Saturday, July 19, 2014

read | O, Africa!

O, Africa! is the story of two brothers who get so caught up in keeping afloat that they miss the fact that they're being swept over a waterfall. They work to make a relevant silent film in an age where sound is taking over. Indebted to mobsters and presented with a potentially lucrative project abroad, filmmakers Micah and Izzy Grand travel to Africa.
            I read this book because it is about film in the 1920s and I wanted to experience that atmosphere. As far as the filming goes, my expectations were met. I enjoyed reading about the filming process as it occurred in its early days. However, seeing as a significant amount of the story takes place in Africa, there wasn’t as much of a 20s experience as I had hoped. The filming in Africa captures the jungle in its pure (yet edited) form which, naturally, doesn’t lead to many flappers and speakeasies.
            The characters in O, Africa! are first identified by their flaws. I appreciate the emphasis on how human they are, but my early negative impressions were hard to overcome. Much of the action in this book is driven by the Grands’ desires to both make a masterpiece and fulfill the demands of the American mobsters, all while falling behind the times. I liked the premise, but it felt like the plot and the character development took turns rather than occurring simultaneously. O, Africa! has a unique setting for an interesting story that, despite its cheery cover, explores the dark side of life.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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