Oil on water | book review

Oil on water is a fiction novel by Helon Habila. I’ve read this book before but decided to read it again, this time with new insight, fresh eyes, a new take on its themes and now here is a review of it.


Oil on water is a narration of Rufus, an amateur reporter who tags along with Zaq, an older disgraced reporter who once and still an exemplar to Rufus.

Their job; to find and interview the wife of a British petroleum engineer, who has been kidnapped by a notorious militant gang from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

For this mission, Rufus has to leave his disabled self-conscious sister. And when Zaq falls sick in the swamps of the Delta, Rufus must take matters in his hands and find the truth.


The novel gives a vivid picture of the “brutal conflicts” in the Niger Delta, over oil production and its resources, the government soldiers, the oil companies, the oil-streaked waters that have pursued the villagers from their homes, and the so-called “freedom fighters”.

The novel has a series of flashbacks which the writer expertly pitches together.

I think the author did well in this book although, I would have loved the plot was longer because I didn’t want it to end (LOL)

Oil on water is a book I recommend for anyone, especially those who want to get the picture of Nigeria’s oil pollution and the effects of it.

I rate this book 8/10

2 responses to “Oil on water | book review”

  1. […] Oil on water by Helon Habila is one book I’ve read but decided to read it again, this time with fresh eyes. Talk about oil rigs, nonchalant government, and so-called “freedom fighters”! I made a review on it here. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: