Teju Cole – Open City


I have rarely read a book that has made me feel such a range of different emotions. While reading (actually I had to force myself to read it) I felt I couldn’t connect with the storyline. It just seemed like the main character was stringing together meaningless observations. He met strangers, he went to Brussels, he expressed opinions on political matters. It was also extremely uncomfortable to be with the main character, his life seemed so lonely, so devoid of true emotions.
My opinion about the novel did however change drastically when I got to its rather disturbing end. Then everything made sense. The way the story was told, the lack of emotion, the shreds of memories from his past. I now feel that Teju Cole has written a very brave and important book, describing rather perfectly what for so many women is a sad reality.
From now on I will never judge a book until I have finished it.


3 thoughts on “Teju Cole – Open City”

    1. Hi Hannah, I’m afraid that a lot of the reasons that make this book so important are only revealed at the end. I am trying to think of a way to tell you things without giving too much away, but it is quite difficult. I can say though that the issue that he addresses in the novel is quite an uncomfortable one and he does it so nuanced, I don’t think I have read anything like it before. Also he is not afraid of creating a character that is not very likable, which I think always interests me.


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