Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What value do you give to truth?

Imagine the incompatibility of oil on water and you understand the mutally contradictory truths Helon Habila explores in Oil on Water.

In the wilds of Nigeria, petrochemical companies have brought in not just advanced foreign industry but a conflict of values. Greedy profiteering along the oil-rich waterways has devastated not only nearby fishing and the local economy but the population, the environment, and the culture. Dominos of righteous rebellion, retaliatory government defenses, and onslaughts of unscrupulous gang extortion wreak further havoc.

Amidst this mess of exploitation, it has become common practice to abduct foreigners associated with the oil industry. Rookie Nigerian journalist Rufus believes he has lucked into a career-making scoop as his exhaustive pursuit of the routine abduction of British oil executive James Floode's wife uncovers layers of ruthless agitation beneath its commonly accepted surface.

Along the trail, Rufus, like the native population, learns the burdensome impact of not only the oil exploitation itself and the impact of both military and militant oppression but also the nonchalant devastation caused by cultural collision. Through hard lessons, Rufus becomes aware that devastating consequences extend far beyond the thoughtless victimization of rural land and displaced people.
It is the nature of existence. A thing is created, it blooms for a while if it is capable of blooming, then it ceases to be. ~ Helon Habila in Oil on Water
Just like Rufus losing his naive beliefs following the trail behind the abduction, readers become deeply immersed in the dirty truths of Oil on Water.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This civilization of ours thrives on hope, progress and celebrated group acheivements that are designed for the benefit of all. Unfortunatly much to often it is overshadowed by greed and profiteering.