A Zambian debut novel that follows three generations of three families, telling the story of a nation, and of the grand sweep of time On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, there was once a colonial settlement called The Old Drift. Here begins the story of a small African nation, told by a swarm-like chorus that calls itself mans greatest nemesis. In 1904, in a smoky room at the hotel across the river, an Old Drifter named Percy M. Clark, foggy with fever, makes a mistake that entangles the fates of an Italian hotelier and an African busboy. This sets off a cycle of unwitting retribution between three Zambian families (black, white, brown) as they collide and converge over the course of the century, into the present and beyond. As the generations pass, their lives their triumphs, errors, losses and hopes form a symphony about what it means to be human.From a woman covered with hair and another plagued with endless tears, to forbidden love ...
|Title||:||The Old Drift|
|Number of Pages||:||576 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Old Drift Reviews
Serpell’s new novel ‘The Old Drift’ is a book that I found extremely difficult to connect with. The story behind the pretentious writing style is actually a pretty good premise but gets lost within the prose and styles the author choses to use.
The characters are well written and although the story is told in the first person, the narration does provide the village and the relationships rather well. The story unfolds and unveils itself to its own pace and timing. There are some difficulties that ...more
I was completely intimidated by the size of this book. My ARC is 578 pages, small-font typeface, with narrow margins. I really, really wanted to read this book, and when this behemoth copy fell into my lap, I gritted my teeth, and went for it. I was hoping that at some point I would fall into the story, and it would read more quickly. Unfortunately, that moment never came.
The fates of the characters begin with the grandmothers, then carry on to the mothers, and then the children. One grandmother ...more
When the publisher's blurb says it's the great Zambian novel you didn't know you were waiting for, it's spot on. It is a generation-spanning novel that mainly takes place in Zambia, a landlocked Central African country nestled beneath the Congo and east of Zimbabwe. It traces the history of Zambian society from Colonial times in the late 1800's as the British and Italians explored a new frontier, built dams, and escaped their own crowded cities to a new uncharted world, through Independence, to ...more
I received a free copy as part of the GR First Reads program, and I was super excited to win this, but hoo boy! This. Book. Is. So. Slow. And. Long. And I was completely unprepared for the magical realism. Magical realism is very much Not My Thing. But if you like long, detailed, quirky sagas with a mix of genres, you may love this book.
This story takes some surprising turns as it follows a lengthy, tortuous, somewhat snarled path, and it takes its sweet time about it, too. It alternates between ...more
This book was absolutely NOT for me. At all.
First, it is told in short story form; each chapter being a different story with a different family, starting with "The Grandmothers". By the time you get to section 2, you have forgotten who belongs to whom and that just continues as the story progresses. And by the time you get to the [VERY unsatisfying] end, you just forget who everyone is and just what the story is all about. And you end the story very very confused and are left with a million que ...more
The descriptions of the african countryside is the only thing that this book has going for it, those were lovely. I am DNFing this book at page 17 I cannot read one more racist remark. I refuse to read a story where someone is bragging about shooting a Nig and it only cost him 10 bob, that is the 4th racial slur in 17 pages, I do not believe in censorship except for what I myself read, but this is going in the trash, that will be a first for me.
I received this book in exchange for a fair honest ...more
The Old Drift is a prodigious undertaking both in scope and time span. Set in Rhodesia/Zambia from 1903 to 2023, The Old Drift starts off as a historical fiction and ends as a futuristic parable. It is a generational tale that is as much about what makes a nation as what makes a family.
In this debut novel Serpell addresses colorism, class differences, gender politics and revolution. She draws the reader's attention to the meek and disenfranchised while questioning the definition of pro ...more
It almost seems impossible to review a novel that’s over 650 pages long…..I mean how to begin? The Old Drift caught me up immediately into a world of British explorers trying to tame the wilds of Africa. Namwali Serpell’s Zambian novel surpasses visual equivalents. You are in Africa with these characters. Just when you’ve become enthralled, Serpell switches the scene to an equally enticing British tennis player with an affliction I’ll let you discover. From there you’ll be treated a chapter with ...more