One day in the life of one man: A review of E. C. Michaels’ Dawn to Dusk


This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series Reviews season two

Last Updated on June 2, 2018 by Memorila

Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy writes that even though there is a high dose of suspense and thrills in E. C. Michaels’ Dawn to Dusk, there are some valuable lessons to be learnt which makes it a valuable novel to parents, youths, and married couples.

I have always had a soft spot for form in literature; this is perhaps because I agree with R. N. Egudu who says that “literature is a method of expression”. Nonetheless, I have always been careful in striking equilibrium between that which is expressed, and how it is expressed. E. C. Michaels married both form and content in his novel Dawn to Dusk and this is perhaps why I have chosen to write a review of the work.

You see, the thriller tradition is not gaining wide readership in Nigeria, and perhaps Africa, compared to what we would term “serious literature”. Yet, there is a lot to learn from writers in this category aside their being masters of suspense and thrills.

Yes, there is a lot that can happen to a man in one day, a man could go from owning the world to having nothing in just one day, just as a pauper might become rich in just one day, all it takes is just one day! The world is full of magic and all it sometimes takes for a thing to happen might be just…a twinkle of an eye! E. C. Michaels taps into this magic to produce this beautiful story called Dawn to Dusk.

Tell me, what will you do if you were to wake up one morning and discover that you have lost your job, your young son gets involved in a fatal accident at home, and you suddenly find love in the arms of a woman who is not your wife? Too much for one day you say? Wait! That is not all for there is more. What if you were to inadvertently knock down your wife on the road with your car while driving to the hospital, and the woman you just fell in love with becomes the one who murders your wife, all in just one day? What man would keep standing and not break down when hit by a trailer load of tragedies as these just in one day? Yet, this is the scintillating tale E. C. Michaels tells in Dawn to Dusk.

Forced into an arranged and abusive marriage with an over pampered and spoilt Queen (the daughter of James father’s business partner) so his father could maintain his business ties and social standing, James had to cope with a frustrated life and makes a decision to forever lock out his parents from his life. On the morning of this story, he woke up to prepare for work till he heard a knock only to open, thinking it was his nanny but it turned out to be his mother. James does not want to see his mother near his apartment for after joining hands with the father to ruin his life, he wanted them out for good. Yet, Catherine (James’ mother) had come prepared for battle; she would stay in the apartment no matter what! James’ boss became tired of his lateness and fired him over the phone, his young and only son got wounded while playing on the table and while at the hospital, he realised he was falling in love with his son’s nanny, Helen.

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James found himself at crossroads, for although Queen, his wife, had long abandoned him and left him with their son, divorce is still out of the question. Would he dissolve his marriage and incur the wrath of his parents while watching them go down the financial position they have already attained? How well does he know the woman he was falling so quickly in love with? Was he prepared to marry her and would his family accept this new woman? The answers to these questions are heavy and lengthy, yet little time is afforded. But the good news is that you can always get a copy of the book and find these answers yourself!

The story is well written and structured for fast paced reading, its episodes are short and suspense filled and I really think it would make more sales in the Nollywood market if adapted into a movie. While there are instances of grammatical inconsistencies and use of what I would call “Nigerian English,” there are quite minimal and they neither hinder comprehension nor the story flow, nothing another round of editing cannot solve I believe.

If you say that the actions are too tightly packed for a story of just one day, I would agree with you. It revs up the question of verisimilitude and plausibility especially the development of the affair between James and Helen; even the writer saw this and could not avoid spilling the terminal chapters into the next day. But you will also agree with me that it is a near perfect experiment. More so, it is the magic of fiction which thriller writers take advantage of. There were also few cases of factual inconsistencies, for instance, how did Dr. Charles suddenly become a family friend? The good thing, however, is that we are not seeking a perfect story, our concern is the pleasurable experience produced in the work and we must thank the author for this.

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The story is a reflection of what obtains in our society, especially since our news are filled with stories of wives murdering spouses in an arranged marriage, marriages that are not based on love but the mutual benefits of both parents. We must know that such marriages usually have disastrous endings as that of James and Queen in the novel. We must also learn never to incur the wrath and hatred of our children by making the wrong choices or decisions for them or treating one better than the other. So, it is not all about suspense and thrills for these are some of the valuable lessons to be learnt from E. C. Michaels’ Dawn to Dusk and it makes it a valuable novel to parents, youths, and married couples.

E. C. Michaels might not be everything we want our Nigerian James Hardey Chase, James Patterson and Sidney Sheldon to be (and maybe he need not be them after all, maybe he is just uniquely E. C. Michaels) but he is walking that path already and I can already envisage a brighter future in the literary arena for this young author.

Now, I believe everyone should own a copy of this novel. To get your own copy, click on the following link: Download E.C. Michaels’ Dawn to Dusk here>>

© Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy 2018

Read Eazy’s reviews on Memorila every Saturdays!

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Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy

Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy holds a degree in English language and literary studies. He is a short story writer, copy editor, book reviewer, literary critic, poet, and essayist. He teaches English as a Foreign Language in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

2 thoughts on “One day in the life of one man: A review of E. C. Michaels’ Dawn to Dusk

  • April 21, 2018 at 9:16 am
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    Thank you, Eazy for this wonderful review. It does not only lighten my spirit, it did more, which is drawing my attention to so silly mistakes I could have avoided and more ways I could have made the story better. I really appreciate.

    I

    Reply
    • April 21, 2018 at 9:53 am
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      Yeah, Eazy really did justice to your novel, Dawn to Dusk. We hope to see more polished works from you…

      Reply

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