By Night the Mountain Burns

By Night the Mountain Burns By Night The Mountain Burns recounts the narrator s childhood on a remote island off the West African coast living with his mysterious grandfather several mothers and no fathers We learn of a dark c

  • Title: By Night the Mountain Burns
  • Author: Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel Jethro Soutar
  • ISBN: 9781908276407
  • Page: 158
  • Format: Paperback
  • By Night The Mountain Burns recounts the narrator s childhood on a remote island off the West African coast, living with his mysterious grandfather, several mothers and no fathers We learn of a dark chapter in the island s history a bush fire destroys the crops, then hundreds perish in a cholera outbreak Superstition dominates now the islanders must sacrifice their posBy Night The Mountain Burns recounts the narrator s childhood on a remote island off the West African coast, living with his mysterious grandfather, several mothers and no fathers We learn of a dark chapter in the island s history a bush fire destroys the crops, then hundreds perish in a cholera outbreak Superstition dominates now the islanders must sacrifice their possessions to the enraged ocean god What of their lives will they manage to save Whitmanesque in its lyrical evocation of the island, vila Laurel s writing builds quietly, through the oral rhythms of traditional storytelling, into gripping drama worthy of an Achebe or a Garc a M rquez.

    One thought on “By Night the Mountain Burns”

    1. Is this THE novel of Equatorial Guinea?[image error]A beautiful book that unfurls the remote Atlantic Ocean island of Annobon page by page. The scenes, sights, smells, struggles and soul of the island fan out via an intricately detailed narration from a child’s perspective. The narration follows a meandering, stream of conciousness, repetitive style to perfectly capture the oral story telling tradition of Annobon. The stream of consciousness narration brings the childhood voice to the fore, re [...]

    2. Aavistin jo kyllä alkusivuilta, että tämä ei ehkä ole ihan se kaikkein sopivin kirja, kun kaipaa jotain helppoa ja kevyttä lukemista, mutta jokin taika sai pitämään silti otteessaan ja vei hujauksessa puoleen väliin saakka. Afrikkalaiseen suulliseen kerrontaperinteeseen nojaava kirja ilman lukuja, kappeleita ja varsinaista punaista lankaa ei ehkä ollut tosiaan se helpoin pala, mutta sitäkin palkitsevampi kun tämän loppuun sai. Hieno ja monitahoinen teos, välillä tekee hurjan hyv [...]

    3. The first really remarkable book I've read this year. For one thing, it's set on Annobón, a remote island that's part of Equatorial Guinea, the only African nation in which Spanish is an official language. I didn't even know that Annóbon existed before reading this book, and I suspect I'm not alone. But leaving aside the setting, the other remarkable thing about this book is its genre. It's the most persuasive example I've ever come across of a written text replicating an oral account. It's a [...]

    4. ‘By Night the Mountain Burns’ recounts the narrator’s childhood memories of living on the small remote island of Annobón in the South Atlantic Ocean where the inhabitants deal with various crises including a bush fire and a cholera epidemic. The prose is based on the oral tradition of storytelling and features a great deal of repetition, rhetorical questions and meandering through different events with few breaks in the text in keeping with the narrator’s conversational tone. While I fo [...]

    5. I loved this book, written as if being told aloud to a third person. I could feel the narrator being dragged back to his childhood and the confusion he felt during a particularly horrific period on the island; a totally evocative tale capturing the setting, the way of life of the islanders and the weird way kids see things. Brilliant!

    6. Another entry in my 'books of the world' reading project, this one from the Spanish-speaking African country of Equatorial Guinea. I've found it difficult to rate authors who are imitating oral storytelling tradition as they generally don't adhere to a linear plot. The writing is repetitive and melodic, the story dramatic and dark.

    7. Positiivisella tavalla erilainen kirja ja lukukokemus, kuin mihin olen tottunut. Teos kertoo erään pienen saaren ihmisistä, uskomuksista ja tapahtumista lapsen silmin tuoden kirjaan suullisen kerronnan perinteen. Tarina oli kiinnostava ja pidin siitä.Tarinan seuraaminen oli kuitenkin hieman työlästä aiheesta toiseen hyppimisen vuoksi. Lisäksi kokonaiskuva jäi pirstaleiseksi ja laihaksi, vähän etäiseksikin, eikä kirjassa ollut varsinaista kliimaksia. Tavallaan tarinan idea ei ollut j [...]

    8. Early on this seemed to be a somewhat straightforward novel of childhood memories and island life, which isn't meant as a criticism because from the start the voice had me engaged with its sense of storytelling in an oral tradition. And that early impression was correct, it is a novel of island childhood and a child's limited view of adult secrets and mysteries, and it's a very good one. But what I really found exciting as I read was how the the narration withholds information, often repeatedly [...]

    9. and other stories publishing is interesting modern day subscription press andotherstories/ they have some very kickass authors out,, deborah levy , juan villalobosand now avila laurel, the very first? novelist of tiny island nation to be translated to englishis novel is author's memories/stories of what that island is like. there are a couple a mysteries that are never revealed. 1. what did he see in his grandpa's room? oh yes sure, he "says" he saw the water purifier that they donated to the se [...]

    10. A fascinating look into a different culture, as much in how the story's told as what it tells. The prose style perhaps takes some getting into - meandering, repetitive, some details promised that never materialise - but that voice is part of what makes the book the experience it is. And the repetitive style fixes some of the more abstract aspects in the mind. We never learn too much about the narrator, it's far more about the things he sees and remembers than himself, but that prose style inject [...]

    11. This is a difficult book - not to read - the translation and the story flowed easily for all the desolate power of its fiction but to attempt to assimilate - there are more questions than answers here and I've lost countless hrs since reading this in an attempt to learn more of Annobón / pagalu. This story took me right on to reading human rights reports and country histories, to trying to piece them together w my own knowledge of today into a sort of reader's next step after.- the author, with [...]

    12. By Night the Mountain Burns is written from the perspective of a child growing up on the Island Annobon, a province of Equitorial Guinea. The narrator doesn't reveal his name or any names of his family, but you know who they are by his descriptions. The lives of the people on the island are hard, because they are dependent on the sea and the plantations for survival. If one thing goes wrong, the whole island suffers. Through the eyes of the boy, the customs, traditions and religious practices of [...]

    13. What a fascinating setting… a tiny island off the coast of Equatorial Guinea in the 1960s… so set apart from Western civilization yet so dependent on amenities which were rarely come by. The one thing that I didn’t like about this book was the repetitive writing style. I could appreciate that it was a purposeful style, and the plot did come across, but it got boring to read. It didn’t work for me.

    14. This novel is an ode to his island in the Atlantic Ocean. Through this book, I liked discovering a culture I knew nothing about.The writer/narrator addresses the reader, in the style of the oral tradition of his island. There are no real chapters. Like when you tell a story, one thing leads to the next, like a continuous flow of conversation.My full review is here:wordsandpeace/2015/03/22/i

    15. I really love the writing in this book. The story is compelling as well. But the writing, the use of repetition, the use of rhetorical question, the rhythms, the fearlessness openness, the voice

    16. Told in a brilliant mimicry of oral remembrances, the story is full of repetitions, but they function like tides, drawing the reader forward and back.

    17. The first novel of the writer to be translated into English is a book about life on his home island, an autofic novel (I think that is the word i'm looking for) based on events from his youth of when there was a run of unlucky occurences on the island. The novel starts with a story of the community att he heart of the islanders when it comes to building a canoe and that this becomes a group effort before moving on to the narrators grandfather. The grandfather and grandmother tends to be the most [...]

    18. A series of recollections, oral histories, of a child living on a remote island off of Equatorial Guinea. The small population living on the island was poor, and the stories are an intriuging mixture of lyrical fables and frightening events. Fear is a dominant feeling for the narrator, as a series of terrible events occurs; illness, poverty, violence, all happen within a tightknit community, where the reverberations of this pain are felt by all. There are few names, and few characters followed t [...]

    19. This book had a different writing style than I am used to and it took me a while to get into. There are no chapters - it is just one long story . It is as if someone is just sitting on your porch telling you this story. Even though it is told from the POV of an adult reminiscing of his childhood on a remote island, the narration is very child like and choppy. There is a LOT of repetition and the book , for me anyway, would have probably received a higher rating if about 100 pages were cut out an [...]

    20. A heavy read for a small book: being based on oral traditions, there are no chapters or plot, just twisting and turning tales and seemingly random events, with lots of repetition. But since it's the only book I've come across from Equatorial Guinea, that alone is worth something. As a viewpoint to a different culture, this was certainly an interesting read.

    21. This is a short book, it's an oral history so it took me a while to get the hang of it, there's a lot of repetition and deviation. It's almost like a folk tale with witches, seers and she devils. It's a real view of people who don't have first world problems, these are real problems, it's very dramatic,

    22. I dont really like reading stuff not broken into paragraphs and chapters. I find it hard to get into and there are not convenient break points. As such I was a little bit against this from the start. Then the story was fairly conventional with a few literary devices and twists to mix things up. The setting being Equatorial Gunea (sp) being a place I know little about lifting it and there was quite a few interesting moments as well as moments when the writers wit or craft shown through. Overall t [...]

    23. Lukujen puuttumisesta ja vähäisistä kappalejaoista huolimatta, kirja ei käynyt liian raskaaksi. Mystisen, vieraan kulttuurin kuvausta, johon kirja antaa vain pintaraapaisun ja jättää pohtimaan mitä mikäkin tarina tarkoitti. Tristanian ja tämän luettuani, eksoottisille saarille sijoittuvat tarinat kiehtovat entisestään.

    24. A fast-paced dramatic thriller, this is not, despite the book's title. But Avila Laurel's languid prose conveys a clear sense of a distinct culture, whose contrasts made me reflect on the assumptions of my own.

    25. Where did I first hear about this book? On Ann Morgan’s wonderful blog: A Year of Reading the World.A beautiful book that unfurls the remote Atlantic Ocean island of Annóbon page by page. The scenes, sights, smells, struggles and soul of the island fan out via an intricately detailed narration from a child’s perspective. The narration follows a meandering, streamofconciousness, repetitive style to perfectly capture the oral story telling tradition of Annóbon. The stream of consciousness na [...]

    26. Told in the style of an oral history, a man from a small island near Africa recounts stories of his childhood, especially a series of terrible events that happened during a few years. These include a major fire, famine, shortages due to lack of trade, an epidemic, and the murder of a woman accused of being a witch. He focuses on the impact all of these events had upon life on the island and, in so doing, provides a detailed ethnographic description of the island's population.An important charact [...]

    27. Far off the West Coast of Africa there is a remote island, a tiny dot in the vast Atlantic Ocean. On this island the inhabitants are embroiled in a constant battle for survival. The ocean is both provider of food and the biggest threat to life and is treated with respect and awe. Our narrator, a young boy, tells of his childhood through a string of events that shook the island, from massive fires, and cholera outbreaks to a brutal and public murder.In this novel Ávila Laurel weaves a fascinatin [...]

    28. An irksome read, one that does not allow appreciation for its sheer lyrical, literary skill until the reader has managed to overcome the forefront irritation at the repetition of words and story, the laboring idiocy of a naive storyteller. Only later (a long long time later, once the book has managed to be read), will the reader realize that the cadences of the words and the simplicity of the story lend so perfectly to the environment it is representing. This was life on Annóbon, a dreary repet [...]

    29. A detailed account of the traditional construction of a canoe on the tiny island of Annobón, an activity that gathers the resources of the entire community, opens By Night the Mountain Burns by Equatorial Guinean writer and political activist Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel. Immediately we are drawn into an engaging, personal, conversational tale. The narrator is a deeply sensitive, if not well educated, man. His voice is fresh, at times naive, frequently looping back to revisit details, questioning [...]

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