Friday, 15 June 2018

Doom Gloom And The Pursuit Of The Sun by Antoine F Gnintedem + Giveaway

Doom, Gloom, and the Pursuit of the Sun by Antoine F. Gnintedem
Category: Adult Fiction, 208 pages
Genre: Biographical Fiction
Publisher: Createspace
Release date: February 7, 2018
Tour dates: June 11 to 22, 2018
Content Rating: PG (No f-words, some mild profanity, and mild religious expletives such as "damn", "hell" and "Oh God!", some depictions of brief sexual content.)

How I got this book:
Received a review copy via iRead Book Tours

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : from £14.15 (PB)
Wordery : from £14.89 (PB)
Waterstones : unavailable
Amazon : from $9.95 / £7.22 (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Add Doom Gloom And The Pursuit Of The Sun to your Goodreads

Book Description:

The town is famous in the region for its chronic stillness...Consequently, every ambitious person who grows up there eventually leaves in search of better opportunities.

Life in Mbengwi, Cameroon, is not easy for Austin-or for anyone else. While growing up, he bears witness to the worst parts of life and the cruelties of human nature. These things keep his homeland trapped in a cycle of misery and suffering. In a country overrun by poverty, death, unrest, and corruption, he sees no future for himself. The only way to escape the cycle is to flee to a place Austin believes to be free of all these troubles, a place where he hopes his dreams will come true: the United States of America.

However, when Austin arrives in this supposed promised land, he is met with a crushing revelation. He finds America to be rife with all the same problems he thought he'd escaped, merely in different forms. Rather than give in to disappointment, he decides to combat these obstacles with a firm resolve. Before long, though, these obstacles threaten to overwhelm him. This realization prompts Austin to rethink how he sees the world and the challenges it throws at him.

I was interested to read Doom Gloom And The Pursuit Of The Sun because I don't know much about Cameroon and wanted to learn more about the country and its culture. Gnintedem writes in a factual style so for me this book felt more like reading an essay than a novel. This reporting style took a bit of getting used to and I was often surprised by abrupt stops or swerves in the story. He also doesn't go in much for descriptive paragraphs or characterisations so, while Austin's life story zips past at an almost thriller pace which is exciting, I struggled to picture the settings or to fully imagine the people surrounding him.

Austin is a wonderfully precocious child and his persistent determination to gain scholarly success leads him to break new educational ground for his family - the first to attend university - and then to forge a new life alone in America. I enjoyed following the ups and downs of Austin's life. This is often a morality tale as much as it is 'biographical fiction'. Austin's shallow attitude to women and sexual carelessness eventually results in an unsuccessful marriage and his lack of financial responsibility nearly leads him to bankruptcy. These near disasters allow us to briefly glimpse an emotional Austin and I would have liked more of this depth.

To read further reviews, please visit Antoine F. Gnintedem's page on iRead Book Tours.

Meet the Author:

Antoine F. Gnintedem is a renowned educator both in the United States and across the world. As a linguistic consultant, he has worked for the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, he has served as an educational assessment expert for leading national and international testing companies. His academic achievements include a PhD in English language and literature and another doctorate in educational leadership.

Connect with the author: Twitter ~ Facebook 

Enter the Giveaway!
Win a copy of Doom, Gloom and the Pursuit of the Sun (print or gifted Kindle - USA only / 1 winner) or a $10 GC (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers / 1 winner)
Ends June 30, 2018

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Antoine F Gnintedem / Contemporary fiction / Books from Cameroon


  1. Yes, I can see why you picked it up. I like to read about places and people about the world. Too bad it didn't make connections for you, emotionally with the aspects of his personal life and response to the world around him.
    Enjoyed your review, Stephanie!

    1. Thanks Sophia! Overall I'm glad to have read this one :-)

  2. That sounds like an emotional journey.

    1. I'm in awe of people who can completely change their lives like this

  3. Chronic stillness, I have not heard anything like it

    1. Evocative description isn't it! Personally I quite like the idea of somewhere so quiet!

  4. This sounds like a great read.

  5. This sounds like an interesting story, and I've never read anything set in Cameroon either, but I'm not sure the writing style would work for me. Great review though!

    1. Yes, the writing style didn't really work for me, but I could get past it to appreciate the story