Before we proceed any further, raise your hand if you've ever used the word "google" as a verb. If your hand is raised, make a fist. Now extend the knuckle of your middle finger. Good? Now hit yourself on the head with it.

Now that we've gotten the preliminaries out of the way, let's conduct a little experiment. If you are reading this anywhere near a computer, boot it up now. If not, shame on you, Luddite! Anyhoo, once your computer is on, go online and go to Type in "Nuba wrestling," "kick" and "pressure point;" do that and you will have retraced the exact steps that lead yours truly to Book 2, Chapter 7 of The Crown. Unfortunately for the rest of you, by the time you hold this book in your hands, everything after Chapter 3 will have been removed from the writer's website.

Too bad. You should have read it for free while you had the chance. Of course, since you are holding it in your hands, that point is officially moot; your money is now in Hannibal's pocket. Forget about it, you're in America now.


Moving on, The Crown is your standard-issue love story. Boy meets girl. Girl and Boy fall in love. Boy begins to float like an F-16 and sting like a meteor strike.

Truth be told, there are many ways to take this story: as societal metaphor; as Hannibal's treatise on gender dynamics, as a portrayal of competent intelligent African characters; as the infinitesimal peak of an iceberg that will smash the world of literature into new and exciting pieces within a couple of years (oops, did I say too much?); hell, you could just come out and say this is kick-ass comic-book style action and you'd still be right. It's all in the exegesis, baby.

Whatever your interpretation, it's safe to say that The Crown is, at the very least, fun. At the opposite end of the opinion spectrum, this book will make you live longer, grow smarter and have taller children. The cliches are all true. Really.

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