• by Chris Abani
  • Narrated by Chris Abani
  • 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Elvis Oke of Chris Abani's novel is a child left to fend for himself in the urban jungle of Lagos, Nigeria. He has a talent for Elvis impersonations (hence the name) and wants to make it big so he can escape his violent and tumultuous life. In a place where angels fear to tread and only fools rush in, Elvis searches for redemption and a small piece of graceland.


What the Critics Say

"The novel offers a vibrant picture of an alien yet somehow parallel culture...the mix of surrealistic horror and cross-cultural humor is irresistible. Abani is a first novelist with a very bright future". (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

He can write... but he can't read

Sometimes having the author read his or her own words can really add to the experience of listening to an audio book. And sometimes it doesn't. This was one of the occasions where the quality of the experience would have been greatly enhanced if someone - anyone - other than the author had been doing the reading. As patient as I tried to be with Mr. Abani, more often than not I found myself wanting to poke him hard - very, very, hard - in an attempt to get him to increase the speed of his reading; if nothing else, if he'd read faster this torturous experience (yes, I listened all the way to the end in the deluded hope that it might get better) would have ended sooner.
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- Hadassah

Graceland is a cultural eye-opener

I would highly recommend Graceland to anyone that wants to get an understanding of the political and social troubles in Nigeria in the 70's and 80's, presented dramatically in a way that will keep you riveted till the end. Even if you have no interest in Africa in particular this is a great story of human struggle. I had trouble listening to parts of the story because of the violence portrayed, and even found myself in tears at a point. So, if you are sensitive like me I wouldn't suggesting listening before you go to sleep. The authors writing style and narrating voice are a perfect fit for the story and really "take you" to Africa. He even mixes in a little "broken" (the nigerian version of English) to make it sound authentic. His reading is at a good pace, it is slow enough to allow me to build the story in my mind, and fast enough to keep my attention. The sample given doesn't show his style throughout the book, it's a piece where he is reading a speakers part through a megaphone, the whole book is not read that slowly.
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- Kristina Venable

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-07-2005
  • Publisher: Recorded Books