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Review: The Clothes of Nakedness by Benjamin Kwakye

September 21, 2012

The Clothes of Nakedness coverTitle: The Clothes of Nakedness
Author: Kwakye, Benjamin
Length: 224 pages
Genre: Fiction
Publisher / Year: Heinemann / 1998
Source: Sent to me by Kwadwo - thank you again!
Rating: 3/5
Why I Read It: I wanted to give Kwakye another chance after enjoying but not loving The Other Crucifix.
Date Read: 15/08/12

Through this novel Kwakye explores themes of class and corruption. We are introduced to a man with money, called Mystique Mysterious by all. This man comes upon a group of four good friends and slowly uses his money and power to pull them apart, showing the decline of community and caring through capitalism and greed. The exposure to money and temptation for these men leads them to react in different ways, with some falling prey and others staying strong – but both of these reactions are dealt with by the rich benefactor and ‘friend’.

Kwakye also discusses class, and on this topic I am still ambivalent as to if he was showing how shallow some of the characters were to care so much, or if it was unconsciously slipped in. At various points it is mentioned that certain characters seem too classy for their poor station in life, and comments such as this. If read critically they show the vainness and ridiculousness of the caring about money and social class because they show that people from all walks of life can act in certain ways. I’m not sure, however, if this is how the author meant for it to be read.

While I enjoyed the themes discussed in this work more than those of the first book by Kwakye I had the pleasure of reading, I found the style of this one less to my liking. The book is a bit choppy and jumps around in time. I also found the dialogue a bit stilted. That said, it was a really interesting read that explored many great topics – and also gave a great depiction of city life in Accra. Recommended to those wishing to explore more in their reading.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian Joseph permalink
    September 21, 2012 6:11 pm

    Great commentary Amy.

    Too bad the style was a little disappointing. It sounds like the plot was not only interesting but important. The role that avarice and lust for power plays in our society astounds and intrigues me.

    • September 29, 2012 9:37 am

      Definitely interesting… but just yeah. Not perfect for me unfortunately Brian.

  2. trish422 permalink
    September 23, 2012 1:04 pm

    Sounds like an author that just isn’t quite for you…

  3. September 23, 2012 1:34 pm

    Maybe third time’s the charm? ;) It does sound interesting but it’s always tough going when you don’t like the style.

  4. September 24, 2012 11:44 am

    I read a review of this on Geosi’s blog and the truth is that I recently came across a copy of the book in a bookshop in Accra, but somehow I bypassed it. I just may have to go back and grab one to read. Thanks for sharing

    • September 29, 2012 9:38 am

      It does explore some really interesting themes readinpleasure. If you give it a try I hope you enjoy it more than I did.

  5. liviania permalink
    September 24, 2012 2:18 pm

    It’s too bad the style didn’t work for you. I’ve never read anything by this author, so I can’t really comment.

    • September 29, 2012 9:38 am

      Yep, just didn’t work for me Liviania, but I’m sure it will work for some others.

  6. October 16, 2012 12:25 pm

    I m not aware of the writer but hope to get to it some time as I ve decided to work through the african writer series as I find them ,all the best stu

    • October 18, 2012 8:45 pm

      A great plan Stu, I’m trying to read more of them as well.

  7. eric asiedu boakye permalink
    October 30, 2013 5:42 pm

    its a nice story which talks about the relations between the rich and the poor in our african community…………..good job done mr. kwakye

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