Thursday, 11 August 2016


‘The Macmillan Pacesetter series was a tremendous fillip for African reading, literature and literacy during the "good old days"...the books were so popular, so physically attractive and compelling, relatively cheap to buy; and the disparate stories (novels) appealed to a wide spectrum of people. Young and not-so young people read the new titles as they were churned out, with talented authors from all over the African continent. Male and female. Arguably, the books under the series were even more popular than the Heinemann African Writers series. Alas, all good things (often!) come to an end, and so it was with both series'. To add to the tragedy as it were, many excellent authors from that era together with their books have been largely forgotten now. As a young bibliophile said to me: "The old readers talk about the Pacesetter series, but when one goes to the internet now, there is virtually no information on such (erstwhile) prominent writers and even no reviews of those books...". Apparently such applies to this work too, a superb story woven together by a then very young author (Sunday Adebomi). One would expect loads of information on, and reviews of his work (studies), but the dearth is very much there too. Symphony of Destruction which focuses on CIA agent, Debomi Davies is a very exciting novel. There is a certain hyper-flamboyance and naivety in the work which should not be surprising as the author was barely into his 20s then, but the book is still a triumph. There is lots of violence and intrigue as the agent, Mr Davies (actually he's Nigerian-born) tries to get into his stride under beguiling circumstances. The Presidency is actually involved and events bank, skid and jump in exhilarating fashion. Pity that virtually all young people in Africa now will never get to read this work...
- O Bolaji

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