Of Pawns and Players
- SKU: 2010141002892
Kinyanjui Kombani is a Kenyan novelist, playwright, scriptwriter, and literature activist. He burst onto the scene in 2004 with his debut novel The Last Villains of Molo one of the few pieces of art that have been produced about Kenya’s first post-election crisis in 1991. We loved it.
He followed in 2013 with Den of Inequities a book that follows a killer gang in Nairobi that we also loved.
The author’s new novel Of Pawns and Players tackles the underground world of betting in the simple and humorous narrative style that has made him a household name in contemporary fiction.
behind the intrigues of corruption, lies, gambling and mistrust is a story of love, true friendship and the true value of family. Why should you read this book ? Because it does not end as you would expect it. The story could have been expanded further, but where it stops is where your imagination is supposed to guide you towards. So hop on...
Reviewed by Franklin on 21 Mar 2019, 12:40 p.m.
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This is a story of a Mutura vendor, in a fictional street, Kiamatawa. Thomas Karamu, for that is his name, is trying to make ends meet by selling Mutura by the roadside, and has a close friend, Elisha, with whom they share a common life of struggle. Elisha was once an Ambulance driver, who quit to start a cobbler shop. As Thomas works hard each day, going to get fresh intestines and stuffings for his Mutura in Kiamaiko, Elisha works in his shop close by and gambles mostly (sports betting).
Thomas gets involved with Aria, a rich man's daughter who develops an appetite for his Mutura. Aria's father is not happy with him being, a Mutura vendor, and so kidnaps him. He later finds good use of him, and traps him in a betting syndicate. Thomas is "used" by a betting company, MoneyBet, "to win" a jackpot. They chose him because his story would be great –Mutura man wins the jackpot. The story of this jackpot win, and how the Pawns and players 'chess' through makes the story worth its title.
This novel is an eyeopener to addicted gamblers to learn how the betting companies play with their minds to keep them gambling. The stories behind the wins are crafted, and they look for a man whose story would touch their target –the poor.
The language is very easy, and very funny at the same time. Kinyanjui Kombani is more of Mwangi Gicheru in his novel, 'Across The Bridge' with the way he tells this story:very simple language, ordinary experiences digested deeper to make you capture the details in a more appealing manner, laughter here and there, and very 'silly' quotes that makes you stop a bit and laugh. There are great surprises and suspense that catches you unawares.
Generally, this is a very interesting novel. It is an eye opener for gamblers, and very timely in this time when a huge number of youth are addicted to sports betting.
Reviewed by Andrea Otieno on 12 May 2020, 9:14 p.m.
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