Review of My Books on Sunday Nation (26/01/2014)

Book Title:  Flashes of Vice

Author:       Vincent de Paul Makau
Genre:         Flash Fiction
Publisher:    CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Reviewer:    Gaylord Njui Gitau

When blogger-cum-author Vincent de Paul Makau won the Nairobi International Book Fair literary award in 2010, little did he envision a break through in e-publishing.

Apart from expanding First Words into an anthology of poem and publishing it online with Lulu, Makau closely followed it up with Holy Emotions, another anthology of poems by CreateSpace. His latest is Flights of Poetic Fancy still with CreateSpace.

Having being rejected by local publishers, there seems to be no stopping for Makau now. He has fully embraced the growing digital revolution of e-books and cut a niche market after identifying his subject matter that he aptly engages.

Using flash fiction, a style of fictional literature of extreme brevity which is also known as micro fiction or short short stories, Makau has bequeathed his readers with Flashes of Vice, a collection of 33 tell-them-as-they-happen-in-real-life stories. Within the constraint of flash fiction's small boundaries in terms of plot and setting, he was able to establish a mood rather than a plot in his poetic license and addressed themes that range from hypocrisy in today's church, crime, terrorism, conspiracies, drug abuse and romance.

In Makau's bare knuckled story on church hypocrisy, Rt Reverend Bishop Alfred Rotich has been summoned to the Vatican to answer allegations of telling the world secrets kept from them by the church. To the world he is a whistle blower and to the church he is a heretic and a traitor. He sees himself as a shrewd servant of God who is bent on telling the world of Vatican's amorous scandals both financial and moral that are tinged with cult worship at the expense of the faithful.

He tells the pope: "In your life, Holy Father, have you ever stayed awake the whole night with a sick child, his fever on the highs, hoping to get a cent to buy medicine only to be told a God who lives somewhere unreachable wants you to offer Him money or whatever so that you could be blessed? No, I guess no! The offertory we tell people to offer pays for this opulence. Do you ever think of how many people go hungry just to bring that cent because the vicar said God want them to do so?"

Probably Makau would have been metaphorical in addressing the above vice in the church today rather than take on the Catholic Church directly.
Gaylord Gitau is the author of The Rough Affair and Other Stories (Jomo Kenyatta Foundation) and Animals on Safari (Sasa Sema). Contact:


Vincent de Paul's books are available online on Amazon and other SitesCreateSpace and Selz and in bookstores in Nakuru, Kenya (Ereto and Patmat bookshops)