be read by those under 18? I guess there might be quite a lot of controversies and dilemmas just to name a few.

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    1. Controversies and dilemmas? Not so. You just need to be matured enough to understand this story. That’s why it is not suitable for under age.

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  12. it was published in 1994 ? i'm not even born that moment . Eomoni thats cool that your mom read this kind of book too . i start reading and it hurts me when yusuf sold by his dad bcs his father's debt . ugh daddy what u do .

    so , did yusuf one sided love with mr aziz's wife ? hehe i juz curious .

    ouh to answer your questions , i never read this book but i would like too if i have the opportunity . because i love the plot , not like typical novel :)

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    1. Not born yet? Wow.....you make me feel so old. I was already 8 years old in 1994.

      Yeah, Yusuf was forced to work for Mr. Aziz without salary just to pay his father’s debt. What to do? His father was in debt. Btw, this kinda problems happens today.

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing your review of Paradise. I'd not heard of this before but it does sound very interesting especially from a historical POV. :)

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  14. Untung menjadi seorang yang suka membaca ini kita dapat berimaginasi seperti mana penulis kerana apa yang diceritakan dekat dengan pembaca. Saya ni jer malas membaca tapi dengan ada ulasan macam ni saya dapat juga ilmu dari novel macam ni hehehe

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    1. Alhamdulillah. I’m happy to hear that. But I do hope one day you will start reading books. It will help you with writing and blogging.

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  15. Wow it sounds like a really interesting read, and the author sounds cool!

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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    1. Yeah πŸ’œπŸ’› I second everything you said.

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  16. I've never heard about this author or this novel or before. I think it's a brilliant novel because it shows the cultural and historical process through a character and I love that.

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  17. Great review. I haven't read anything by him but I love the feeling of literary living the story as I read. Since you got transformed by his writing style I might give it a try. Thank you for sharing.

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  18. I haven't read this book but I'll take your mom's advice and add it to my list. Thanks!

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  19. Sorry, Sis tak pernah tahu dan dengar namanya, maybe sebab Sis bukan pencinta baca bahan bacaan novel.. But if nampak, maybe boleh cuba baca satu novel darinya..

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  20. Great review. This does sound like an intriguing read x

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  21. Thanks for sharing -- I would not have heard about this book otherwise!

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  22. Interesting, I have never heard about this book tho. Thank you for this info, would like to read it sometime in future.

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  23. This sounds like such a great novel. Thanks so much for sharing your review!

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  24. thanks sharing this book review. good books , will read it later

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    1. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

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  25. first time i dengar pasal buku ini. agak menarik juga...jalan cerita agak berat ,,

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    Replies
    1. Yep,.....so don’t rush when you read it. Faham dan hayati cerita dia yer.

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  26. Hey! Great review, the book seems attractive. Though, I didn't read it yet.

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  27. Wow 10 out of 10. Sounds like a good one to add to the reading list. Thanks for the review.

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  28. I have never read this novel and this is my first time know the writer. Since the book is have adventure theme, I bet I can imagine the beauty of their journey and African culture.

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    1. Yes, you can. You just need to enjoy the book. It will take you to East Africa.

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  29. I haven't read this book. But, it does sound pretty interesting. I like novels that open your eyes to different cultures and places.

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  30. No, I have not read this one but certainly would love to get my hands on it soon.

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  31. I have read Dottie and Companion of Salman Rushdie... Great novels indeed... I like the way Abdul Razak Gurnah expressed his ideas in his writings, it makes me feel that I am one of the main character within the novels... Hehehehe..

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  32. I haven’t read this book and with your review this is fascinating. I love reading stories set in Africa and I’m sure I will like their story of adventure.

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  33. First time hearing this novel. Sounds very good. Travel through time and places in a book. Aaaaah. A quite journey. It must have meant a lot to your mom. And she gave that to you.

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  34. This sounds like an incredible read - very powerful and, like you said, eye opening! Thanks for the recommendation!

    Lindsey | https://aramblingreviewer.com/

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