Nairobi To Shenzhen: A Novel of Love in the East Paperback: 345 pages Publisher: Aventine Press (October 20, 2009) Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,108,891 in BooksI expected flawless grammar and sophisticated structure from this half-brother of our Barack Obama, who is so articulate and uses the English language nearly flawlessly. However, there are so many problems with the writing in this novel as to almost keep me from reading the second half. Introductory phrases are not followed by commas, so the meanings of many sentences are confusing, and I have to re-read many sentences in order to realize their meaning. There are missing periods, extra periods, missing commas, extra commas, misspelled words, missing words, duplicated words, weird speaker tags, missing speaker tags so that one gets lost and doesn't know who is speaking in a conversation. Weirdly, the font size will change now and then for no apparent reason. And quotation marks seem to be inserted haphazardly, so the reader is never certain when a piece of dialogue has ended or is being spoken by someone else.
Mr. Ndesandjo goes off on many tangents that have caused me, now at the halfway point, to begin skimming sections in order to get to the meat of the story.
But the punctuation, oy! What publisher would allow such non-proof-read material to be printed? I don't understand and can only imagine that they and Ndesandjo himself are embarrassed at the huge number of errors. Commas and periods are like traffic signals that tell us when to pause, when to stop, when to go on.