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    Aug 4, 2010
    Passions of Patriots is a careful selection of actions woven in one pact. It is a documentation of many events and stories, about current disturbing issues of morality, economy and politics. The title of the book is drawn from a very exciting expression on page 182, paragraph three, "when there is a national issue at stake, the passions of patriots of this great nation are flared up". This seems also to have given us the résumé of the philosophy of the whole book. The unfolding events may, however, not be in tandem with this philosophy all through. This is left to personal judgment. The key actors or characters appear to have been locked-up in pursuit of personal and selfish interests more than the national course fore-grounded in the title. This is not to say there are no national issues and interests. Intrigues and bickering dominate the events. Equally relevant to the title of the book is a brief discussion between Peter Shawon and Ahmed Abdulahi (P82) where... More > Ahmed has this to say: The present government is facing severe opposition. There are a lot of dissenters both within and outside the country. Out of patriotic passion, I feel I should intervene… It will be good if the military government transforms itself to a civilian government. Ahmed was actually trying to convince Peter to support the military government transforming into civilian government – the Abacha smuggle style. Ahmed was very passionate about this. But passions are not a one-way traffic. Another group is passionate about democratic rule. This is found on page 73, where Peter Shawon sponsored Bola to cause an air crash. Bola said, I caused that air accident. Ama Adams linked me up to one Peter Shawon who wanted all passengers aboard that plane dead. When I complained that I did not understand how that would enhance the aims and objectives of the Movement, Adams explained that it was the hope of the officials that the crash would discourage foreign investment. This is another stanza to this philosophy of patriotic passions. Each of the characters exhibits a certain degree of passions, either to issues or to persons according to their desires. THE STORYLINE The novel opens with a rivalry between two young men, Peter Shawon and Barry Atile, former schoolmates and now employees of a company-CASTOCO. Each of them sees himself as a prospective Chief Executive of the company. Barry seems to have an edge over Peter for the position. Added to this aspiration is a passion for a lady, Vivian, who takes the attention of the two young men right from their school days, in the University. Barry got married to Vivian. Peter plans the assassination of Barry in an aircraft explosion. In the belief that Barry is killed in the explosion, Peter takes over Vivian as his wife. It is discovered, later, that Barry is still alive. This has become a heavy moral and security problem to both Peter and Vivian. Every misfortune that befalls Peter or Vivian is believed to have been caused by Barry. So Peter, Barry and Vivian live in mutual suspicion and intense fear. All through the novel, the theme of fear seems to dominate the scene. Disturbed by this, Peter goes to consult an Indian witch doctor who tells him what the doctor calls the reality: Here come the past, I'll start from there to assure you I'm for real. I see you and a friend are rivals fighting over one woman, and your friend succeeds in marrying her. Both of you become sworn enemies and rivals to an office. You plan to kill him. The plan fails and he is hunting you. He wants to kill you. You are here to find out about the future – or more accurately, to check-make him with some magic aid, if possible. (p.149). This is the general atmosphere in the novel - undoing one another by the characters. The revelation by the Indian witch doctor is confirmed by Barry when he is encountered by Vivian. When Vivian asks him, "So, why are you here?" Barry said, Of course, to let you know that I'm still alive. To let you know that I'm not the loser, but your battered sweet heart, after all the deception and the tears you shed to make me feel guilty for not loving you enough when it was Peter you cried and longed for (p.133). Barry is not the loser. Rather Peter is. This is fearful. In addition to this, Barry is told by Cabrak, a witch doctor in the village where he is receiving treatment occasioned by the air crash that his problem is caused by Peter. “The misfortune you had of dropping from the airplane was caused by a close friend of yours; one that works together with you and has been your friend since your school days. He hired a boy to do it.” Peter is made the chief executive of CASTOCO and he has also taken Vivian as his wife. This too, Cabrak reveals to Barry. This close friend has taken the position that was supposed to be given to you. And not only that. He is now going after your wife with the intention of sleeping with her. (p.24). Even before this revelation, Barry has shifted his passions from Vivian to his accident nurse, Sharnap. Peter and Vivians' fears are founded. Barry knows everything about the two of them, especially Peter. Peter loses his job after a lot of revelations are made about his activities in the office. His father is also a farmer of dangerous weeds. Barry Atile is behind the unfolding misfortunes. Barry lives among them, disguised heavily and under the pseudonym, Garvin Stuart. He visits his former wife, Vivian, who rejects him in preference for Peter -additional problem for Peter. This is captured in Barry's words, My disguise is to enable me carry out my mission more effectively. I know a lot of skeletons in his cupboard. I only have to give the hints to his enemies, to begin the process of his fall. (p.133). Vivian who is another major cause of the friction between Peter and Barry later propels herself into politics as a woman activist. She is tipped for the position of president. Elvis has an eye on that office. He hunts Vivian who runs to take refuge in Oron, Akwa-Ibom State. Vivian stays there and plans, successfully, the elimination of Elvis. Vivian is sponsored by a Kingmaker-Idris. LESSONS: Wanshe's pre-occupation in the novel is an x-ray of the Nigerian political scene characterized by inordinate ambitions, intrigues, rivalries, assassinations, as the order of the day. - Equally important is the source of wealth by members of the society who become very influential due to their ill-gotten wealth. Peter's father, Godwin, has a lot of money from growing weeds. - Nobody questions this source of wealth, except the press, if and when it cares. - On page 151, Peter turns to God, after a long time of not bringing God into his activities. The author says, like it usually happened in his life when he was completely lost, he began to think of God. But he could not remember the last time he had entered a church. Like many of us do, Peter feels guilty but walks into our Lady of Fatima to look for God in his troubled moment. The author says again, "He walked up the isle towards the altar and diverted to his right, hurrying toward the tabernacle" (P.151, Par.6). Vivian is not even comfortable that Peter has turned to God, for the fear that she might loss him. - In ch.7 Fidelia, Peter's girlfriend and Moses go to the stadium where Vivian is to address a political gathering to kill her. Vivian's offence is simply that she is a wife to Fidelia's boyfriend, Peter. There are many lessons in this novel to be captured in this review within a short time. STYLE: The highest achievement of this novel is the style adopted by the author to unfold the very educating issues raised therein. The author assumes the role of a reporter in the third person narrative technique, punctuating with dialogue among the characters. Even though, there are many stories and events, the author has skillfully connected all for an overall understanding of the message. Connectivity has been effectively used. Another style adopted by the author is that of description. The author has presented each of the events graphically with an effective use of descriptions. (p.10) Peter’s office: "It was a long large room with tobacco-coloured carpeting and an expensive door." (p.11) Bola: "Bola Adebayo was a huge, tough-looking fellow. He wore an unbuttoned black jacket over a yellow shirt and blue jeans. His black trainers skimmed the carpet…" The author has used this effectively to help readers form mental pictures to give us the understanding of the novel. LANGUAGE: The novel is written in simple, day-to-day English.< Less
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Product Details

Malthouse Press Lagos
July 29, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.57 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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