The Sun by Night by Benjamin Kwakye

‘I am everywhere, but stealthy like odorless air. I confound like the riddle of life and death. But, then again, like the riddle of silence, I am nowhere. And the story I venture to chronicle is rooted in this uncanny ability of mine to be (but not be) everywhere – a skill despised by many, especially the targets of my inquiry, but loved by those to whom I bring my tale. So who am I?’

The Sun by Night (published in 2006) begins like a riddle which seeks to unravel the secrets surrounding the death of an Accra prostitute. Right from the start, from the prologue, readers are presented with a tale and by the end of the novel, it is expected that the reader would have unraveled the mystery surrounding the whole tale. But what is this tale, the novel seeks to tell?

The story surrounds the arrest and trial of a rich man called Koo Manu who is both a wealthy businessman and a respected politician and is being tried for murdering a prostitute. Apart from this trial, the author does so well by building a political stratagem around the whole crime and story.

The novel is divided into three main books with a striking and engaging prologue and a gripping epilogue. I must confess here that I was locked up in a world of wonderland when I started Book One because of the author’s use of the second person narrative – ‘You’. There is mastery, well-paced and articulate use of the second person narrative in that it makes it difficult for the reader to pause while reading. Unlike most novels which extensively use either the first of the third person narrative, Kwakye’s style and approach to this narrative is uniquely innovative and refreshing.

Benjamin Kwakye does so well with his exploitation of very important themes which calls for immediate attention in a country still grappling with the heavy legacies of the colonial experience. Themes like societal conflicts, political shenanigans, spiritual and economic strains, sex and scandal are well exploited and calls for immediacy and redress.

I found the following passage very interesting, perhaps one of my favorite moments in the novel and this is very popular in a country gripped with political terror and fear and where the lives of inhabitants especially when the journalistic profession is threatened.

The knock came seconds later. I opened the door.

‘Na you dey write nasty stuff for your paper?’

I made no response.

‘Make you come plus us.’

‘Give me a second,’ I said, ‘I need to put some clothes on.’

This is one particular novel that will grip you to your seat as you may want to read at a sitting. It took me exactly two days in reading it and I must confess that I was impressed. It is a book that is ranked high on the list of my all time favorite novels. I call it a novel that is unputdownable and calls for rereading over and over again. Have you ever been told a riddle before? Have you ever solved a dazzling puzzle before? Well, go into this book with a mind of unraveling a tale that is so refreshing and well-told. You have to definitely try this one and you will never ever be disappointed. Highly, Highly, Highly, Highly, Highly Recommended!

18 Responses to The Sun by Night by Benjamin Kwakye

  1. Linda Amofa says:

    This is one book you’ve made so much noise about but there are no copies in the bookstores. Where can I get one? From your review, it sounds interesting!


    • Geosi says:

      Hmmm… I only make noise about great books by great authors. The Sun by Night is a tour de force and I know you will like it. At the moment, I’ve not seen copies in Ghana yet. I got mine from the author himself. However, his third novel ‘The Other Crucifix’ is in the bookstores here and you will find one at Silver Bird Bookstore.


  2. amymckie says:

    Oh sounds fantastic! Yet another edition to my ever growing wishlist – and a book I hope I can find here!


  3. […] my reviews on ‘The Clothes of Nakedness‘ and ‘The Sun by Night‘ all by the same […]


  4. Setto says:

    I like the cover of this book. Was this the author who the Clothes of nakedness. I liked that book only that did not like the ending…lol!


    • Geosi says:

      Yes… this is the author of the Clothes of Nakedness. I have explained this somewhere in one of the comments. But I think the writer was trying to make a point…that if nothing is done to curtail Mystique’s acts, we give him more room to operate. And there are so many Mystique’s in the society in which you and I live and so how do we deal with him?


  5. Eugene Attoh says:

    The passage quoted in the review seems very funny…I like books with this stuffs…This book should be heavily packed from the way i see it.


  6. […] Clothes of Nakedness and The Sun by Night are other Commonwealth Award Winning books by […]


  7. […] my reviews of The Clothes of Nakedness, The Sun by Night and The Other Crucifix all by Benjamin […]


  8. […] The Sun by Night by Benjamin […]


  9. […] The Sun by Night by Benjamin Kwakye – Though the author is a Ghanaian, only few people have heard of or read this book in Ghana. With a […]


  10. […] Kwakye, author of The Clothes of Nakedness and The Sun by Night wins 2011 IPPY Gold Award for Multicultural Fiction Adult for his latest book, The Other Crucifix. […]


  11. […] Kwakye is the author of The Clothes of Nakedness(1998), The Sun by Night(2005), The Other Crucifix(2010), and Legacy of Phantoms(2011). He has won the regional Commonwealth […]


  12. […] ← The Sun by Night – Benjamin Kwakye Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey […]


  13. darkowaa89 says:

    I neeed to look up Benjamin Kwakye’s books now. Thank you!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: