Book Review

#AmReading ~ Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde

Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


READING CHALLENGE 2023: Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde (my first read of the challenge, running from 26 Dec 2022 to 25 Dec 2023)

Absolutely stunning anthology novel, a patchwork of queer love and pain, blending the spiritual world with the material world in seamless whirlpools of deeply intimate narratives. This book broke me a few times and then had such a triumphant ending, so hopeful, where ‘dead’ and ‘alive’ ceased to be meaningful categories (they never really were through the whole book, to be fair), and so do concepts of materiality and illusion, and a lot of other categories that break down completely. I really enjoyed the rollercoaster this took me on, and I’m left with a lot of powerful impressions of the characters and concepts expressed in their stories.

It deals with a lot of heavy topics, from political corruption to domestic violence, rape and murder, a dash of coerced/accidental cannibalism, possession (the devil has a few perspective chapters), surviving in a transphobic and homophobic society where your existence is illegal, disappearances, drugs/alcohol use/abuse.

Read it if:
• you want a genre-mash book with dark social themes, Paranormal spirit world layered and interwoven onto the material one, brimming with queer lives and their survival on the margins of modern Lagos

• religious and non-religious characters coming to terms with their stances on faith and its loss as they accept their identities, loves and losses

• different kinds of queer love and relationships, mostly sapphic, with sex workers, age gaps, tragedy, bisexuality, asexuality spectrum, fluidity, loss, triumph, and everything in between

• an anthology novel full of different voices, from the spirits of the city to the dead to the living all linked by place and the layers of their lives

• you don’t mind graphic scenes of female pleasure, kink and subversive, transgressive sex but told in very lyrical descriptive prose that flows like poetry (there are drug induced letters too, they are meant to be incoherent and expressive).



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