The Financial Times has a brief piece on Mabanckou’s latest novel:
Congolese author Alain Mabanckou’s second novel to be published in English is written as a torrid stream of consciousness. Its narrator, Broken Glass, is a 64-year-old alcoholic who spends his days in a bar called Credit Gone West in Brazzaville.
The bar’s owner has asked him to write the story of the establishment. The novel purports to be his notebook. Written without a single full stop, it is a fantastical portrait of the hangout’s outlandish customers. They include a printer rendered insane by his wife’s infidelity with his son, an ageing prostitute who challenges men to peeing competitions and a conman who makes money out of fake shamanistic rituals.
Mabanckou, who teaches French literature at the University of California in Los Angeles, packs in an array of literary references. The result is a dizzying combination of erudition, bawdy humour and linguistic effervescence.