Review

Review: Digital Bedbugs Edited by Makena Onjerika

“The funny thing about prison is you go in as an innocent man, and when you come out, you are exactly what the court said you want were. They released me, and I became a conman.”

Genre: Fiction
Rate: 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pages: 184
Published: 2019

Goodreads Synopsis

Straight out of Nairobi, come 12 stories of convicts and their mobile phones; an illicit house warmer who swears he didn’t kill the kid; a man who cannot help running through the night stark naked; a cop who excels at making bodies disappear; a husband who doesn’t want sex and a wife who must have some with him by all means necessarily; a mother who sends her son interesting photography; a music instrument that induces psychosis; the unhealthy consequences of Nairobi nightlife; incels who know their knives; a reverend, his farm and his prize bull; horses, oaths and machetes; and of course, an unplanned trip to Kerala.

Featured writers include
-Sophie Gitonga
-Sanaa Jabeen
-Sheeba Jacob
-Alvin Kathembe
-Olivia Kidula
-Munene Kilongi
-Dennis Mugaa
-Awuor Mugeni
-Shalom Ndiku
-Gladwell Pamba
-Kiprono Tonui
-Shiru Waweru

This anthology represents the work of new and emerging writers based in Nairobi who, in 2018 and 2019, participated in the Nairobi Fiction Writing Workshop, led by Caine Prize for Writing winner, Makena Onjerika.

Disclaimer: A copy of the book was sent to me for review but all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.


My Take
Short stories and anthologies have become favoured in my reading life this year & I was so excited when I got a copy of Digital Bedbugs. It had been on my tbr for the longest time & I am so happy I finally got to read it.
Digital Bedbugs follows 12 short stories from different writers, ranging from different settings. A prison cell in Nairobi to a bar at the coast, I found some of the stories brilliantly written, interesting, engaging and a delight to read.
If you’ve read my short stories review before you know I rank them from the one I most love(d) to the least, with a rating and two or more words sharing what I thought about it.

1. Housewarming. 5

  • A killer opening that had me pulled in from the first sentence
  • Fun and interesting
  • Thrilling and brilliantly written

2. No Good Deed. 4.5

  • Vivid descriptions that made me feel like I was there myself
  • Sad & suspenseful
  • Wow!!!
  • Beautifully written

3. Our Husband. 4.5

  • Risque
  • Killer plot
  • Suspenful

4. Follow the footpath. 4

  • The importance of a great support system.
  • Follow your own path
  • Take life as it comes

5. Wife Material. 4

  • Interesting
  • Sad reality

6. Mummy, Dearest. 3.5

  • Shocking twist
  • A thinker

7. Where The Bodies Are Buried. 3.5 ⭐
Brutal and violent.

8. The Harmonium. 3.5
Life choices and what they become
Suicide


9. Digital Bedbugs 3

  • Harsh realities
  • Relatable (if you’ve read the book then you know those text messages are real, and chances are if you’re in Kenya you’ve got such texts at one time or the other)
  • Dog eat dog world. (you can’t trust anyone)

10. Mariamu 3

  • Adultery
  • Religion
  • An okay read

11. The Night Runner. 3

  • Slow
  • Kinda repetitive
  • Curious & curiouser

12. The Syce. 2.5

  • I struggled reading this one.
  • I was bored and almost dnf

All in all this is a fantastic book and there’s something for everyone in here. I loved it and I think you would to. I definitely recommend.

Do your read Anthologies/ Short Stories? What’s been your favourite so far?

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