Book Review: The House of Doom, by Wahome Mutahi

Reading African literature without necessarily picking on the renowned writers means that you have to read some really ‘interesting’ pieces at times. I use interesting in a British way here, and that’s where I would put Wahome Mutahi’s novel, House of Doom. After reading it, I thought I should donate it to my 10 year old nephew; it would be a good story book for him to improve his reading and writing skills. Other than leaving me in bits of suspense, and reminding me of the stigma of the HIV positive people, I did not find the read so capturing. His selection of characters I find very good, but he failed to make use of them in a good way to capture the complexity of a journalist who is suffering from HIV in a country where stigma is hard hit and people are poor. I was overlay bored by his lack of creativity in choosing names of places, for instance, I could easily tell Nyak was somehow Kenya; Roinabi was Nairobi; Sumuki was Kisumu, and the like. He leaves me hanging, but also not really looking forward to know what happened next. I hope I will be motivated to read another of this piece in the future; otherwise, he remains on ‘my interesting reads’ list.