Starbook

Starbook Starbook tells the tale of a prince and a maiden in a mythical land where a golden age is ending Their fragile story considers the important questions we all face exploring creativity wisdom suffer

Starbook tells the tale of a prince and a maiden in a mythical land where a golden age is ending Their fragile story considers the important questions we all face, exploring creativity, wisdom, suffering and transcendence in a time when imagination still ruled the world.

  • Unlimited Starbook - by Ben Okri
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Starbook

  1. Poet and novelist Ben Okri was born in 1959 in Minna, northern Nigeria, to an Igbo mother and Urhobo father He grew up in London before returning to Nigeria with his family in 1968 Much of his early fiction explores the political violence that he witnessed at first hand during the civil war in Nigeria He left the country when a grant from the Nigerian government enabled him to read Comparative Literature at Essex University in England He was poetry editor for West Africa magazine between 1983 and 1986 and broadcast regularly for the BBC World Service between 1983 and 1985 He was appointed Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College Cambridge in 1991, a post he held until 1993 He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1987, and was awarded honorary doctorates from the universities of Westminster 1997 and Essex 2002.His first two novels, Flowers and Shadows 1980 and The Landscapes Within 1981 , are both set in Nigeria and feature as central characters two young men struggling to make sense of the disintegration and chaos happening in both their family and country The two collections of stories that followed, Incidents at the Shrine 1986 and Stars of the New Curfew 1988 , are set in Lagos and London.In 1991 Okri was awarded the Booker Prize for Fiction for his novel The Famished Road 1991 Set in a Nigerian village, this is the first in a trilogy of novels which tell the story of Azaro, a spirit child Azaro s narrative is continued in Songs of Enchantment 1993 and Infinite Riches 1998 Other recent fiction includes Astonishing the Gods 1995 and Dangerous Love 1996 , which was awarded the Premio Palmi Italy in 2000 His latest novels are In Arcadia 2002 and Starbook 2007.A collection of poems, An African Elegy, was published in 1992, and an epic poem, Mental Flight, in 1999 A collection of essays, A Way of Being Free, was published in 1997 Ben Okri is also the author of a play, In Exilus.In his latest book, Tales of Freedom 2009 , Okri brings together poetry and story.Ben Okri is a Vice President of the English Centre of International PEN, a member of the board of the Royal National Theatre, and was awarded an OBE in 2001 He lives in London.

146 Reply to “Starbook”

  1. This book is a work of art.I truly feel sorry for the people who feel the need to belittle this artistry simply because they were too impatient or unable to understand.This is not the kind of book you read in one go, this is not even the kind of book you truly and fully understand after reading it the first time, this is the kind of book that provides you with so many opportunities to ponder about life that you will need a lengthy time to finish it I have filled an entire moleskin with quotes an [...]


  2. I didn t like this book at all I don t like to write scathingly negative reviews hey, every author is trying something different, right So I try to have respect for that But I can t muster any repect for this at all.Okri uses a faux fable style to tell the story of a prince and a maiden, who live in a magic kingdom, and fight spirits and have dreams and face portents of all sorts It s eye glazingly dull, in part because his style necessitates endless lists at one point he lists all the different [...]


  3. Brilliant love story The imagery of this book simply takes your breath away With the simplicity of characters there s only one who s actually named , and the amount of description that goes into the scenery, the book paints a beautiful picture of love that triumphs through difficulty.


  4. I kind of dont know where to start with my review on this one I feel I will fall short and give it none of the justification it requires.So in short I have never read a beautifully written book than Starbook, Okri s poetic way of writing takes you on a dreamlike journey full of spirits and demons, light and darkness, happiness and despair and finally heartbreak and love.I fell in love with the story of the determined Prince and the Maiden, I found this book breathtaking and by the end I found m [...]


  5. Just a few minutes after I read the last page in Ben Okri s Starbook, I find myself struggling to put together the words to express what I feel At one level, Starbook was one of the most lyrical books I have ever read If poems could be compressed into sentences, then Ben Okri has done just that A parable of a prince and the almost mythical love affair with the maiden Okri weaves in a lamentation for art, for colonization, for the loss of the world s beauty as we know it He also drew me into a wo [...]



  6. At a few points, for maybe thirty or forty pages at a time, Okri s narrative gathers speed and escapes his overdone myth making and oracular wisdom in favor of genuine story telling These reprieves, in concert with my high regard for Ben Okri, are the only reason I was willing to consume the repetitive lessons that constitute this predictable legend I recognize that my criticisms of this book only prove that I have not fully absorbed the ideals that it was composed to elevate and that it is a we [...]


  7. I was on a journey with the beautiful Prince and the awkwardly lovely maiden and watched as they come to realization of their love and what it could conquer But underlining all these are serious issues and bravery Okri has been able to use language with such poetic essence that I was spell bound and dreamed dreams even with his characters To understand this book is to share a common experience or to know your history well Howbeit, there were to loud cry as regarding any issue and you just have t [...]


  8. I will be forward I love Ben Okri as a writer I will be honest this is not an easy book to read It is a modern classic in the making floral, figurative, philosophical, and oh so deep It took me several months to finish this book I read it last year and I just flicked through it again, re reading my comments and quotes that I underlined I loved this book because of it s intensity and mysticism As I can imagine, it won t be everyone s cup of tea, but if you want to be taken elsewhere, there is not [...]


  9. Here s a few hours i d like back Picked this up looking for some surreal fantasy but what i got was some meaningless abstraction trying to dress up what is essentially a simple core Completely put me off picking anything up by Okri again And reminded me once again the risk associated with reading fantasy and surreal fiction There is always a thin indistinct line between utterly awesome and bitterly incorrigible.


  10. I struggled to finish this book before the year ran out Okri has beautiful language granted but he can be a little verbose There are passages that are so beautiful that they made me cry The story was a little out there magical kingdoms and tribes For lovers of language and musical language then Okri is a must read.


  11. Final rating I want to say right off the bat that Starbook is not something that I would recommend to everyone In fact, I wouldn t recommend this book to most people, despite the fact that I have an overall positive opinion of it The problem with recommendations is that they create expectation in the mind of the reader, and if you go into Starbook with expectations no matter what they are you will almost certainly be disappointed Part of the beauty for a book like this is going into it blind, as [...]


  12. When I first started reading this book, every sentence sounded like a nonsense But I can t believe how wrong I was A few months later I picked it up again, and realised the beauty and complex of layers in this book The way that the stories intertwine makes you feel like part of the story But I wouldn t really say it was a great love story, I just didn t see it like that.I would definitely recommend this book Keep reading every detail will make sense eventually.


  13. It was a beautiful, simple live story full of magic and mystic tribes like a story that is told to kids a bit too long and too descriptive.



  14. Amazing read So many life lessons hidden in the narrative Worth a second and third read Ben Okri is a master of words



  15. I have a love hate relationship with this book.On the one hand, I am in love with Okri s lyrical style of writing It s enchanting I found myself transported soul and body into this mystical world, which is so similar to our own, but has hints of magic, which his style of writing only exaggerates On the other hand, I felt myself getting bored of the long winded writing towards the end of the novel Not that that s Okri s fault however, but my inability to read a book slowly I can t stress this eno [...]


  16. If this had been a novella, sitting somewhere around 30,000 words, it would have been a perfect thing Some beautiful prose, evocative descriptions, intriguing bits of mysticism and harrowing glimpses of a future life as a slave are the strong points here The negative would be that I cared not a jot for any character, that there were words, passages and chapters throughout that did nothing for the story, and that repetition of thoughts and narrative were overused This has taken me the longest amo [...]


  17. Somewhere between nowhere and everywhere somewhere between nothing and everythingis is Starbook a frustrating read, if you have no time, but a precious gem containing the most intensely vibrant, vigorous and powerful writing if you take the effort and the trouble and the patience to sit through its elaborate prose Dense, flowery prose aside, it is the endless, continuing story of 2 lovers, who go through a set of trials and tribulations to first find themselves, and then, in doing so, find each [...]


  18. I read this book a few years ago and I am due to read it again It was my introduction to Ben Okri and his writing simply took my breath away I read a chapter every night before I went to bed and I had the strangest dreams as a result It s a beautiful African fantasy and it s the first that I have read of this kind No charactors are named and if memory serves me correctly, the location is not mentioned And this adds to the romance of the story.It s pure poetry in my opinion And it is thought prov [...]


  19. Very dull and tedius, the sort of book that you get to the bottom of the page without a clue what youve just read I gave up at page 65, then felt guilty as it was a reading group choice and skimmed through the rest Set in a unspecified mythical period where the king laughs in a knowing way, the prince sees the future in his dreams whilst seriously ill from a glimse at his true love, the maiden sees the prince in her dreams and ponders lifes mysteries and the elders and tribe plot and argue Way t [...]


  20. I like Ben Okri, really enjoyed The Famished Road Was rather disappointed by his later books but Starbook is a delight He is back on form with this one But as is typical of him it should be about half as long as it is The man does go on just that little bit too much But in the end I can t help but love the book anyway Also I just skipped some bits that were ridiculously repetitive Like myths and fables the stories are rich with enchantment and meaning from the book.g alive to the mystery of life [...]


  21. As with many reviews here I was attracted to this story because the blurb sounded interesting The blurb gave the impression I was about to read a phenomenal story set in a fascinating mythical land However what I got was very different There is very little plot to this story the book is filled with repetition and imagery While the imagery is at times beautiful it is just not enough to carry the reader through the story It had such promise but unfortunately it really did not deliver.


  22. I picked this book up at the library at the last minute for its beautiful cover And I was glad that I borrowed it when I first started reading it, because of the gorgeous prose But how long can you go on in that kind of language It s suitable for a short story, like a fable or something I gave up after about a hundred pages.


  23. than half way through the book and have highlighted and folded down pages than any other book i have read in the past year i guess that means i love it Themes of transformation self societal , death, love, and learning really speak to me as i find my own way when i am finished


  24. Very beautiful Long and slow Starbook doesn t try to be The Famished Road , and so I guess it doesn t fail Part moot Siddhartha story and larger part an abstracted, poetic art manifesto Although every part of it was a pleasure to read, as Okri always will be, ultimately he has said very little with quite a lot.


  25. I liked the idea of this book, magical land and fairytale story but sadly the writing style frustrated me Okri has a beautiful poetic way with words but I became very impatient, as it made it very difficult to follow the plot Although with hindsight, maybe this was because there wasn t an actual plot oh dear


  26. Twenty years after doggedly ploughing my way through The Famished Road, I came across this work in our local library I must give Ben Okri another try, it can t be as bad as I remembered , I thought to myself, thought I It was, every bit as bad as I recalled It was so bad I was grateful that I had to return it, unfinished, and I have no plans to get it out again.


  27. Okri is made of the same cloth as literary giants who possess this poetic capacity to write with a mercurial delft wand Each sentence is generously rich with a wisdom which transfigurated me to the pulse of each character I read the last page, closed the book and took a deep breath I yearned for


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