African Psycho: A Novel

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Soft Skull Press, Jan 23, 2007 - Fiction - 176 pages
Its title recalls Bret Easton Ellis’s infamous book, but while Ellis’s narrator was a blank slate, African Psycho’s protagonist is a quivering mass of lies, neuroses, and relentless internal chatter. Gregoire Nakobomayo, a petty criminal, has decided to kill his girlfriend Germaine. He’s planned the crime for some time, but still, the act of murder requires a bit of psychological and logistical preparation. Luckily, he has a mentor to call on, the far more accomplished serial killer Angoualima. The fact that Angoualima is dead doesn’t prevent Gregoire from holding lengthy conversations with him. Little by little, Gregoire interweaves Angoualima’s life and criminal exploits with his own. Continuing with the plan despite a string of botched attempts, Gregoire’s final shot at offing Germaine leads to an abrupt unraveling. Lauded in France for its fresh and witty style, African Psycho’s inventive use of language surprises and relieves the reader by injecting humor into this disturbing subject.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - shawnd - LibraryThing

A graphic, disturbing, and violent tract written in a first person narrative. The protagonist, from The Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), lives in a town called He-Who-Drinks-Water-Is-An-Idiot, and the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - austcrimefiction - LibraryThing

When AFRICAN PSYCHO by Alain Mabanckou arrived in my book stack, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I've finished it now and I'm still not sure what I got. But I do remember it! Gregoire is a ... Read full review

Selected pages


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Section 14
Section 15
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Section 17
Section 18

Section 9
Section 10

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About the author (2007)

Alain Mabanckou was born in 1966 in Congo-Brazzaville (French Congo). He currently resides in the United States, where he teaches literature at the University of Michigan. One of Francophone Africa's most prolific contemporary writers, he is the author of six volumes of poetry and five novels. He received the "Prix Littéraire de l'Afrique Noire" in 1999 for his first novel, "Bleu-Blanc-Rouge" (1998). His latest novel, "Verre Cassé" (Editions du Seuil, 2005), was awarded "Le Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie."

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