“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented
in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me
that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me
with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”
― James Baldwin
Let’s talk about this book(albeit being released close to an year ago); Drunk by Biko. I am among the many readers who is always looking forward to Biko’s literature. Man is a talented writer. You can always check his site for his articles and or upcoming projects: bikozulu
The book is 167 pages thus a quick read, can easily fit in a pocket. It has a simple and beautiful design just that I found the maroon cover pretty light and prone to wear and tear to the slightest of friction/rubbing.
The plot is of one Larry, the main character who just excels in screwing up (the people you can easily use as a bad example). He falls to the vice of drunkenness that causes a ripple effect in other spheres of his life, his love life, job and health due to addiction.
He has a loving mother (Happy upcoming Mother’s day to all mothers). She relocates to the rural Eldoret to do Farming after retirement, although separated with the husband plays a big role in reaching out to her sons. She is a very prayerful mother and has roles in the rural church. If only Larry called her more often, something she yearns.
Larry has a brother, Jeff who introduces him to cheap liquor. On his return from India is equally messed up. Falling into drunkenness and depression but turns a new leaf. He cares for his brother Larry. At least we can deduce that from the deeds towards him. He comes to his rescue many a times. He may not say that he does love him but his actions speak louder.
The girls that risk falling in love with Larry get hurt. He is hardly available for them. I loved Ruth personally. So mature, *sighs*. We blame his drunkenness. Malkia happens, he goes through rehab but then suffers a relapse.
Different plots merge beautifully at the end of the book, thanks to Biko’s writing skills. Plots you would have easily been skeptical about and thought insignificant to the main plot of Larry’s life.
Biko points out some insightful lessons affecting Kenyans, mostly the middle class. The issue of Depression affecting many is one of the main lessons. Some symptoms are pointed out, characteristic of Larry’s lifestyle change, the causes of depression, toxic work environment being one of the factors are equally well recorded.
Having a support system is another lesson we can draw in fighting depression or generally doing life. If you can be that support system kindly be, in whatever way, prayers, being physically present among others.
I hope you enjoy reading the book.
Otherwise, Biko, we demand a chapter 36 man.