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Open City

A Novel

Cole, Teju

(Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Open City
Print
Random House, Inc.
“The past, if there is such a thing, is mostly empty space, great expanses of nothing, in which significant persons and events float. Nigeria was like that for me: mostly forgotten, except for those few things that I remembered with outsize intensity.”

Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor doing his residency wanders aimlessly. The walks meet a need for Julius: they are a release from the tightly regulated mental environment of work, and they give him the opportunity to process his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. Though he is navigating the busy parts of town, the impression of countless faces does nothing to assuage his feelings of isolation.

But it is not only a physical landscape he covers; Julius crisscrosses social territory as well, encountering people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul.

A haunting novel about national identity, race, liberty, loss, dislocation, and surrender, Teju Cole’s Open City seethes with intelligence. Written in a clear, rhythmic voice that lingers, this book is a mature, profound work by an important new author who has much to say about our country and our world.

Baker & Taylor
Feeling adrift after ending a relationship, Julius, a young Nigerian doctor living in New York, takes long walks through the city while listening to the stories of fellow immigrants until a shattering truth is revealed.

Baker
& Taylor

Feeling adrift after ending a relationship, Julius, a young Nigerian doctor living in New York, takes long walks through the city while listening to the stories of fellow immigrants until a shattering truth is revealed. A first novel. 25,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400068098
Branch Call Number: FIC C
Characteristics: 259 p. ; 22 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

Author: Teju Cole
Areas Featured: Morningside Heights, Harlem, Central Park, Financial District
"Julius, the narrator of Teju Cole's lyrical Open City, spends most of the novel walking around. A psychiatric fellow at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, he travels up and down the streets of New... Read More »


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May 01, 2012
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Cole is an Nigerian, now American, photographer and author. The book relates the thoughts and musings of a psychiatrist during his walks in New York City. It is almost precious, but solid. Interesting.

Feb 09, 2012
  • austinmurphy rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This is pretty well written, but the bombshell that is dropped about twenty pages from the end is a lot to take in. I see why Cole didn't explain it - he's probably trying to show how this narrator uses his intellect to distance himself from painful emotional experience and guilt. But, I don't know, this sort of "gotcha" feel doesn't really strike me as the most effective way to get this feeling across. This was good, but I wanted it to be even better.

Oct 19, 2011
  • JacquieM rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Beautiful, thoughtful and well-written.

Jul 06, 2011
  • kelliyfults rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

do not be in a hurry with this... though it reads quickly, there is an atmosphere, a simplicity to savor. if you love subtle, philosophical stories-without big answers; then this is a great choice!

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app11 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52