Reviews

  • It is the funniest, most engaging badass book I’ve read in years. You should read this book and enjoy freshly minted scintillating prose rioting with each other – it is a lush canvas of ideas, humor and vision. Blackass is fresh, contemporary writing without even trying; this is how fiction should be written in the 21st century.

    Whats On Africa, Royal African Society
  • Gripping... This is a memorable, richly allusive story, skillfully interweaving thoughts from Kafka to the poet Elizabeth Bishop. Barrett probes not only the surface but the depths of who we are

    Anita Sethi, Observer
  • Wonderfully imagined, and very funny… a dazzling first novel by one of Africa’s best young writers

    Kate Saunders, The Times
  • As well as being a fable about race and identity, Blackass is in large part a love letter to Lagos… For Barrett, race is inevitably one part of a person’s identity, but it is one that asserts itself principally through the eyes of others, through how they “read” those they encounter. People will inevitably discuss this book, and Barrett’s work in general, in the context of a resurgent Nigerian literary scene that includes writers such as Teju Cole, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Helon Habila. But, to read him only as a Nigerian writer would be to do him a disservice. For Blackass is a strange, compelling novel, and Barrett has something to tell us all.

    Jon Day, Financial Times
  • A bold riff on Kafka’s Metamorphosis... Igoni Barrett’s greatest asset is his ability to satirise the ridiculous extents people, especially Lagosians, go to in order to appear important. His characters’ every foible is captured and amplified for effect.

    Helon Habila, Guardian

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