My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I opted to sit with this book awhile before deciding to write a review.
Prior to reading this work, I had never heard of Rion Amilcar Scott, nor had I any knowledge of his debut Insurrections. The book was chosen for its cover–which is absolutely captivating–and its blurb: I was intrigued by the concept of a generation of people with an enduring connection to a place like Cross River; a place that is, of course, fictional, but one that also inspires a curious sort of mindset.
Let me tell you, this is not the sort of book you pick up on a whim and read. You need to be in the mood for it; a fact I discovered very shortly into the first story: the one about God’s last son.
After reading it, I walked away for a day, before reading the next story, because I felt overwhelmed by the messages. I needed someone to talk to about what I’d read and see if they understood it the same or, perhaps, interpreted it altogether differently.
This is a work that offers an experience and so much of that experience is subjective. It would be an injustice to interpret the stories because you truly need to read them for yourself.
What I can say is there will be people who rate it low for its abstraction and others who’ll opt out because it’s such a dense read. I admittedly thought of doing the latter because of how overwhelmed I felt; like I needed a guide to walk me through each story and point out what may have been lost in my own translation.
I suggest reading this with a friend. There’s so much discussion worthy material within this collection.
This is particularly true where the last story is concerned–it takes up over half the book–as I found it had a lot to say about the academic world, and how it treats its professors and students, at the collegiate level.
If you like a challenge, and can appreciate receiving it in a manner that may cause some mild discomfort, then this book is for you.
Just be sure you’re ready to give it the proper amount of your attention and don’t jump ship before you’ve given it time to truly set its course.
Pub Date: August 20, 2019
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Liveright Books for the opportunity to read and review this Advanced eGalley. Opinion is my own and was not influenced.