The Twisted Library — September 30, 2014 at 11:37 am

O, Africa!: A Novel to Read This Fall



Written by Andrew Lewis Conn, O, Africa! chronicles the story of twin filmmakers, Michah and Izzy, and their incredible journey through Africa in the 1920s. The brothers’ personalities are at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet they make perfect partners in their film careers. The story unfolds when Micah becomes entwined in shady deals with a crew of Harlem gangsters. Meanwhile, their production company is also experiencing financial trouble. With a plan to satisfy the thugs from Harlem and keep their movie studio from going under, the brothers travel to Africa with two objectives: shoot footage of the continent and also make a feature film that they hope will save both their careers, and their lives.

The storyline keeps the intrigue level high, along with its many compelling subplots, side characters, and themes of race, identity, infidelity and sexuality. Conn’s use of metaphors and analogies for description are nothing short of remarkable. O, Africa!’s humor is not for everyone. Those who appreciate the more cynical and sarcastic colors of life and the humor that resides in the darkest corners of humanity may find the book rather funny. Throughout the novel, Conn shows both his love and reverence for the era of silent movies, and the novel comes alive during scenes about film-making.

From the book’s description I thought I was going to be reading a satirical comedy. While there are certainly moments that I laughed out loud, comedy it is not. Organic, emotional, and well-written are the perfect words I would use to describe this novel.

Twisted Talk: Have you read O, Africa!? What were your thoughts on the novel? Discuss below!

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