One thing to note before you continue is that Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is no angel Gabriel, he doesn’t come bearing good tidings. This book, Dreams and Assorted Nightmares, like all his other books, is a collection of sad and relatable stories.
Abubakar Adam’s Dreams and Assorted Nightmares, published in 2020 by Masobe, contains twelve distinct yet interconnected stories of everyday people, like you and I, living in Zango, a strange, living, throbbing city with characters that breathe, words made flesh and blood.
Dreams and Assorted Nightmares, the first story, introduces us to Zango and some of its prominent citizens laying the foundation for the stories to come and ending in the family with a despised first wife seeking retribution on her rival and in the process invoking a greater evil.
Mororo’s Masterpiece features a philandering artist with more reputation in Zango for the fruits of his sexual escapades than his artworks. The end has a beautiful twist I didn’t see coming and I love it.
House of The Rising Sun chronicles the life of a special need boy and his mother, her efforts at redemption, and her eventual unforeseen resolve. Sajah is filled with dashing hopes and truncated happiness of a family, the father at the receiving end of the bulk of it.
Daughters of Bappa Avenue, like daughters of Jezebel, are children of the night, born not from will but necessity, because life dealt them unfair cards. The Weight of Silence is cunning and revealing, a soliloquy of a childhood friend pregnant with deadly secrets to a friend in Coma. Naznine is sad, extremely sad, and filled with losses, it’s the saddest for me. The Book Of Remembered Things is sublime, heavy on sacrifices, domination, ignorant dictatorship, and regrets.
A Very Brief Marriage should be exactly that; brief. It reeks of cowardice, lethargy, and empathy but in a counter-argument of mine, I think the act of cowardice is a sacrifice because things would have and might have been more damaging or deadly otherwise. You can come back to discuss this after you’ve read the book.
Making Monsters is funny, pure, and genuine, my favorite actually. It reminds me of Narcos, a Netflix series on Pablo Escobar, his private desires and aspirations, especially his love and affection for his family and the respect he commands from his close relations despite his gory and deadly reputation in the outside world. The relationship between both is how contrary to our opinion, bad people are not completely bad, they have the tendency to love, and they dote on the affection and respect of those they love. Through Making Monsters I experienced life from the other side of theft and harm, what happens when an armed robber returns home to his family after his operations, and the plans on another’s misfortune. I experienced the shackles of legacies and the expectations that stem from it, as well as the disappointments that trail non-conformance. The story lays the bedrock for the fulfillment of the prophecy of doom.
Melancholy, as the name infers, is melancholic and sad, unsettling too. Like its predecessors, it is sprinkled with tact, sacrifices, and an unexpected end. What The Sand Said is the fulfillment of prophecy and the final knot on Zango.
I love how Abubakar Adam Ibrahim weave the stories together and how he made anecdotal references to his other books, very succinct and impressive.
As much as these stories are sad, I completely enjoyed them, especially for the single fact that they make me more grateful. These stories are living and there are real people whose lives have an uncanny resemblance to them, life dealt them unfair cards with little to no choice to transform their predicament. Although I have things that cause me to worry and give me concerns, many have it worse, and that makes me appreciate God for His blessings and Good Will towards me.
I recommend the book wholeheartedly, although I’ll advise that you do not read it in the morning as it may affect your mood through the day, and there’s a good chance that you’ll cry if you’re prone and quick to tears.