A Broken People’s Playlist is a collection of short stories with underlying themes so beautifully woven that each story flows into the other seamlessly. From its poignant beginning in “Lost Stars” a story about love and it’s fleeting, transient nature to the gritty, raw musical prose encapsulated in “In The City”, a tale of survival set in the alleyways of the waterside. A Broken People’s Playlist is a mosaic of stories about living, loving and hurting through very familiar sounds, in very familiar ways and finding healing in the most unlikely places.
The stories are also part-homage and part-love letter to Port Harcourt (the city which most of them are set in). The prose is distinctive as it is concise and unapologetically Nigerian. And because the collection is infused with the magic of evocative storytelling, everyone is promised a story, a character, to move or haunt them. (Goodreads)
“Power was close , your words sounded like gibberish”A Broken People’s Playlist by Chimeka Garricks
Title: A Broken People’s Playlist
Author: Chimeks Garricks
Genre: Short stories
Goodreads rating: 4.59
Pages: 255 pages
Publication: 8th June , 2020 by Masobe Books
Source: Page Bookstore
Reading Format: Hardcopy
It’s a 5 star rating for me.
I really liked this book and the fact that the stories somehow connected and it takes you on a Journey to Rivers State Nigeria.
The author is brilliant with the way he narrates the issues a character of the book is facing and even better as he links it with general societal flaws and vices.
I’m going to keep it real short because it’s supposed to be a mini review and I’m overwhelmed by the goodness and intricacy of the book so to cut my words short , I’m speechless.
“You said you’re willing to pay whatever I want so you can sleep with me , right? Well , I’m saying : keep your Money , say something intelligent instead , and Ill do you for free”
I’ll start with this statement that actually won my heart. You can tell that it comes from seriousness and you can also feel the back story of the quote like me. There’s pain , there’s lessons to be learned , most especially power and maybe success. There’s authority from this Queen and that really what we should focus on.
Doesn’t mean we should not think about why she has replied This man so rudely. The man who thinks everything, including self worth can be bought with money.
There’s power in that sentence, line , statement and it’s one of the Reasons I love the book.
Marriage is not supposed to be forced or have particular ages especially for girls but in Nigeria, you can tell it’s different and this is even fueled by parents who start to compare you with your siblings and outsiders. Make you feel worthless and make it seem like you haven’t achieved anything. The book explores the reason why you should wait to be comfortable with the right person and wait for the right time admits possible tragedies.
The awareness of Domestic Violence and its perks is not left out in this book and some chapters reek of toxic masculinity from some of the characters and how they make it seem normal.
Slut shaming and a lot of name calling also mentioned countless times in the book and you will really be able to relate well if you live in Nigeria. Awareness of Sexually Transmitted diseases and why it should be prevented too.
The concept of cheating and understanding in relationships is mentioned. I’ll see it as more of Compromise than any other thing. Being able to know how relationships work and entering the lives of different characters in relationships and the struggle they go through to make it work and even the length they can go to fulfill their desires.
There’s mention of lack of parental care and this is so important because it shows the impact of good parenting and how lack of it can affect an individual .
Tradition and Religion are intertwined and this becomes fanaticism. Being involved in the book to me was necessary . In Nigeria, we take irrelevant things so seriously that have more pros than cons. There’s mention of it and the development of characters in this web will take you away.
Police harassment and homophobia is also a theme in this book and it has a very important role that affects a character negatively maybe!
Love is one of my best themes here and considering the title of the book , I don’t need to tell you that you will be on your toes to find out what will happen next. It doesn’t ooze suspense, but it’s packed with a lot of emotions. The theme of family and why it plays an influential role in society.
I knew love alone was never enough in this life
“But I tell you that anytime I get blue , I eat bread dipped in milo and it makes everything better”
Peer pressure, cultism and scams can be categorized under one theme and yes!
The characters will take you to church and bring you to hell at the same time.
Rape and Sexual abuse also stand out as a theme and highlight of the book.
I like this book because I feel like there’s no pressing issue that wasn’t brushed and I’m amazed at how these characters are able to take up responsibility and recognize their real self in the society and worth.
“Power was close , your words sounded like gibberish”
The songs mentioned are mostly highlife and jazz music. I listened to some and asides from the fact that it was so soothing, I loved one in particular ; Guitar Boy by Sir Victor Uwaifo . It gives me pure mami water vibes and I love it.
Check out this book guys and you won’t regret it. I know I’ve been slacking on my reviews since , hopefully I get better with consistency. I hope you loved the review and stay tuned for more.