Writings of the general word's body

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Review: Measuring Time

Excerpt from my review of Helon Habila's second novel, Measuring Time...

Sick and awkward, Mamo believes “he was doomed to die young.” He measures his survival in the face of encroaching mortality, taking “long walks to kill time.” Iliya paces, “measuring time with each step.” As for Lamang, he ends up rambling, “as if he were trying to make up for lost time.” Ultimately, it is the weak Mamo who must be strong.

5 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

Very good writing sample.

Wordsbody said...

Thanks Renegade. If you see a copy of "Measuring Time" - read it and see.

Talatu-Carmen said...

Nice review. I love Waiting for an Angel so much that I wrote my MA thesis on it. I like Measuring Time very much too--especially because it seems like a continuation of Habila's biographical focus--telling the stories of "ordinary people." But, I agreed with you about the space devoted to Zara. I thought both Zara in Measuring Time and Alice in Waiting for an Angel were disappointing charachters--so much seemed to revolve around them--to the extent of having the chapter "Alice" at the very centre of Waiting for an Angel--but they were ultimately so much less interesting than his other characters.

But just a minor critique of an author who is always at the top of my "favourite author" lists.

Wordsbody said...

Talatu-Carmen,

Thanks so much for your comments, which actively engage with the post/review at hand.

From one Habila reader to another...

Fred said...

If you don't mind a comment ...

Having read only a few (very good) short stories of his prior, I'd expected a lot more from Habila. His writing technique is really good, a skilled storyteller, but this novel was lacking, almost like the story itself was wanting.

Reminds me of the latest Shrek movie (bear with me): great stuff visually, lot of technical graphic excellence on display, lackluster--some would even say terrible--story.

Nice blog, by the way.