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Summary

In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Alamantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: who is the Prisoner? 

When Alamantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realisation. To find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her question. 

Karnak's search leads him into a terrifying world of lies, oppression and fear at the heart of which lies the Prison. Then Karnak discovers that he is not the only one looking for the truth. 

The Freedom Artist is an impassioned plea for justice and a penetrating examination of how freedom is threatened in a post-truth society. In Ben Okri's most significant novel since the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, he delivers a powerful and haunting call to arms. 

©2019 Ben Okri (P)2019 Head of Zeus

Critic reviews

Praise for Ben Okri: "Ben Okri is that rare thing, a literary and social visionary, a writer for whom all three - literature, culture and vision - are profoundly interwoven." (Ali Smith)

"Okri is incapable of writing a boring sentence. As one startling image follows the next, The Famished Road begins to read like an epic poem that happens to touch down just this side of prose... When I finished the book and went outside, it was as if all the trees of South London had angels sitting in them." (Linda Grant, Independent on Sunday)

"A magical book in every sense, a spellbinding, poetic, artistic journey into our collective imaginations and inner selves." (Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor) 

What listeners say about The Freedom Artist

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Shaman Speaks

Utterly mesmerising performance by the author. It is the first time that I have listened to Ben Okri. Poetic, beautiful, I could listen to it over and over again. Pure Genius! I would have given it ten stars if I could.

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Too metaphorical

I really enjoyed ‘On being Free’, but did not like this book as much. I get the premise of questioning societal constraints, but the whole fiction built upon this premise I found a bit wishy washy and contrived. Ben Okri narrates eloquently however.

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The story never got started

I felt like the whole time I was waiting for the story to start. When it finally did, the story ended. I felt like it was trying too hard to be philosophical and failed with the storyline

1 person found this helpful