Stopover is a collection of three new novels that I read in a few hours, because the book is 70 pages long… I will talk about the thickness of the book later. So I am going to present the novels.
The first, Chronicle of my 7:51 Train, is an invitation from the narrator to join him on his daily trip from home to his workplace, a publishing house. His travelling companions are always the same : an old man in rags whose mouth exhaled a particular odor, the teenager who always has his headphones on, and Begonia, the young voluptuous woman that nothing nor anyone seems able to reach… The day she deigns to answer his hello is the day the ride on will totally make sense. I loved this novel. I can even say that it is my favorite. Short, incisive, with a strong philosophical connotation, it puts us in a situation that we all may have experienced more than once. Through the allegory of a simple trip in the subway, the narrator gives us some answers about this great unknown that is life.
Each student, new high school graduate or having previously capitalized a few academic years dream to go to Europe. JC, son of Ebonga, hero of the second new eloquently titled At What Price? is no exception to this rule. Given the precarious economic situation of his parents, he will get help from his aunt, Hortense called Pili Pili, assisted by his uncle Ignace, who will not hesitate to throw to the face of the young distraught man the generosity he enjoyed to earn an airline ticket and a Schengen visa… Value does not wait on the number of years,as goes the saying… The unfolding of this novel is its perfect illustration. Centered around values such as honesty, courage, resilience, family relationships, this novel comes in second place, in my preference. A little longer than the first, it immerses us in the meanders of a family whose hierarchy comes from the depth of your wallet… Exit the birthright ! Don’t we say that whoever holds the wallet, the same holds life ?
Fodjol is the central character of the third novel From One Body to Another. Arrogant and placing himself on a pedestal, he despises everyone. He is convinced that with his wealth and prestige, no one can resist him. But it was withough taking the invisible hand of fate into account, this mass of forces lurking in the shadow which strikes when you least expect it. This novel is the one I liked the least, though. The narrator, wishing to highlight the relative fall of Fodjol gets embroiled in explaining the theological and especially esoteric terms that seemed convoluted to me and spoiled my reading pleasure …
Overall, Stopover is a book read very quickly and this is where the problem lies… Even if the novels are full of teachings and have as common denominator the existence and finality are somewhat… short ! This absolutely does not question the penmanship qualities of the author, who uses heartfelt formulas and philosophical reflections, pushes us to go on our own journey to capture the essence of our presence down here.