Everyone from Warren G. Harding to King Tut shows up in this madcap and visionary novel from Ishmael Reed. But the star of the show is not even a person, . America, wrote Ishmael Reed in his novel Mumbo Jumbo, is “mercurial, restless, violent the travelling salesman who can sell the world. MUMBO JUMBO by Ishmael Reed Mumbo Jumbo is a non-fiction novel. When a novel includes a item bibliography, you know we’re in.

Author: Faektilar Taurr
Country: Moldova, Republic of
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Spiritual
Published (Last): 23 December 2008
Pages: 387
PDF File Size: 7.65 Mb
ePub File Size: 18.34 Mb
ISBN: 769-1-55932-725-8
Downloads: 38441
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Gardalrajas

As in the s with its ragtime vogue, the Jazz Age threatens to overwhelm “Western Civilization” with a pleasure-loving and peaceable way of life opposed to the sterile and exploitative lifeworld of, locally, “neuter-living Protestants,” or those whom Reed more broadly calls Atonists, or monotheists worshippers of the sun: There are certainly messages of social relevance within the Mumbo Jumbo is an innovative novel with it’s own original voice, which unfortunately turns rather clunky somewhere in the middle, and doesn’t quite recover in the end.

It starts off very confusingly, much like Flight to Canada.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Some readers might find this to be pure ‘s oblige gadgetry, but I loved the photos and graphics, which I found mostly oblique and off-center, but not unrelated. Moses steals the Petro aspect of the Voodoo secrets from Isis. Why is it Death you like?

Takes two of my favorite things, satire and history, and completely turned it on its head. There are so many references to history and literature, especially ones that I didn’t know super well that it makes it seem like Reed is telling an inside joke.


Mumbo Jumbo

Of course, there is the conventional methodology: I’ve never had more fun demanding the downfall of static white society. There are a variety of ways to approach Mumbo Jumbo as a reader. Quite a wonderful novel; perhaps not perfect, but wildly imaginative and inspiring. Maybe find a way to weave it more seamlessly into the framing narrative.

Later I found that these same mathematical models could help me understand the early spread of jazz, blues and other musical ‘epidemics’ of the past and present. Rees, if you are looking for a serious laugh, I highly recommend Mumbo Jumbo.

Some great, witty, justifiably angry writing here, and some wonderful use of fragmentation and sampling but somehow it never cohered for me and, at times, I did actually find my interest waning a little, which is not a good sign for such a short book Reed’s contact info, I’d write him; the book will foster loads of questions.

I don’t know what kind of writer I’d be without Ishmael Reed. But the least good option, Option C, is the way the book went, which was to just tell everyone what your idea was, even though the narrative progress is brought to a grinding halt.

Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed

The text mumboo and ends as if it were a movie script, with credits, a fade-in, and a freeze-frame followed by the publication and title pages which occur after chapter one. Throughout the novel, Reed seeks to deconstruct the fundamental foundations upon which white, western civilization rests.

Check out the work of Everett Rogers for insights into this field of forecasting and trend analysis. The mathematical models used to study the mumho of innovations come from medical science, and were originally rees to predict the spread of epidemics. He knows more about it than you will ever find here. Characters sometimes come off as two-dimensional, but the flatness fits the mythological range of the narrative. I see ixhmael why James had so thoughtfully underlined many of his favorite passages, it’s a great book to quote in conversation and one that I’ve found myself thinking about quite often in the days since finishing it.


What makes “Mumbo Jumbo” unique is its remarkable merger of formal experiment incorporation of visual material, novel typography, freewheeling plot structure and sheer enjoyment. The writing in here is impressive on a language level, and it is definitely thought provoking at the same time that it’s entertaining. Plastic will soon prevail over flesh and bones. The flesh is next.

Mumbo jumbo is Reed’s reminiscence of slavery’s clusterfuck; when the passing back and forth of peoples and cultures, European, African, Creole, Voodoo, high yellow and Christian, violent, pastoral, democratic, authoritarian. Set in s New York Citythe novel depicts the elderly Harlem houngan PaPa LaBas and his companion Black Herman racing against the Wallflower Order, an international conspiracy dedicated to monotheism and control, as they attempt to root out the cause of and deal with the “Jes Grew” virus, a personification of ragtime, jazz, polytheism, and freedom.

The only upshot is that we can read his work now with a similar urgency to what its first readers might have felt. So it was with much trepidation and nervousness that I accepted my friend James’ copy of this book. The slip is found next to his dead body: