A Book Review By Eziaghighala Chinaza

Book Title : What it means when a man falls from the sky

Author: Leslie Nneka Arimah

Publisher: RIVERHEAD BOOKS An imprint of Penguin Random House.

Publishing date: 2017

Pages: 176

Chapters: 12

Genre : Short stories




The Future Looks Good –

She tells different stories in one scene. Ezima’s family history flashes in front of her eyes but she refuses to look behind as she fumbles with the key lock. Here her skill as a story teller transporting us back to the lives of Ezinma’s family members and how their experiences have all lead to this tragic ending cannot be disputed. It’s ironic how there was never really a future to begin with.


War Stories –

This was a very disturbing story about a girl,  Nwando, and her parents. Her father always tells her war stories when they sit down to play chess and  her mother seems to be the only parent who actually parents. There is no moral lesson but this story leaves us in a state of apprehension concerning the relationship between Nwando’s father and the suicidal Emmanuel.


Wild –

This story is ironic because Ada comes to terms with the fact that her life may not be as bad as she thought afterall. When she misbehaves,  her mother sends her to Nigeria to stay with her Aunt Ugo. Dirty linen is exposed as she discovers that Chinyere may not be the ideal child that she once thought. She brought every scene to life with her attention to detail, making this short story one of the best in the book.


Light –

I profoundly enjoyed light. Maybe it’s because I understand the dynamics of distance in a relationship or because she puts me in Enebili’s position. I nearly cried at how life changes people and makes them into what they are not and how those who truly know you cannot reconcile what you have become. This is the story I most connected with.


Second Chances –

It seems her mom is dead but a spirit/ ghost woman comes to live with them and rekindles the tension between mother and daughter as well as family members her Father and her sister Udoka. Uche is a sad woman who’s life has been nothing but a paused tragedy. It’s like she never holds down work, she steals,  she’s always stoned(under the influence) and disorganized. The story has  such depth and brings out Uche’s perspective what she experiences and  she feels when she’s confronted with the fact that her mother is truly dead.


Wind fall –

This story got my insides turned out and pounded to mush.  My mind couldn’t comprehend the horror that plagued my heart mind and soul as I lived as the young girl who crack herself for her mother. I didn’t know if to save myself or the girl because I was both at the same time. I felt the urge to kill the mother for such insubordination and reckless child abuse but then I realized that humans are different and they were unfortunate. The end is something I will not forgive, it was all a plan and now,  I cannot tell if it’s a lifestyle or a mental disorder.  The girl has no name.


Who will greet you at home –

This story was particularly disturbing. She comes up with a fictional land where babies aren’t born but blessed into existence and Ogechi wants a shiny child. As the story progresses we realise that Ogechi is utterly poor and has traded her happiness time and again for beautiful children.  The last child is a mini demon in hair form who teaches Ogechi that you do not dare to hope to rise above your circumstances. I sincerely wish she would write a full book about it because it would make such a wonderful horror movie. In the end,  Ogechi is resigned to her fate and her mud child.


Buchi’s Girls –

This story taught me that life can turn the tables and leave you with nothing,  that bad things happen to good people and that to make things work,  eventually, you need to learn how to tolerate bullshit( forgive the foul language ). Buchi and her daughters are unfortunate as she looses her husband, their father to an accident which leaves them destitute and desperate. Buchi understands that family is truly what can’t be depended on and that life has no room for casualties.


What it means when a man falls from the sky –


Gripping!  Absolutely fantastic!  Mind blowing. An Afro-futuristuc story of the world as it had come to be. The discovery of God,  the learning of healing of emotions.  It’s not something I can truly explain but the world has changed,  time has changed and the reason for a re-evaluation is because a man fell from the sky.


Glory –

This story just got me sad and thinking about how one’s life could be so unfortunate. Glory is in a spot where she has to make a decision of being a wife or herself. It turns out that Glory is just who she is and as much as it has proved unfortunate over time,  I believe that she has no choice but to be what is expected of her if she is to be truly happy.


What is a valcano –

Beautiful folklore about what a volcano is. It reminded me of Aesop’s fables, was beautifully written and dark as is all of her written works in this book.


Redemption –

This part of the story has no real connection with the title.  Leslie again bring us into the dark realities of some people’s lives and how the underprivileged have to fight to survive. She tells the story from a n observer’s point of view and how life can be so unfair in many ways.


What I love about the book –

The book is written like it had different authors. There was a compelling dark undertone to each chapter and it was a technical blend of different forms of literary penmanship. I’m in awe of her talent and hard work as she makes the dream of a futuristic Nigeria possible and also goes back to the past with her fables and folktales. It’s a very dystopic book and I felt overwhelming grief when reading chapters but nonetheless it still brought out some light.


What I don’t like –

Why so sad?  The book is as real as it gets telling bone chilling stories of people, mostly Negros,  who had been through one thing or the other. Most endings were no endings at all.


I recommend  we all read this book asut enables us taste something non-traditional and unlocks the imagination of our constantly distracted minds.

For more reviews and Feedbacks, visit


Who is Leslie?

Leslie is a writer and you can find out more about her on her website at or you could check out this interview with Wasafiri


You can order her books at

-Amazon at

-Okada books at

-The guardian bookshop at

-Penguin Random house at

Discussion85 Comments

  1. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would value
    your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  2. First of all I want to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to
    writing. I have had a difficult time clearing
    my mind in getting my thoughts out there. I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?

  3. My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right.

    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

  4. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and
    was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would
    cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% positive.

    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

  5. Every weekend i used to visit this web site,
    for the reason that i want enjoyment, since this this
    website conations in fact fastidious funny material too.

  6. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely magnificent.
    I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and
    the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of
    to keep it wise. I can not wait to read much more from you.
    This is really a wonderful website.

  7. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and
    now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

  8. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this
    site. I’m hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future
    as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get
    my very own site now 😉

  9. Thanks for some other informative site. The place else may I
    am getting that kind of info written in such an ideal method?
    I have a mission that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the glance
    out for such information.

  10. Someone essentially help to make seriously posts I would state.
    That is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far?
    I surprised with the analysis you made to make this actual
    publish amazing. Excellent process!

  11. Hello, this weekend is good in favor of me, since this point in time i am reading
    this enormous informative post here at my residence.

  12. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with
    hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing
    many months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

  13. It’s truly a great and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  14. If some one wants to be updated with hottest technologies afterward he must be go to see this web site and be up to date
    every day.

  15. May I just say what a comfort to find somebody that actually knows what they are discussing
    on the internet. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people should read this and understand this side
    of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular because you definitely possess the gift.

Leave A Reply