Tram 83

Tram In an African city in secession which could be Kinshasa or Lubumbashi land tourists of all languages and nationalities They have only one desire to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealths o

  • Title: Tram 83
  • Author: Fiston Mwanza Mujila Roland Glasser
  • ISBN: 9781925106947
  • Page: 226
  • Format: Paperback
  • In an African city in secession, which could be Kinshasa or Lubumbashi, land tourists of all languages and nationalities They have only one desire to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealths of the country They work during the day in mining concession and, as soon as night falls, they go out to get drunk, dance, eat and abandon themselves in Tram 83, the only niIn an African city in secession, which could be Kinshasa or Lubumbashi, land tourists of all languages and nationalities They have only one desire to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealths of the country They work during the day in mining concession and, as soon as night falls, they go out to get drunk, dance, eat and abandon themselves in Tram 83, the only night club of the city, the den of all the outlaws ex children soldiers, prostitutes, blank students, unmarried mothers, sorcerers apprenticesLucien, a professional writer, fleeing the exactions and the censorship, finds refuge in the city thanks to Requiem, a youth friend Requiem lives mainly on theft and on swindle while Lucien only thinks of writing and living honestly Around them gravitate gangsters and young girls, retired or runaway men, profit seeking tourists and federal agents of a non existent State.Tram 83 plunges the reader into the atmosphere of a gold rush as cynical as, sometimes, comic and colorfully exotic It s an observation of human relationships in a world that has become a global village It could be described as an African rap or rhapsody novel or puzzle novel hammered by rhythms of jazz.

    One thought on “Tram 83”

    1. A feverish burst of slam-poetry yelled in your ear over pounding music, so close and so loud you can practically feel the spittle hitting your face. Reading these dispatches from the sharp end of globalisation is like being hit by an undammed river of language – rhythmic, sinuous, dirty, improvisational, drenched in perspiration but also in inspiration.The setting is a nameless ‘city-state’ in central Africa which exists in de-facto secession, run by a Kabila-like ‘dissident General’ b [...]

    2. If exuberance were key to great literature, this book would rank. This manic deluge takes the Western notion of a novel and puts it on a train out of town. One day it may circle back, or we may catch up with it, but we will all be changed by the journey. This is literature self-consciously desperate to join the club but having no earthly way to reconcile a reality crazier than fiction. The Democratic Republic of Congo has been sadly underrepresented when it comes to literature, but not because t [...]

    3. Faced paced and chaotic story of urban central Africa. Greed, corruption, instability, and a shady club set the stage for this novel. The English edition is published by Deep Velum Press.Not read for review.

    4. An overwhelming tumult of language, something like being pulled under by a big ocean wave and sent tumbling. The story itself was secondary to the feeling. It's a very male book. Also overwhelming was the endless stream of women's commodified bodies being described by their parts--women were defined in the story by what men see, what men touch. I was in turn riveted, repulsed, bored, amazed, wrenched around.

    5. [4.5] Proof that writing about a politically ravaged environment doesn't obviate spectacular prose. As one of the community reviews points out, great Soviet authors knew this. Yet much of the fiction from the Global South that's attracted Anglo-American attention in the last couple of decades has tended to the earnestly realist. A few months ago, I decided that when I next posted about a recent book from an African country, I wasn't going to discuss it as "African literature" and its relation to [...]

    6. We read literature in translation to learn about other cultures. To learn the historical forces that shape them and the sensibilities that inform them. Reading these books broadens our knowledge of the world.Tram 83 is really not that kind of book.Fiston Mwanza Mujila is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and there is every reason to assume that his novel takes place in some variation on the city of Lubumbashi, but this is not a sociological or historical narrative. Mujila drops the reader i [...]

    7. bleak, brutal- but boppin'boistrous. this is a picture of contemporary Africa, translated from French, about the titular club where all the action goes in the underbelly of an unnamed capital city, in a country whose wealth is in the process of unforgiving pillage. one character is an intellectual, therefore deemed useless by the other who is some kind of scam artist. the narrative wanders around, not really giving a story, but filled with character types- from underage prostitutes to doomed min [...]

    8. Un livre qui fait des expériences littéraires enfin! Car pour l'auteur il n'y a pas de genre, ainsi vous trouverez des dialogues coupés de narration sans fin, des phrases qui reviennent comme des refrains (là par contre celle qu'il a choisi est obscène, ce qui est bien dommage). C'est une société qu'on pourrait dire post-apocalyptique, comme un pays en guerre civile dont les règles morales sont complètement inversées ; les hommes y vivent comme des bêtes et les femmes ne sont plus que [...]

    9. "Tram 83 is a lively, frenetic novel filled with a motley cast of characters lustful for pleasure, prosperity, and power. The novel itself has a musicality to it. The brief chapters, erratic pace, and stylistic elements—like repetition, for example—mimic the modes and rhythms of jazz." - Jen Rickard Blair, Digital Media EditorTo read this review in its entirety, visit World Literature Today online at worldliteraturetoday/2

    10. Tram 83 is a proverbial delicatessen of debauchery where mankind is mere meat readily and willingly consumable. James Ellroy would appreciate this writing style. The complex prose presents the reader with a puzzle pieced plot that gradually comes together, weaving its tale of self destruction through a foggy drug induced haze highlighting all the particulars necessary to depict poverty, sexuality, criminality, and the tedious boredom that comes with a fallen high. Tram 83, the destination of the [...]

    11. Nobody does squalor like Denis Johnson. Exceptybe Fiston Mwanza Mujila does. Both Johnson and Mujila are poets writing novels and both seem able to make you almost literally feel the dirt, poverty and debauchery of the places they describe. Tram 83 is not a wholesome place to be and a lot of the action (if that's the right word) in this book takes place in the titular bar.It's not worth discussing the plot of this book as there isn't really much of one. It's not, in truth, about the plot. It's a [...]

    12. Just up front: I am a friend of the publisher and a donor to Deep Vellum So this review isn't exactly objective.This book is great. It's like listening to /hearing Tropic of Cancer over a soundtrack provided by Kenny Dorham. And I say "hearing" because there is definitely an aural qualify to the text - I found myself reading it aloud at numerous points and walking around my house. I generally despise hype - but this books deserves the heaps of praise it has received. The language - and I think t [...]

    13. Word circus and carousel and pinwheel, the type you can smell, a messy painting of a city with its inhabitants drenched in fluids of body and bottle and sadness and despair. And writing. And money. And sex. This is one dark and heady African carnival, this book.

    14. Tram 83 by the Congolese author Fiston Mwanza Mujila was translated from the original French into English by Roland Glasser.The novel comes with a highly complementary introduction from Alain Mabanckou, with whose Broken Glass it shares many similarities (my review /review/show).The novel is set in the "City-State", the lawless capital of a rebel part of the country, with mining as the main industry - loosely based on Lubumbashi. "The City-State is one of those territories that have already brok [...]

    15. Welcome to Tram 83!The author tells the story of Tram 83, a restaurant/bar/nightclub where everyone including miners, single mamas, baby chicks, writers, crooks, publishers congregates after a long, hard day of ripping off each other. He tells the story in a style that speaks magic, his words bring to life the odd people and life in Tram 83 itself.This is an incredible book- dense prose but still a super captivating story about life in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a writer's walk through [...]

    16. ""I trained as a historian. I think, unless I am mistaken, that literature deserves pride of place in the shaping of history. It is by way of literature that I can reestablish the truth. I intend to piece together the memory of a country that exists only on paper. To fantasize about the City-State and the Back-Country with a view to exploring collective memory. Historical characters are my waymarks. But baby-chicks, diggers, famished students, tourists, and""I'm familiar with that view of things [...]

    17. The joy of reading a book set in an unfamiliar territory lies in the way it moulds one’s perceptions and brings into form abstract notions of ‘life out there’. The rave reviews that Tram 83 managed to garner were understandable since the book was unique. Its feverish pace of narration, the cacophony and ambiance of the corrupt nameless ‘city state’ in which the novel is set, the fatalist approach of the citizens and the presence of underground mineral wealth and its impact on the dwell [...]

    18. I'll just preface my comments by making clear that I read the English translation of this French language original, and what I say needs to be viewed in that context.There's a well known story that, after the first public performance of Mozart's opera "The Abduction in the Seraglio", the Hapsburg Emperor Josef II made the much ridiculed remark "Beautiful, Herr Mozart, but - too many notes." Not long after starting this I began to feel some sympathy for Josef II, since the overwhelming impression [...]

    19. It's right to ask why my most immediate reference points for understanding this book are a pair of Ukrainian-Russian titles, but take it as a sign of how odd this book is, or at least how under-read I am in contemporary African fiction (I'm working on it). So, I think this book can be readily described as carnivalesque: the characters in the story, a writer, his more socially successful friend, and a potential patron, don't really have anything like psychologically realistic inner lives. Instead [...]

    20. Ce livre je l’ai lu pour le prix Roman des étudiants. Autant le dire tout de suite, je n’ai pas du tout aimé cette lecture, ce qui est assez rare chez moi. Je ne suis jamais rentré dans le livre et j’ai sauté pas mal de passage parce que je voulais finir ce livre.Le roman se passe dans une Ville-Etat imaginaire mais on comprend très vite que c’est en Afrique. Cette ville a été ravagée par la guerre visiblement et les événements décrits se passent dans un bar à côté de la ga [...]

    21. My rating is actually 4 stars. Then where is that one more star coming from? Well, because I am honestly admitting my knowledge in literature is not quite there. I also do logically understand that there is one more star worth of sophistication in this book that I am currently incapable of fully embracing with my own brain. At least right now. it's like, I start loving jazz, then I accidentally pick up a live album where the improvisation is so out there, I cannot fully digest it. At the same ti [...]

    22. I'm not entirely sure what it is I just read. I'm not even sure how I feel about it. It was justodd. And uncomfortable. And somehow dirty to the point where I want to scratch myself and shiver. There were some interesting moments in "Tram 83", and the repetition was both interesting, especially the "Do you have the time", as well as the change at the end from one of the baby-chicks saying she hates foreplay to saying she loves it, but at the same time there was a rather trippy quality to it. It [...]

    23. I struggled with this book. I did not like the writing of the first chapter and actually wonder if it was more the translation than the author's actual writing that was the problem. The writing got better as the book progressed. I still wonder about the translation though. There were several places where the translation should have read "seated" and instead read "sat" and many awkward passages.The book is brilliant in some ways and vividly evokes the darkest intersection of development, the hunt [...]

    24. A word that female readers may find this a depressing, if enlightening book, since all the female characters are selling sex relentlessly and they are characterized only by their age (baby chicks, single-mamas).I was glad to see this book, translated from the French, available from a new independent publisher nominated for the International Man Booker prize. It takes place in a fictional African "city-state" and echoes/correlates to African-set fiction by among others, Ben Fountain (short storie [...]

    25. This book may represent the future of the novel. It is both more speculative and more rigorously structured than it first appears to be. With unique humor and a complete rejection of sentimentality, Mujila sets out to expose those global (universal?) systems -- often invisible, and so human in their pettiness and contingency -- that stoke the engines of chaos.

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