Official Review: Life Bewitched by Pin Osuji

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Official Review: Life Bewitched by Pin Osuji

Post by gen_g » 05 Apr 2019, 01:26

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Life Bewitched" by Pin Osuji.]
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1 out of 4 stars
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Do you believe in black magic? Pin Osuji, the African author of Life Bewitched, tries to persuade the reader that it is all too real after losing his wife and daughters to it. He then goes through many trials and tribulations, which brings him all around Africa, before successfully inventing an anti-black magic kit to rid his family of the evil possessing them. Life Bewitched therefore contains the story that he tells in an attempt to educate the public of the insidious influence black magic has, in order to prevent more people from falling victim to it.

Being merely 37 pages long, Life Bewitched is an extremely quick read. As black magic is a rather niche topic, Osuji has kindly included a short glossary at the beginning of the book for those unfamiliar with African black magic terminology, such as “Tagati”, “Sangoma”, and “Inyanga”. In it, Osuji not only explains the meanings of various terms, he also details the minute differences between said terms, which I very much appreciate.

Nevertheless, being only 37 pages long also has its disadvantages. Due to its short length, Life Bewitched is sorely lacking in detail – I am able to see the potential the story has, but it is a mere skeleton of what could be a highly fascinating read. In other words, what Osuji has given the reader is a quick summary of what he has gone through, instead of narrating a fleshed-out story with an introduction, a climax, and a conclusion.

Furthermore, this lack of detail results in a tendency to leave readers hanging – for example, Osuji has made many references to his powerful anti-black magic kit, even going so far as to proclaim that he would be manufacturing the kit for other victims of black magic. However, other than this proclamation, Osuji does not leave instructions for interested readers – be it about putting together the kit on their own, or even to buy it from him. This lack of information is a pity, considering that it is Osuji’s aim to help victims to break free of the evil influence of black magic.

Most importantly, Osuji has a troubling penchant for making assumptions without providing evidence to support his claims. To illustrate, he states that people from third-world countries are more prone to be influenced by black magic because they are more easily tempted, but he does not explain why. As a result, Osuji’s story becomes less persuasive, which I think is a real pity, considering his sincere desire to help people whose lives have been destroyed by black magic.

In addition, there are many grammar and punctuation errors present in the book, the most notable being semi-colon misuse. Whilst they are mainly minor errors, the sheer number present ends up significantly detracting from the book’s flow and clarity. With all these technical blunders, as well as the regrettable fact that the narrative is more of a bare framework than a full-fledged story, I have no choice but to rate Pin Osuji’s Life Bewitched 1 out of 4 stars. Still, this is not to say that there is no potential – I strongly urge Osuji to work with an editor to iron out these issues. Thereafter, I would recommend this book to those interested in black magic and those whose lives have been affected by it.

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Life Bewitched
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Post by Kibetious » 10 Apr 2019, 01:38

I have never anticipated that a book would be written on this. It a fact that since the book is very short, there is lack of detail which in a way may be off-putting for some readers. Thanks for the review though.
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Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 10 Apr 2019, 06:31

This is a unique book topic. Thank you for the detailed review of the book. It sounds like the brevity of the book is mostly a drawback. Quick reads are good, but when they are quick at the expense of adequately covering the topic, that is a major downfall. As is, or with some work, this one is not my cup of tea.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 10 Apr 2019, 07:00

Oh, dear.
I am from a third world country in Africa (not that there are any first world countries here...), and I'm not sure that black magic would have more of an effect on me than on someone else. I agree... an explanation would be super!
Well done for persevering through all 37 pages :)
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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Apr 2019, 07:55

This sounds like a good concept that is poorly executed. I do appreciate the glossary, as I know I would be lost without it. Still, I don't really enjoy books about black magic, so even if this was well done, I'd probably skip it. Thanks, though.
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Post by gen_g » 10 Apr 2019, 09:33

Kibetious wrote:
10 Apr 2019, 01:38
I have never anticipated that a book would be written on this. It a fact that since the book is very short, there is lack of detail which in a way may be off-putting for some readers. Thanks for the review though.
Thank you for stopping by; it was a fascinating premise, but like you said, it is really a pity about the lack of detail.

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Post by gen_g » 10 Apr 2019, 09:33

ElizaBeth Adams wrote:
10 Apr 2019, 06:31
This is a unique book topic. Thank you for the detailed review of the book. It sounds like the brevity of the book is mostly a drawback. Quick reads are good, but when they are quick at the expense of adequately covering the topic, that is a major downfall. As is, or with some work, this one is not my cup of tea.
At 37 pages, it was really too short to cover any topic in real detail, TBH. Thanks for stopping by!

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Post by gen_g » 10 Apr 2019, 09:37

Bianka Walter wrote:
10 Apr 2019, 07:00
Oh, dear.
I am from a third world country in Africa (not that there are any first world countries here...), and I'm not sure that black magic would have more of an effect on me than on someone else. I agree... an explanation would be super!
Well done for persevering through all 37 pages :)
Exactly! I just thought that it was kind of shady, LOL! Thanks for stopping by as always, Bianka. (:

P.S. Well, it was a quick read, so all's good. :lol:

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Post by gen_g » 10 Apr 2019, 09:39

kandscreeley wrote:
10 Apr 2019, 07:55
This sounds like a good concept that is poorly executed. I do appreciate the glossary, as I know I would be lost without it. Still, I don't really enjoy books about black magic, so even if this was well done, I'd probably skip it. Thanks, though.
It definitely is a good concept, except for the poor execution (like you mentioned). I'm not too familiar with black magic terms as well, so I was thankful for the glossary. Thanks for stopping by!

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Post by Dragonfly6 » 10 Apr 2019, 09:39

What a comprehensive review given the small amount of material with which you had to work! I am intrigued by the anti-black magic the author has developed. Most books I have read on the subject of black magic either tell the history of it or defend the current practices. I think I will avoid this short story for the exact reasons you mention in your review. Excellent review, thank you!
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Post by gen_g » 10 Apr 2019, 09:59

Dragonfly6 wrote:
10 Apr 2019, 09:39
What a comprehensive review given the small amount of material with which you had to work! I am intrigued by the anti-black magic the author has developed. Most books I have read on the subject of black magic either tell the history of it or defend the current practices. I think I will avoid this short story for the exact reasons you mention in your review. Excellent review, thank you!
I agree with you! I was looking forward to the part on the anti-black magic kit as well, but other than the various honourable mentions, content on it was sadly missing. I hope that the author will iron out these issues, and I'm sure that it'll bewitch many people (in a good way, of course)! Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment, I appreciate it.

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Post by Delaney35 » 10 Apr 2019, 10:31

This sounds like an interesting topic. Black magic is certainly different. However, it also sounds like the book has numerous issues that need fixed before I'd consider reading it. Great review!

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Post by gen_g » 10 Apr 2019, 11:23

Delaney35 wrote:
10 Apr 2019, 10:31
This sounds like an interesting topic. Black magic is certainly different. However, it also sounds like the book has numerous issues that need fixed before I'd consider reading it. Great review!
Thanks for stopping by! I thought the topic of black magic interesting too, so I hope that the author will consider expanding it.

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Post by kdstrack » 10 Apr 2019, 14:56

This sounds like a first draft that could be developed into an interesting story. I understand his motive of wanting to help others so they don't suffer like he did. I agree with your rating of this book.

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Post by unamilagra » 10 Apr 2019, 21:31

It sounds like this book has potential but that the author really needs the help of a real editor and publisher to get it across the finish line. It is nice that a glossary is included.

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