Blunted on Reality: A Review

| January 3, 2013

blunted on reality book coverThe historical election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States in 2008 was a triumph for many both in the US and the world at large. People traveled near and far to witness history on the day President Obama was inaugurated and, as weird as it almost feels to merge fiction with reality, one of those people was Obinna Ikechukwu Ifeanyi, the main character in Chinedu Achebe’s first novel, Blunted on Reality.

Blunted on Reality is a story about love, career, and a historic presidency as seen through the eyes of main character, Obinna (known as Obi), a young Nigerian-American attorney living in Houston, Texas and struggling to find his place in the world. During a trip to Washington, DC to witness the inauguration ceremony of the nation’s first black president, Obinna finds himself torn between his love for Tamika, his African-American girlfriend who is not quite interested in settling down, but who is available to satisfy Obi’s sexual whims, and Nkechie, his Nigerian friend from college who seems to fit more into Obi’s ideal as a future wife. Not only are Nkechie and Obi both of Nigerian parentage, they are both intellectuals treading the same paths in life.

While the story line or even the author’s bluntness with his characters and their lives is not very surprising (matter of fact, his depictions and narrations are not that farfetched from the general everyday conversations heard in homes across the country, including mine), the way Chinedu weaves the story around various issues, especially political narrations and historical facts, is quite impressive. Using his imagination and life’s experiences, he successfully explores various issues ranging from marriage, women and sex, to career success, economic power and influence, blacks in America, history and more, in a way that portrays the author’s attention to detail and deep analytical thought process. The reader is bound to find that this book teaches more than it doesn’t, if, and only if, one is willing to look past the author’s use of explicit sexual descriptions, uncensored language, and the lack of sufficient editorial polish. This could have very easily been a promotable and popular read if a little more care had been put into proofreading, rewrites and editing.

Chinedu picAfrikan Goddess Magazine took time out to interview the author, Chinedu Achebe. Read the interview below:

Please tell me a little bit about yourself

I was born in Richmond, Virginia and currently live in Houston, Texas. I am the oldest of three siblings between my mother and father. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and currently work in the accounting industry. I am a huge sports fan, especially of the NBA and NFL.

When and why did you decide to become an author?

I never thought there was a particular time that I would be an author. I guess I was like most people who thought about writing a book, but I never felt like I had anything compelling to write about. It wasn’t until the 2008 presidential election victory of Barack Obama that I felt I wanted to write a book to document this historic moment. But I also wanted to create my own unique storyline to accompany it.

Is Blunted on Reality your first novel?

Yes, Blunted on Reality is my first novel.

Tell me a little bit about the writing process and how long it took for you to write Blunted on Reality

The process consisted of me just writing down a few ideas I wanted to discuss and pretty much just creating the rest of the story as I went along. It took me about a year to write the book.

Blunted on Reality. Why this title?

The title of the book came from the hip hop group, The Fugees’, first album also named Blunted on Reality. I felt that the way the group talked with honesty in their lyrics about a variety of issues, was what I wanted to do in the story that I wanted to tell in my book.

Can we expect other works from you in the near future or was this a burning story that just needed to be told?

When I first started writing, I didn’t think I would write another book. But now that I have written and published Blunted on Reality, it seems that the writing bug as bitten me. I don’t have anything that I am currently working on, but I am brainstorming some possible storylines.

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N. Amma Twum-Baah, Editor

N. Amma Twum-Baah, Editor

N. Amma Twum-Baah is editor of AFRIKAN GODDESS MAGAZINE. She is passionate about bringing the work of ordinary African women to the global world stage through her editorial work. She has spent the last 5 years of her writing career telling their stories of struggle and great achievements. To date, she has narrated and written the stories of over 50 women across the African continent and beyond its borders, including Betty Makoni, Floriane Robins Brown, Noella Coursaris, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and others. Her hope is that these stories will not only serve as a source of inspiration for women everywhere, but that they will also raise high the image of the African woman everywhere. Over the years, Afrikan Goddess has seen many transformations under Amma's capable direction and leadership - it now boasts of three brands: Afrikan Goddess Magazine, Afrikan Goddess Awards, and Afrikan Goddess Publishing (Writing and Editing Services).

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