Fine Boys by Eghosa Imasuen has been described as “a coming of age story” that many readers can easily relate to. For the younger generation, the story isn’t far-fetched and for the original “wounded generation” it brings back feelings of nostalgia.
Medical doctor, Eghosa Imasuen was guest author at the Rainbow Book Club reading which held on Sunday, 25 February at Le Meridien Hotel, Port Harcourt. Eghosa writes skilfully employing pidgin English to render a gripping account. Every new page promises more adventurous escapades from his characters. The story points to the decadence of our government, our failed university structures, and the menace of increasing violence associated with confraternities on campus. The story is set at a time when Nigeria was under the weight of the annulled June 12 elections, even as the execution of human rights activist, Ken Saro Wiwa and his men caused an uproar from the international community. The book aptly captures the scenario: “There was the junta and the gap toothed Maradonna, trying to keep the peace on campus, with the presence of the military when in fact the country was in turmoil”.
Ewaen and his oyinbo friend, Wilhelm, get into the university a year later than usual due to the incessant staff union strikes. They get acquainted with Tuoyo, Ejiro, Odegua, KO, Tambo, in room A109 and share the pressure to blend into one of the campus confraternities as “fine boys.” The author sums up the Nigerian university, “This was not a university. It is a jungle. We were all jungle rats huddled around a candle, watching it flicker and burn out slowly.”
At the Rainbow Book Club reading, Dr Imasuen read an excerpt about first loves from his book. In response to a question on why he had to kill one of the characters at the end of the novel, Eghosa explained that we tend to shield ourselves from tragedy but life is full of them and sometimes they are the drastic consequences of trivial decisions we make.
The book reading ended with an autograph session and photographs with the author. There was an announcement that the Rainbow Book Club’s March reading will be a celebration of poetry to mark the World Poetry Day on 21 March.
---report sent in by Ibiye Alalibo