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'Blackass' by A. Igoni Barrett

Blackass tells the tale of Furo Wariboko, a frustrated young man in the thickets of job-hunting in Nigeria’s tough labour market, who wakes up one morning and discovers that, over night, he has become a white man with a black ass. We journey with Furo over the next twenty-five days as he lives the ‘expat life’, meeting a host of characters along the way.

Blackass was painfully boring to read. Barrett tried too hard to tell a story; the story about what it must be like to experience Lagos as a white man. The book felt as though it was written for an international audience and not for Nigerians who actually live in and know Nigeria; the author took too much time explaining the Nigerian experience – Lagos traffic, well-known malls, restaurants and hotels in the country, describing national delicacies, the Nigerian manner of speaking and expressions, the Nigerian university experience etc.

To be frank, reading the book was annoying and the narratives were unnecessarily long, becoming dull and pedantic. Not to mention that I thoroughly disliked Furo's character – a truly selfish and horrible human being (who I hope, to Igoni, does not represent the average Nigerian, because I would feel very insulted). I really don’t know what all the hype about this book was; I’m glad I’ve finished reading it and can move on to brighter, well-written literature.

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