Read Arrows of Rain by Okey Ndibe Online


This debut novel from the author of the powerful, universally acclaimed Foreign Gods, Inc. looks at a woman’s drowning and the ensuing investigation in an emerging African nation.In the country of Madia (based in part on Ndibe’s native Nigeria) a young prostitute runs into the sea and drowns. The last man who spoke to her, the “madman” Bukuru, is asked to account for her lThis debut novel from the author of the powerful, universally acclaimed Foreign Gods, Inc. looks at a woman’s drowning and the ensuing investigation in an emerging African nation.In the country of Madia (based in part on Ndibe’s native Nigeria) a young prostitute runs into the sea and drowns. The last man who spoke to her, the “madman” Bukuru, is asked to account for her last moments. When his testimony implicates the Madian armed forces, Bukuru is arrested and charged with her death. At the first day of trial, Bukuru, acting as his own attorney, counters these charges with allegations of his own, speaking not only of government complicity in a series of violent assaults and killings, but telling the court that the president of Madia himself is guilty of rape and murder. The incident is hushed up, and Bukuru is sent back to prison, where he will likely meet his end. But a young journalist manages to visit him, and together they journey through decades of history that illuminate Bukuru’s life, and that of the entire nation. A brave and powerful work of fiction, Arrows of Rain is a brilliant dramatization of the complex factors behind the near-collapse of a nation from one of the most exciting novelists writing today....

Title : Arrows of Rain
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781616954574
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Arrows of Rain Reviews

  • Abigail
    2019-04-11 15:15

    Wow, I'm not even sure what to say. This is the first book I've read by a Nigerian author. I know, I should read Things Fall Apart, and I will. Okey Ndibe's writing style is different from what I normally read. He is very direct and to the point in his statements but the story itself unravels in layers. Arrows of Rain gives a look into the culture of Madians in Postcolonial Africa. I know nothing about the history or culture of postcolonial Africa and I found this depiction to be fascinating and heartrending.The story itself is about a man wrongfully accused of the murder of a prostitute. Because of everyone's fear of the government, no one will listen to his story and instead make up bizarre accusations to cover the guilt and greed of those in charge.

  • Nathaniel Tower
    2019-03-31 08:15

    A deeply haunting and powerful book that explores the corruption and terror still prevalent in the world today. Arrows of Rain follows a similar path of Kafka's The Trial and Camus' The Stranger, but it certainly does not sit in the shadows of those books. Rich in culture and politics, Arrows of Rain hits hard where other books have fallen short. It's a riveting, disturbing, and flawless read that leaves the reader in awe of the beauty of language and the sadness of life. Ndibe's debut novel is a massive triumph of the absurd that could impact any of us.

  • Priscilla
    2019-03-29 12:01

    I first read this novel about six years ago and at the end I remember thinking ‘Wow’. Re-reading it now and being prepared for the twist, I was still like ‘Wow’. Such is the power of a good novel. Arrows of Rain is beautifully written and examines the pain and sorrow of not only individuals facing the truth of who they really are but also of a nation on the verge of collapse. Although a familiar tale of post-colonial African corruption in all its ugly forms, there is something quite unique about it, perhaps the narrative structure or the language, I can’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps another re-read will help me decide. But it is safe to say, Arrows of Rain is definitely on my favourites list. Read my full review on my blog at

  • Michael Nakamura
    2019-04-09 11:03

    Another strong showing from Ndibe.Somehow less gut-wrenching than Foreign Gods Inc., but dealing with similar themes of fear and betrayal. The same healthy cynicism towards institutions is here, countered by dignified treatment of individuals, even the villains. I read this very quickly and enjoyed every minute of it.

  • Linda
    2019-04-09 14:00

    This was a good book! The only reason it didn't get a 5 star is because I didn't like the ending. I was hooked from chapter one and couldn't wait for justice to be served. The characters were well developed and interesting. Their stories pulled my heartstrings and made me long for justice even more. But imagine how disappointed I was when I got to the end. One thing I loved most about the book was the use of idioms. I love African authors for this! Will I recommend this book? Definitely! But don't get your hopes up or hunger for justice like I was. Read complete review on my bloghttps://lindasyearlybookchallenge.wor...

  • Marcy
    2019-04-21 13:18

    Arrows of Rain was one of the saddest books I have ever read. Okey Ndibe brings the reader right into the story when a homeless man, Bukuru, who lives on B. Beach, hears the screams of a prostitute who has been savagely raped by many men and left for dead. After the army men get back into their trucks and drive away, Bukuru then runs over to help the woman. When she sees him, she runs into the ocean in fear and drowns.The police come and Bukuru is taken away as a prisoner, for he is accused of raping the 18 prostitutes who have been brutally raped and beaten on B. Beach. Bukuru has no chance in the court of a despotic ruler who has had a brutal reign of twenty years. Bukuru has to be the "fall" guy because the army is part of General Isa Palat Bello's reign.Under the general's rule, a death or rape cannot be publicized in a newspaper if the General has a presidential announcement. Terror, corruption are common events during the General's reign without fear of retribution or consequence.Bukuru was once a newspaper columnist who wanted to expose the ills of the the General's reign. When it became "personal," he ran from the truth, afraid to speak. When a country is in drought, people want rain. But floods can also kill the population. Bukuru, in running away in "silence" to live on B. Beach, hoping for peace of mind, never had peace of mind. Memories overtook him. Read this story to find out what memories drove Bukuru into isolation. And remember... a voiceless man is as good as dead.

  • V. NaaTakia
    2019-04-20 07:22

    Ndibe’s Arrows of Rain is definitely one which doesn’t beg to be read. Starting off along the roads of witticism, the story delivers its heart, quietly absorbing a reader’s mind—my mind into following, curiously, how a man’s attempt to defend himself from the law leads him to face and then unravel the atrocities committed within the boundaries of the same law he had so duly run from, and subsequently, into a discovery of his own interest.All I can say after reading this book is that Okey Ndibe is genius!

  • Ken
    2019-03-30 14:04

    There are a number of stories like this one in African literature. The theme of African dictators is one I'm quite tired of. That part of the story was not very interesting, or new. The depiction of prostitution, on the other hand, was somewhat interesting. However, the role of the prostitute as a redeemed figure of sorts is also rather cliche. It could be that I have read this book rather late, when these topics are passe.

  • Nina Chachu
    2019-04-06 10:58

    First novel by Okey Ndibe, who also wrote Foreign Gods, Inc..

  • Beverly
    2019-04-07 10:57

    thoughts coming shortly

  • Suzanne Ondrus
    2019-04-20 13:03

    The book features a male journalist narrator who tells a prostitute's (Iyese) story. Public rape by the military and by the president are events that an individual cannot fight. I appreciated the portrayal of the prostitute becoming a prostitute; it was humanizing. The complexity of the narrator was refreshing. While it was disheartening that he could not stand up and do the right thing (claim his paternity and marry his love), it was refreshing not to have a fairy tale ending. This book would pair nicely with Ghanaian author's book The Jewel of Kabibi by Adzei, Mawuli - also written by a male and dealing with prostitution and featuring a male journalist who encounters a prostitute and falls in love. I loved the grandmother who says "a story never forgives silence. Speech is the mouth's debt to a story"(65).The vengance of the client of Iyese (pg. 195-196) is gruesome. The story shows how it is not possible in some cases to simply stop being a prostitute even if one wants to because one can be threatened and physically harmed. Also the discussion of prostitutes' names (154-155) was insightful into the psychological dimension, where a false name becomes "a shield" for the work (155).

  • Faith
    2019-04-11 08:59

    The gripping story of the "madman" Bukuru and the encounters of his previous life which forced him to go into hiding, but at what cost? the author's narrative style is gripping of the newly independent state from colonialism that descends into a military state. I think the story is based on the rule of General Sani Abacha and his military rule - I could be wrong. Each character is the story is well developed which feeds into the whole story. Overall, a very good story and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Nell
    2019-03-27 08:19

    For a first novel, Ndibe did exceptionally well. This is a well written story and i am now inclined to look for other titles by the same author.The story line picked and flowed from the beginning to the end.I feel the end could have been better, then again that is what suspense is all about.Just like a movie, one could create many alternate endings

  • Lexynne Bosibori
    2019-04-07 13:20

    Liked this way more than I'd expected. Quick read that is both funny and introspective. And some twists/revelations that you don't see coming. Glad I picked it after staying on my shelf for 3 whole years!

  • Kevin
    2019-03-30 07:08

    A low 3, high 2. *Spoilers ahead*Ok. Let's lay the groundwork of the review now. This man is obviously a talented writer. The descriptions have fire, the narrative is coherent and has significant depth to it, and the characters are well thought out. The first half of this book enthralled me, but I experienced significant problems with the text as I advanced from there towards the end. I suspect that many of those problems are actually due to cultural differences between the author and myself, ones which pertain as to what makes a good story. I suspect that if I was also from Okey's native Nigeria, that many of the following writing decisions would have resonated with me much more greatly than they did. This is not the case though, and hence the following opinions and impressions.Good:- Tense, taut, well-constructed political environment in the present day. Was enthralling to step into- Great piece of mystery with the supposedly 'crazy' man standing up and calmly denouncing a dictator- Interesting format where we read that man's story from a first person point of view- Great descriptions- Just very compelling in generalThe Bad:- Introduced characters would be presented as relevant figures to the story, only to turn out to be of staggering non-importance. Or, conversely, generate vague, random characters who have a disproportionate effect on the story:- Need someone to deliver a crushing blow to the main characters psyche? Introduce a random group of college friends who we had no idea existed, crush his psyche like a wiffle ball, and then vanish out of the story again- Need to show the decadence of the current political environment? Go to parties with the cabinet members and become a friend of one of them (this was actually a fine writing idea). Then when those same members are eventually slaughtered, completely and utterly fail to even remember or think about the previous good friend - Character stories trailing off. Want to know why someone made a decision as an adult? Have them tell you their 15+ years of backstory, only to omit the part where they made the decision.- I think that if I was used to the Nigerian storytelling tradition that this would have been better, but from my perspective this became somewhat agonizing after the third time it was done.- Flaws in the portrayal of the main characters:- Bukuru: Pretty good, but in his past retellings I can't help but feel that when he abandons his love interest, that he is absurdly detached from the emotions he would feel at that time. He barely makes note of it. The more damning flaw though is that his past self (which becomes his current self) is frightened out of his wits by the dictator. This is reasonable, but is utterly incongruent with his casual denouncement of the dictator at the beginning of the book. It really felt like two separate characters to me. The Bukuru that I got to know had the opportunity for change, for courage, but could never take it. So who was that dauntless Bukuru from the beginning of the book? Certainly didn't seem like the same person- Strong, female prostitute character: Overall she was really good, and I have few complaints. Her inability to sever the relationship with the murderous Madia seemed dispiritingly realistic, for example. My one major complaint is her origin story. When asked 'Why did you become a prostitute?', she tells of her entire life leading up to the point where she moved to the city where she would become one. And then she stops. From a storytelling point of view, I can understand the argument that the real reasons behind the decisions have already been said, that that is the way her story points. But why a prostitute and not another low income job? It itches to not know.- The present day news reporter: Man I was so uninterested in this guy by the end. He was so glaringly a vehicle for Bukuru's story that when Okey wants to have us develop empathy with him at the end, it feels like why bother? Plus I have no idea whether he wants to continue the journalistic fight against Madia or not, because all I know about him is that he's adopted. An admittedly fair job is done developing him at the end, but it's not enough and is still just yet another way to drive Bukuru's story- The absolute dearth of resolution at the end. Bukuru's arc has now tragically drawn to a close... and so has the book's. Look. I can see how it can be considered a good ending. But it really, I think, just squanders the entire rich political narrative. Will the dictator be challenged or not? Will the son prove more courageous than the father? Will the halls of power shake to any degree? - And it's honestly kind of lame. Going along with my previous thoughts, it had seemed like Bukuru had changed. And it turns out that he hadn't. Which would normally be ok, except then what the hell was he doing at the beginning of the book then? I thought this character had finally realized some, ANY, courage because of his demonstrated actions, and then just 'nah'? It was both a searingly good book and a heart-breakingly disappointing one for me.

  • Eric
    2019-03-31 08:56

    3.75. I thought it would be a political thriller when I bought it but thankfully it was about colonialism and misogyny as well. Fun surprise.

  • Nthepa
    2019-04-21 15:22

    The beginning of the story starts with a bang, a case to follow, questions are raised and there’s a mystery to follow, a truth that seeks to be found. This just moves the story forward at a good pace and is worth following. The plot! Ndibe did well, I have to say. All the events are so well connected, cohesive, interesting and entertaining. There’s nothing in his sketching of reality that is incomprehensible, all the information he throws at us is at good doses and he never digresses. There are books that have parts that can be skipped and nothing’s lost but in this one, he made sure that every line has something to offer and isn’t to be lost. Even when the active voice changes, we are kept on track with the story, all the events breeze through the story so easily and smoothly and interact so impressively with the rest of the story. The main character is a rollercoaster, one minute he’s worth all the sympathy in the world and the next, he’s just an annoying coward who one can feel really needs to get a steel pair. However, it’s such a good way of making him and everyone around him believable and gives space to love and hate him. All the characters are well-developed, their attitudes, appearances, defects and relationships are spot-on. Ndibe’s way of placing topics such as prostitution, power and fear is worth a cheer. There’s a way he shows the ways in which prostitutes start, live, struggle, are treated and it’s not in a manner that begs for pity but more in a realistic and honest way. The power hungry and the ones who are victims of that power also play a role, but what I like is that he didn’t throw all of that in our faces in a way that would’ve made his story what people label another “typical African story.”I just cannot fault this book in any way, and the end is also unpredictable. Once I reached the climax, I thought I could predict how it would all turn out but the author knew how and when to stop. I would recommend this book for people who prefer a mobile story, events going forward with revelations along the way. African literature lovers will enjoy this and anyone just looking for an entertaining story.

  • Temi Sanusi
    2019-03-30 09:12

    Stories never forgive silence.Arrows of Rainis a story set in the fictional country of Madia from 1960 or so to 1988. The country is meant to represent Nigeria at that time, though the historical events are still largely the same, with independence followed a corrupt civilian government and finally, a military coup. The story begins with Femi, a reporter, visiting the crime scene of a woman who had run into the ocean and drowned. The prime suspect is a mad man on the beach of B. Beach (meant to represent Bar Beach here in Lagos), known to the populace as Bukure but claims to have no name. The book largely focuses on the stories of three main characters: the reporter turned madman Bukure, a prostitute named Iyese, and the reporter, Femi. I want to start by saying that this was an extremely well written book. Ndibe tells his story with as much care and grace as a craftsman weaving a reed basket. However, I can’t say I truly enjoyed this book, mainly because of the weight of it. This book was extremely tragic, and in some parts, a bit gruesome. I think Iyese, the prostitute suffered the most.Yet Bukure, who knew her, didn’t do anything about it. He was a real coward. His failure to even tell Iyese’s story as a reporter led to the suffering of many others as the book went on, and possibly even the whole country. (view spoiler)[ This was because the person who ended Iyese’s life later became the dictator of the country, but if Bukure had told Iyese’s story in the newspaper, he never would have been made the head of state.(hide spoiler)] I couldn’t help but think that there were two types of men in this story, those powered by words and those powered by brute force. There was no in-between. And in this story, the pen was certainly not mightier than the sword.I wouldn’t recommend this book to be honest. The story was bit too tragic. I’m hoping my next book, a play by Nobel Prize Laureate, Wole Soyinka, will be a much more pleasant read.

  • Joanna
    2019-04-07 07:02

    Okey Ndibe is an absolutely astonishing human being whose mere presence fills whatever space he is in. Having met him twice I can attest to this. His ability to take a simple truth, that there is no excuse for our silence, and turn it into such a riveting story is why 'Arrows Of Rain' is one of my favorite novels. Reading this novel I was very much reminded of Okey Ndibe as a person, as he is one who lends his mouth and his words to stories that need to be spoken about. I will try to continue without revealing too much about the novel. Okey Ndibe warns us that our inactions can have effects that are completely unimaginable at the moment when we make our decisions. We do not know how far the ripples will go and how many will be touched by our choices. It is later when the consequences plague our lives that we begin to think of the things we should have said and done. There is something beautiful about fictional novels that impacts the decisions a reader makes in their own life. At a moment when one is faced with the decision to speak or remain silent they may be reminded of the decision Bukuru made and how this one decision affected Iyese, Femi and all of Madia. As a young Igbo woman in the US, reading this novel made me quite home sick. Okey Ndibe's style of writing easily allowed for me to recreate scenes and landscapes I know quite well and miss very much. 'Arrows Of Rain' is a great work of fiction that I suggest everyone should read at least once.

  • Chuba
    2019-03-28 14:24

    This was a very poor book for me. I think Ndibe tried way too hard to cover many topics all at once-- a country's corruption, a coward's conundrum and a reporter's epiphany. Eventually, it tells too blandly, without a single atom of suspense at all, just a seemingly endless telling and retelling of torrents of back stories and a few characters that end up having no core relevance to the main plot.

  • Betty-ann Ananeh-frempong
    2019-04-02 08:11

    This book gave surprising revelations of the life a prostitute in Nigeria. It made me shudder at what they go through in the dark alleys at night.It is a really dangerous profession. The book is humourous even though it adresses serious social issues about authority and their abuse of power.

  • Barbara
    2019-04-02 13:17

    This is written by a friend/professor at Trinity College/Hartford. He is a fantastic journalist as well. He has helped me understand Nigeria. This novel gives a searing insider's view of how the press works there.

  • Jessica Jewel
    2019-04-16 08:16

    "Each evening, when the sun goes west to rest and darkness falls, many people yield to the body's sweet summons to sleep." How could you not love a book with such lovely turns of phrase? Truly phenomenal fiction.

  • Ronni
    2019-03-31 13:04

    I didn't like the "frame" of the story so much, but loved the ideas and story and writing enough to still give it five stars.

  • Michelle Wallace
    2019-03-26 09:10

    I really like the way this story unfolds. The telling of it is quite enjoyable.

  • Patrick Nunekpeku
    2019-04-25 07:56

    dangerous to be a witness

  • Demetria
    2019-04-04 10:10

    Good. Nice narration. Lacking punch at the end.

  • Namrirru
    2019-04-07 09:58

    A very painful portrait of moral obligation and regret.

  • Uzma
    2019-03-26 13:11

    the best book ive ever read !this book should be thicker !!too good to handle

  • Rachel Wolverton
    2019-04-06 07:23

    Weighty tale of brokenness, corruption, and discovering who we are. Leaves more questions than answers.