3 out of 4 stars
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The Evolution of Charlie K by Richard Nye is a 52-chapter book that saw the changes Charlie witnessed in his life while adapting and learning new things about himself, other people, his environment, and that of the world beyond the seas.
Set in the 1960s and two major places, the US and Papua New Guinea, this book told us the tale of a boy of lowly birth who struggled and found his way to the top. The discovery of a plane crash from World War II in the Hulwari soil, and the coming of investigators from the US, with Tom Paul as their leader, began the evolution of Charlie Kikira. He lived in a land with little or no civilization and had only heard of the land abroad from officers like Philip and Bruce. Through Tom, Charlie got a scholarship to study in the US. He arrived there and became a victim of unpleasant situations. Charlie is bent on leaving the country that had no regard for the black people. Will he leave? What are these unpleasant situations? Grab a copy of this book to find out more about Charlie's life.
Partitioned into three parts and aftermath (part four), which represented the major stages of the author's life, the author deserves an accolade. Structurally, the book was neat, and character development was perfect. For example, Charlie is a dynamic character and keeps on changing till the end of the novel. The plot was also impressive and flowed smoothly.
The author is an excellent writer who knows how to bring imagination into reality. With a PNG map and its surrounding countries, it was difficult to see the book as a fiction book. It made the book look and sound like a biography. The book also alluded to historical events and names such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and his 'I have a dream' speech.
As much as I would love to give this book a perfect rating, I sadly must deduct a star from its rating and give it three out of four stars. This is due to the number of errors contained in the book. Aside from this, the book was excellent. I love the mind-blowing and critical question about why racism persists, despite the efforts and sacrifices of heroes.
The part where Charlie explained how a student had asked if Indonesia was in Africa was quite hilarious. I loved that Charlie was bold enough to tell his US friends, and even his benefactor, of their country's shortcomings and their evil deeds of segregation. He was wise, as he showcased this in many ways, notably how he answered questions in public, to their satisfaction. I guess it was not wrong when Mary commented that he spoke like a politician.
I recommend this book to historical fiction lovers. It could also interest lovers of adventure, nationalists, and students. This book would make an excellent read.
The Evolution of Charlie K
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