The Condom and Other Stories

Fiction - Anthology
219 Pages
Reviewed on 05/31/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Condom and Other Stories by Peter Chika is a collection of 17 short stories that will keep you entertained for hours. The stories feature feisty characters with endearing character traits, witty dialogues, and fun plots to make them irresistible. A perfect traveling or commute partner, this collection has a little of everything for every reader. The opening story, “The Condom,” is the story of Ike, a man who cannot keep it in his pants. All hell breaks loose when his wife, Laura, finds a condom on the floor, or does it? My favorite was “Scent of a Child” in which Ada is childless and tired of her mother-in-law taunting her. She decides to do something about it, anything, as long as she gets a baby. Each story tells a different tale of different characters as they share a little slice of their lives.

Each story was on a different topic. While most authors keep a singular theme and connect each short story with that theme, Peter Chika takes this collection as an opportunity to leave a commentary on human behavior and morality. He does it without making the collection boring. A colorful cast of characters makes sure readers are entertained and engrossed. I loved Ike and Laura, but Ibrahim, Dike, and Buchi the most. I formed a connection with Chineze Nwankwo instantly. They were colorful characters, morally ambiguous and intense. The dialogues are the most fun for me. The twists in each of the stories are unpredictable. I thought I would be able to predict what will happen in the next story, but I wasn’t able to do it even once. I highly recommend this collection!

Pikasho Deka

The Condom and Other Stories is a collection of seventeen short stories by Peter Chika. The book opens with "The Condom", in which a successful yet womanizing London lawyer finds himself in trouble when he presumably drops an unused condom that gets into the hands of his wife. But everything is not as it seems. In the "Scent of a Child", a modern American woman seeking a baby of her own turns to an old mystic for help. Despite her initial misgivings, she is surprisingly satisfied with the outcome. "The General" is the story of a Shakespeare-quoting dictator who is plagued by pangs of loneliness after forcing his way into power via a coup. He summons an old friend to bring a modicum of normalcy to his life, only to realize that things have indeed changed irrevocably.

An engaging anthology laced with humor, wit, and charm, The Condom and Other Stories is a delightful piece of work you don't want to miss out on. Author Peter Chika tells some human stories containing characters from all walks of life set in a myriad of different environments. Every story deals with the complexities of human nature and life in general and ends with a unique twist you never see coming. The characters are vibrant and full of life. Their shining personalities pop out of the pages and make the tales an absolute joy to read. The sarcastic humor and quick-witted dialogue make the narrative all the more entertaining. If you enjoy short and humorous tales, The Condom and Other Stories is just the book for you.

Ankita Shukla

In The Condom and Other Stories, Peter Chika delivers a collection of seventeen short stories. They begin with scenes of tension, frustration, or drama of some sort, then explore past revelations or incidents that give readers an insight into the characters' mindset or lifestyle, before ending with a twist. The Condom, The Briefcase, A Pot of Soup, and The Interview proved to be the most lighthearted and amusing tales. In The Condom, a wife is speechless when she finds a condom in her husband's clothes. In their marriage, they had never used a condom, so why does her husband have one? Her reaction is that of the silent treatment for several hours, during which the husband contemplates how much he loves his wife and revisits the affair that he has been having. While he speculates on the possible actions his wife can take and the impact those would have on his life, his wife has a secret of her own. After this first story, readers will have high expectations of those to follow, with more funny twists and comical narration.

The Condom and Other Stories has many intriguing elements that set it apart from other books in the genre, but ironically one or two of those things may put off some readers. If you appreciate cultural influences in the dialogue, then you will enjoy the usage of words like 'o' at the end of sentences, 'Nna anyi, nwanne, piaaaa', and the like. The stories provide a window into the African lifestyle and traditions as we gather knowledge about Nigerian culture and language. One thing that will remain with me comes from A Pot of Soup, as it appears Nigerian food has quite a strong smell. Even though the book title hints at affairs and intimacy being at the center of the stories, this is not the case. One story turned out to be quite tragic and may trigger strong feelings. Most will uplift your mood and make you forget your worries. I recommend this book by Peter Chika to readers who enjoy indulging in lighthearted short stories every now and then. Just know that one or two stories may stir up the reader's emotions.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

The Condom and Other Stories by Peter Chika is a collection of seventeen quirky tales. A high-profile solicitor is in serious trouble when his wife discovers a condom. In The Wager, even the sternest professor gets tongue-tied by the antics of a student. The Briefcase introduces us to two strangers tenaciously claiming the ownership of a locked case, although neither can furnish proof. Another story shows a young girl trying to fail her visa interview at any cost. Headstrong narrates a philandering man’s version of his torrid affair. In Scent of a Child, Ada takes an unconventional path to conception. Together, these stories create a medley that will enthrall readers.

Peter Chika’s anthology mesmerized me with its unforgettable characters, bizarre events, and razor-sharp wit. The oddly twisted endings changed the course of each story in a heartbeat. The turns, delivered as casual afterthoughts, made me forgo all the preconceived notions and view the tale in a completely different light. The Condom, The Briefcase, and The Interview excelled in this aspect. Chika’s stories were brimful with hilarity, with the realistic situations taking absurd, often unexpected, turns. Most of the stories were based in Africa or featured African characters. With his unparalleled ability to vividly describe a scene, Chika transported readers to the continent, alive with its sounds and smells. The dialogues were in English, but the liberal use of regional inflections and African phrases gave the stories a unique flavor. Chika did an outstanding job of reflecting diverse aspects of the culture, including food habits, lifestyle, and social norms. I recommend The Condom and Other Stories to any reader looking for humorous tales with unpredictable endings.

K.C. Finn

The Condom and Other Stories is a work of fiction in the short story anthology subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Peter Chika. In this varied, amusing, and often moving collection of seventeen short works, we meet quirky people in extraordinary situations who are faced with challenges and choices that may affect the rest of their lives. The titular story takes its name from a situation in which a wife finds a condom in her husband's clothes, and each tale takes on a similar mini-mystery as its dramatic impetus. Some of the themes of the work touch on social and cultural issues as well as relationships, family, and the nature of faith.

Of all the enjoyable and highly engaging stories in this collection, I’d have to say Martyr was my favorite, purely because I know a lot of people like that and the conflicts felt very realistic to me. But there’s certainly something for everyone in this collection as the works and central ideas are varied, and yet everything comes together with the same smooth and confident narrative style. Author Peter Chika brings cohesion to the overall collection with his direct and imaginative prose, painting realistic portraits of life with just one or two intriguing moments that set you off-kilter and keep you guessing until the end. As such, The Condom and Other Stories develops into a rich tapestry of human life and relatable problems with some sensational solutions, and I’d recommend it to all short story fiction fans.

Nicholus Schroeder

The Condom and Other Stories by Peter Chika is a collection of humorous short stories. Besides the catchy title, this book also contains 17 downright hilarious stories. Each tale has a unique setting and some crafty plot twists that will draw a laugh from deep within. For instance, The Briefcase takes place outside a gas station. Two men who are in stark contrast to each other both lay claim to a briefcase and each has to prove their ownership. In another story titled Scent of a Child, a married woman Ada is desperate to bear a child at any cost - monetary or otherwise. If you need to have a good hearty laugh then you will certainly be pleased with Peter Chika's collection.

The Condom and Other Stories tickled my funny bone constantly! The stories were hilarious, and some had incredible plot twists. Characters had amusing lines and often the scene itself was amusing enough without the need to expand on it or explain the joke in any way. My favorite short story in this glorious compilation has to be The Offering and it cracked me up throughout. I went from smiling to chuckling and then laughing whilst reading that story in record time! The pastor’s lines were the funniest I've come across in a book to date. The plot twists also played a role in my appreciation of this book. Peter Chika could turn the story on its head in a line or two, and the result would either evoke a sincere laugh or a strong feeling of sympathy. This book is a treasure trove of comedic gold, and I loved reading each story. I recommend this to readers who enjoy humor and to readers who like short stories.