Fine Boys is the first book I’ve doled out money to buy, without even bothering to read the synopsis, or reviews. The book title “Fine Boys”, was the major clincher.
Thankfully, the book proved to be as interesting as most of the fine boys I’ve met in my life.
I absolutely loved the storyline. Ewaen’s experiences felt so real and relatable to me, even though I truthfully never experienced cultism or the threat of cultists to any remarkable extent. This book made me laugh out loud, smile and cry, at turns and when a author can successfully evoke your emotions with his words, then you know he has hit a home run.
Plus, I’ve learnt a couple of new pidgin words and slangs.😂😛😂
Book Title: Fine Boys
Name Of Author: EGHOSA IMASUEN
Published by: Farafina Books
Year Of Publication: 2011
Number of Pages:350
Warri, October 1992: Seething with idleness and nonchalance, sick of watching his parents fight, 16-year-old Ewaen is waiting for university to begin, waiting for something to happen. Months later, Ewaen and friends are finally enrolled as freshmen at the university of Benin. Their routine now consists of hanging out in a parking lot trading jibes, chasing girls and sex, and learning to manage the staff strikes and crumbling infrastructure. But Nigerian campuses in the 1990s can be dangerous places, too. Violent confraternities stake territories and stalk for new recruits. An incident of petty crime snowballs into tragedy …..
Fine boys is Egbosa Imasuen’s second novel. In the witty, colloquial style fast becoming his trademark, Imasuen presents everyday Nigerian life against the backdrop of the pro-democracy riots of the 1980s and ’90s, the lost hopes of June 12th and the terror of the Abacha years. Indeed, Fine Boys is a chronicle of not just a time in Nigeria, but its post-Biafran generation.
Fine Boys is a tale about University life in the nineties drawn from the experiences of Ewaen and his friends. The Nigerian universities of the time, were characterized by incessant strikes both from the academic and non academic staff unions, which disrupted each years academic calendar.
Growing up, making friends, meeting girls, falli
In the midst of all these, is the ever threatening presence of confraternities (deadly secret cults or should I rightly say not so secret cults) trying to recruit Fineboys like Ewaen and his friends.
An important decision has to be made by Ewaen and his friends. This is whether to join one of the many confraternities on campus and become Fine Boys or whether they should not join and remain “Ju Men”. This decision however, is not one to be made solely by them as the confra members have their ways of getting new members to join them during each session and there ways more often than not involves threats, cajoling, coercion and even outright violence.
Despite the constant harassment from the confra guys, Ewaen and his friends make the decision not to blend, and become Fine Boys. But then a number of events beyond their control occurs which takes the decision out of their hands.
Because there is more than one cult on campus, it is inevitable that there will be a clash of the confraternities for supremacy. All these clashes and conflicts make for an interesting read and keeps the reader turning the pages, because you never can tell what will happen in the next page, or even the next paragraph.
On resumption of their 3rd year in school, Ewaen and his friends join up with two Fine Boys from different confraternities to live together. None of them imagined the tragedy that will be the outcome of such living arrangements.
Fine Boys is perfectly paced.
What makes Fine Boys even more interesting is that while all these is going on in school, Egbosa finds a way to infuse a running commentary about the state of the nation at the time, socio-economically, and politically.
The period the book was set in was a difficult time in Nigeria’s history, what with the political instability, the historic annulment of the June 12,1993 elections, MKO Abiola’s arrest, extra judicial killings of top politicians, incessant strikes by both the academic and non academic staff of universities, leading to the shut down of schools. All these form a back drop for Fine Boys.
Showing how despite the issues happening on and off campus, students will be students; having as much fun as possible, and then trying to squeeze out as little time as possible to actually study. (Been there, done that. Lol)
Asides Ewaen, there were other well-developed characters like Wilhem, Ewaen’s Oyinbo childhood friend, Oliver Tambo, Yibril, Brenda, and Amide.
Verdict – Recommended with much gusto.
I’ll leave you with the words of Chika Unigwe. Fine Boys is thought-provoking , perfectly paced, uniformly delightful, compassionate, full of humour but also heart breaking.
Read this, and thank me later.