Book Review: Mr Benjamin’s Pen –By Tony Nwaka

BOOK REVIEWER; NKECHI MADUEMEZIA

O the pen that keep my thoughts open
And is the screen to all that happens
Whether awake or asleep

O the pen that knocks at docks
That deep into sea depths
Of known and unknown

O the pen that swims into realms
In dreams
Of the future of unknown structure

O the pen that lives beyond men
And is now immortal
When we are no more.

TITLE OF BOOK; MR BENJAMIN’S PEN
AUTHOR; TONY NWAKA
INTRODUCTION OF THE AUTHOR;

Dr. Tony Nwaka is a Nigerian author from Delta state. He is also the author of ‘’Mountain of yesterday’’ and Lords of the creek. He lives in Asaba , Delta State of Nigeria
PLACE OF PUBLICATION; kraft Books limited. Sango Ibadan, University of Ibadan post office, Ibadan. Oyo state. Nigeria

PUBLISHER; KRAFT BOOKS LIMITED
DATE OF PUBLICATION; 2019

The back cover of the book is green with a dash of lemon green cascading into white where the author’s portrait is. At the front of the back cover is a drawing of three persons gaping at an otherwise ordinary pen lying on a form.
The book comprises of three postscript, five chapters and131 pages. The postscript exposes the reader to the dual personality of Mr. Benjamin. Chapter describes Mr. Benjamin who is the main character in the Novel. Chapter two introduces Maxwell Odum {a friend to Mr. Benjamin}. Chapter three takes the reader to a university setting and highlights the respect Professor Ambrose Idehen[ lecturer in the university where Mr. Benjamin is a part time student] has for him. Chapter four is about Ijele Agaza a politician [an acquaintance of Mr. Benjamin] while chapter five returns the reader back to Mr. Benjamin.

Theme of the book; POLITICS
Politics is a subject many dread but whether we like it or not Man is a political animal. We politic in our homes, communities, places of worship, offices even within our families. It is endless. Like what the author said ‘who truly can fathom the depths of the human mind.
BACKGROUND; Mr. Benjamin who is a full time politician won an award for one of his books. He was excited like any other person especially as he could not believe that what was done as a pastime would result in recognition. His ability to combine politics with literature made His book in the prose category win’ best imaginative literature of 2025. He received a plaque of honour and a gold pen. During a political rally he gave out a plastic biro for people to write down their names but did not retrieve it. He forgot all about it until c Ijele Agaza brought it back to him two months later and proudly announced that he had helped him retrieve the plastic biro left at the party secretariat after the last meeting. A few days after his experience with Ijele an unusual chain of events started happening around. Ordinarily he would not have attached much significance to these setbacks, but they came in such quick succession that it really seemed like some unseen forces may have truly gone to work.

PLOT; the story begins with Mr. Benjamin’s award.
CHARACTERIZATION; These characters in this work belong to our everyday life. Benjamin wins an award for one of his books and becomes a celebrity amongst the politicians and his friends. The character of Ijele is awesome. A shrewd money lender who appears angelic in his place of worship and a politician who belongs to the occult world of JUJU. A passage on Ijele reads ‘’ on Sunday I woke up by 6 am. And started my private chants. After that, I selected a white long sleeved shirt and a pair of grey trousers as my outfit for the day. Soon I arrived at the church with my family. The sermon was on false prophets and wolves in sheep clothing. The topic was delivered with such zeal that I began to fear if the priest too had found out certain things. I couldn’t wait for the service to come to an end.’’ Mr. Benjamin is the type of politician who is simple by nature and easily trust people and collected an ordinary biro that was retrieved after two months like in the words of Odum’’ O boy, life is not the way you look at it. It’s only your mind you know. You can’t tell about others’’. The other characters both the major and minor are unique in their own way.

SETTING AND MODE OR TONE; the work is filled with apprehension, sometimes annoying. A reminiscence of the three friends of Job in the old testament of the Holy Bible in the persons of Clifford who cares enough to tell Odum’ see not everyone has the appetite for incantations and enchantments, but you can introduce him to Christian priests. There are some good pastors around who can pray for him and neutralize whatever evil the pen may have caused.’’ during his discussion on Benjamin’s strange behavior with Maxwell Odum who told Clifford how he had gone on his own to consult baba Adudu over the problem and the native Doctor’s revelation that the pen had been responsible for Benjamin’s recent calamities, and Ijele Agaza who to the outside world is a saint but the devil incarnate in reality

VIEW POINT
From the eyes of Mr Benjamin’s the major and minor characters tried in their own ways to persuade him to join their own line of reasoning. Only his wife stuck to him an encouraged him to be loyal to his party and to put God first in all things. The climax was when Mr. Benjamin who was sacked from the Governor’s cabinet and later appointed Head of Service of Coast State and Ijele carried to the Asylum for he has been found foraging the refuse dump at the popular Ogbe ogonogo Market

STYLE OF WRITING/DICTION. The language is free flowing and easy to read. Understanding the book needs time. This is for the initiates
COMPARISON. This book reminds me of ‘’Alice in wonderland written by LEWIS CAROLL. Dreams of fantasies and waking up to discover that all the journeys were not real but seems so real.

RELATION TO THE THEME; the author defined Mr. Mordi Enujeko’s dilemma when he said’ my name is not Mr. Benjamin neither do I have a friend called Mr. odum. Even more intriguing is the issue of politics. Although I casually wish I could command that air of authority and importance usually seen around politicians- A desire I suppose is normal fantasy of the mind. I never really preoccupy my thoughts with such grandiouse ideas. I am a civil servant for whom job security will always be of higher priority than the fleeting glamour of political officer. Especially when my ambition is to be head of service.’ In dream land he experiences the intrigues of politics and as a politician he became the head of Service. He concluded in the last postscripts thus ‘I do not know if I am Mr. Benjamin seeing myself as Mr. Mordi or I am Mr. Mordi dreaming and appearing as Mr. Benjamin, I honestly do not know.’ The author may be a politician cum writer but was steadfast with the theme.

EVALUATION; the postscript gave an insight into the plot hence makes for easier understanding. When we hold on to the Almighty creator he blesses us with an overdose of what we least expect in his own time. I rate it AB. It should be used in our higher institution of learning.

CONCLUSION; I personally like this book because it reminds me of some seedless endless dreams I sometimes experience. As a writer it is usually difficult to separate the author from his dreams and the inner mind. Many writers are tormented by what they feel and hope for the future. The only avenue of escape is putting down our thoughts in books that when we are no more others like us and the world may benefit from. Sometimes writers are called crazy, bohemians and trouble makers. But the world of the writer is to point evils in the society and re make the world to be a better place for you and for me.
I believe that many writers and others have experienced this situation once in their life time.it means you are not alone and you are definitely not crazy.
This is a book for all to read that we may know the truth and be set free. Every evil deed has an evil repercussion at the end of the day.

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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