FICTION

New fiction in e-books and audiobooks by Stephenie Meyer, Chigozie Obioma and Jojo Moyes

Enough already with the Twilight, Meyer! But the Booker finalist Obioma and the bestselling Moyes are worth your time

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 October, 2015, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 October, 2015, 9:00pm

Twilight Tenth Anniversary Life and Death Dual Edition
by Stephenie Meyer
Little Brown (e-book)

Enough, already. The first two Twilights were fine. Quite good, actually. Then Meyer tried drama and failed, solving every interesting dilemma the same way: it, like, just kinda works out for Bella. Along comes E.L. James and thrashes Twilight with a riding crop. OK. Meyer remixes Twilight from Team Edward's point of view, but stops (sadly - it was quite good) when a chapter is leaked. E.L. James steals the idea for Grey and now Meyer has stolen it back to celebrate 10 years of Twilight. Only she is not telling Bell's story from Ed's point of view. Bella now is Ed. Or rather Beau. Ed is Edythe, Jacob is Julie. Poor Charlie is still Charlie. It seems radical but that would require only one of the couple to swap sexes. This is Twilight rewritten using find and replace. Whatever next? Turn one into a goat, the other into an iPad? Hasn't Meyer got any other stories? Werewolf falls in love with horse? Vampire kills people? And there are three more to go. Please Ms Meyer, no more spurting.

 

The Fishermen
by Chigozie Obioma (read by Chukwudi Iwuji)
Whole Story Audiobooks

We now know that Marlon James's A History of Seven Killings won 2015's Man Booker Prize. Yet the shortlist had six potentially deserving winners. The only one I hadn't read was Chigozie Obioma's The Fishermen, now rectified thanks to the excellent if fairly belated audiobook download. Set in Akure, western Nigeria, the story follows four brothers: 15-year-old Ikena, 14-year-old Boja, 11-year-old Obembe and Benjamin, nine, who also narrates. The sons of a strict, hard-working, ambitious banker father, the four let loose after he is transferred to another city. Having fished in a forbidden river, they are told that Ikena will be murdered by one of his siblings. Whether Ikena's death is destined or planted as an idea is one of many grand themes. The challenge for Chukwudi Iwuji is not only the young speaker, but a narrative that swerves between voices: parables, young men, parental wisdom, the Bible, and the civil strife that followed Nigeria's independence.

 

After You
by Jojo Moyes (read by Anna Acton)
Penguin Books (audiobook)

Jojo Moyes had written several enjoyable, funny and romantic novels before she hit the international bestseller lists in 2012 with Me After You, an enjoyable, funny and romantic novel about a successful man (Will Traynor) whose life is changed by a road accident and a disheveled young woman (Louisa Clark) who helps him pick up the pieces. Moyes claims she hadn't intended to write a sequel but here it is. There is, of course, risk in following beloved characters from a beloved novel (just ask Stephenie Meyer). Now we find Lou picking up the pieces after the heartbreaking finale of part one. She is still nicely dead-end until, like Will, an accident forces her to take stock of the events in Me After You. Much of this is external: Lou's relationship with her sister, her parents and Will's too. Some is internal: dialogues with Will and herself. Anna Acton is better at reading the sadder sections than the lighter moments, but brings out Moyes' lovely dialogue and tender humanity. Fantastic.