Countries: Nigeria as primary, Canada as secondary
Will Ferguson, primarily a humourous travel writer, seemed a fitting choice for my first book review of 2013. Throughout the year, I'm going to write a review for every novel I read that is set in another country - I like the idea of how a book can inspire a trip and vice versa, and a great read can help bridge the quiet days between great escapes.
419 can be described in one word: rich. The words are lush and juicy, the narrative smooth and flowing. The descriptions of Nigeria are incredible - Ferguson does an amazing job covering the country as he covers the lives of his characters. Tribes, ethnicities, alliances, boundaries - he steers the reader from the oil rich Delta into the pale, stinging dust of the dessert, and back around to the putrid chaos of Lagos with ease. This is a proper book: great characters, vivid settings, the stories staying in your head long after you are done. A work most deserving of the Giller Prize - Canada's highest literary honor.