Dreams and Assorted Nightmares is a collection of intertwined short stories set in an unknown land in Nigeria—a mystical place called Zango where its inhabitants die when leaves fall from a magnificent live tree in a vast and dark forest called Kurmi. These stories explore the spaces between the earthly realm and the beyond realm.

This collection takes us through a mystical and dark journey and the series of events unfolding in a mystery land yet they resonate with the stories of humans closer to us, even ourselves.

Through this collection, the Author takes us through rows of stories from the story of Laminde who was forced to imprison herself against Zango with her daughter after the second marriage of her husband with Ramatu changed her life to the poignant story of an artist who is said to have fathered almost every bastard in Zango—this story features the family of the artist trying to fit the missing piece lost during his lifetime after he lost to the cold hand of death in a woman’s bosom.

As the reader falls into the world of the author, each word and character can be no doubt said to be breathing. It’s almost like every event is happening right before our own eyes. One could see them as the reader falls into the house of the rising sun—the story of the boy with special needs and his mother who is trying to overcome her struggle after the death of her husband.

Abubakar continues to flow us into the river of mystery—the breathing car named Sarah to the Daughters of Bappa to the weight of silence I would say, Abubakar is a master of words as he took us through a story of two friends by throwing us into a lot of question (this is my favourite of all short stories).

All in all, Dreams and Assorted Nightmares take the reader through other stories like Naznine, a book of remembered things, a very brief marriage, Making Monsters— the love story of Audi Kore and Maimuna Dajjaj, Melancholy and finally, what the Sand Said.

What strikes me the most is how each story carries a piece of each other like fitting a piece of one story to complete a puzzle in another—how the characters of Mallam Sadi Kankat fit perfectly in almost every story in the collection. Like the character, Zaki—the son of Audi Kore and Maimuna Dajjal who lurks in one part of the story of Laminde and her daughter.

The Author of the collection proves his prowess by covering troubling issues like insurgency and religious crisis threatening most parts of Nigeria in the collection, especially the northern parts—their effects on the lives of individuals caught in these menace. Also, the collection delves into the fragility of human minds— how darkness could engulf a heart if there is no tenderness or something like love to guide it, like in Dreams and Assorted Nightmares, Mororo’s masterpiece, The Weight of Silence, Daughters of Bappa Avenue and also the tenderness of love in Sajah, Making monsters, Nasnine.

What more is how the author has done poetic justice to all his stories—one could find every element of poetry in each story and that has added to the beauty of the collection. The Author further proves his masteries in writing by the twist of plot in each story, the suspense with no doubt keeps the reader craving for more from one of the finest writers of this generation.

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