19 Following


Three 'long' stories.

Foreigners (Vintage International) - Caryl Phillips

Although this book should fall within my chosen genres it totally failed to grab me.
It narrated a series of three fictionalised tales of coloured men who had lived in the UK, two during the last century and one in the eighteenth century.
I found it unnecessarily drawn out and wordy and I only finished it because it was an audiobook. Even this was not a great selling point, as the last story, about David Oluwale, a Nigerian stowaway who arrived in Leeds in 1949 and who triggered an awareness of the treatment of immigrants, seems hypocritical, as the main narrator was American, criticising the British police force when his country's history of treatment of couloureds included the Klu Klux Clan.

The opening story was about a servant who worked for the writer Samuel Johnson and was treated well, but who couldn't cope once Johnson died.
The second was the tale of Randolph Turpin, Britain’s first black world-champion boxer, who ended his life with debts and disillusionment.

There was far too much detail, which can be skipped when reading but which is laboriously narrated in an audiobook. An example is the list of 14 prison terms served by David Oluwale, dates, offenses and duration.
From reading other reviews, I sense that this is not Caryl Phillip's best work, so I may give another of his books a try in the future.