Book Review: Ben Okri’s ‘Starbook’

Starbook, subtitled “A Magical Tale of Love and Regeneration”, is a 2007 novel by Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri. He is also the author of The Famished Road The book has a total of 384 pages. To be honest, I had skipped the book several times in the library, because… well, it didn’t seem like I’d enjoy reading it.  But one day I picked it up and went through some pages, then I said to it “you’re coming home with me today” Lol. I was done judging the book by it’s cover. Plus, I love lengthy books! ❤

Did that make reading the it any easier? No! I literally struggled to grasp the writer’s message and the glimpse I was getting into his mind was foggy.  So, I had to let the book be for a few days then I picked it up again. I’ve never felt so… challenged by a book before. It’s different from others I’ve read. 

Ben Okri

In short, the review a Goodreads user wrote in 2010, summed up my thoughts on the book 99.9%!

Here’s what she had to say:

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 and my thoughts about them. Personal thoughts and realisations.

Many times I stopped reading in awe, just to go over lines again and again, to fully grasp their beauty and profundity.

This is a book for book lovers. For word artists and lovers of the language.

If you are looking for a book to pick up and put down whenever you feel like reading, for something to distract you from your daily life in an easy, understandable and digestible way, this is not a book for you.

Absolutely! My notepad is full of useful tips, advice, wisdom, that I just had to write down. Today (and other days to come) I’ll be sharing some of them with you. I particularly like (d) this one, I hope you do too. ☺

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‘Men rule by day, women rule by night. Men perform deeds in public, women undo them in private. Men make history women make legend. Legends last longer. Men conquer bodies, women conquer hearts.  Hearts feel longer. Men think, women dream. Dreams create the future. Men fight, women bring light. Men think they rule the world, but find the world has turned to water. Women understand that water. Men make laws, women make ways. Men build, women make the building live. Men know death, but women know life. If men make mistakes, women die, if women make mistakes a while tribe perishes. The folly of men is a stupid thing, the folly of women is of historical significance.  Men can be stupid and the world will not fall down; but if women are stupid the world com to an end. The responsibility for women to be wise is truly great. The greatness of a people  is a tribute to the wisdom of it’s women.’

          –STARBOOK, page 29.

What are your thoughts? 

Interesting Quotes from Ben Okri's Book
Raped in April