Book Review – Waste of Sin

“Truly. I love it. Your style is steeply clear and your stories have true human feel.
I love them. The hallmark of depth. Clarity. Thank you for the privilege of wonderful feasts.”

Hanson Utibe.



Forgive them, they know not what they do…kidding, they do!

Waste of Sin is an incredible story, masterfully told, exploring the disorder, DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)—a disorder characterised by the presence of two or more distinct personality states. Before then, it is the story of abuse and betrayal.

Julia is abused by her father every year since she was 11 and at 16, she wasn’t having it anymore because her helpless mother could not stand up to his cruel father; hence, in the wake of her mother’s death, she kills her father and escapes.

Julia’s alter ego is Stephanie. While she’s the calm, collected, prim and proper mother and wife, Stephanie is the wild, insatiable, lustful and near-deranged personality of hers.

Julia is married to a Danny deficient in the expression of emotions but is highly supportive of her. But nothing stays the same forever. Stephanie was overpowering Julia and throwing her into excesses that bred suspicion and offset Danny.

On the other hand, Danny helps his friend, Alex, back from the States who was struggling to find his feet with plans to help him stand back in the country. But Alex latches onto Danny’s wife and schemes how he might get him out of the picture, consumed by wild sensations of his sexcapades with Stephanie.

In contrast, Danny works to get sanity trump the situation and turn Stephanie back to Julia, but Alex is bent on sustaining the dominance of the alter ego, Stephanie. So, she becomes the marionette or string puppet twitching to the rhythm of the two men pulling the strings.

Alex orchestrates a car robbery against Danny with intent to kill; it fails, but Danny is greatly injured and almost knocked out. In the half-conscious state he meanders to the hospital for treatment.

Throughout the period, Alex is having wild sessions with Stephanie; but realising his attempt at murdering Danny had failed and Stephanie was recovering into Julia, he envisaged his world crumbling before him. For a moment, he looked like Tom Buchanan from The Great Gatsby who was in a lose-it-all state about his wife and his mistress; in Alex’s case—losing his mistress, gaining a foe and left in a quagmire. He knew he had to hatch a superior plan.

Danny finds out about Alex’s cruel betrayal and resolves to kill him. However, according to Jet Li in The Forbidden Kingdom, vengeance has a way of rebounding upon one’s self. In the end, in alfresco, two grown men, civilised and educated, exchange blows and transition to swinging knives—Julia or Stephanie runs into the mix and takes a jab with Danny and both die.

Julia switching personalities is reminiscent of Shen Te and Shui Ta from Brecht’s A Good Woman of Setzuan. One character switching personalities to avoid being taken for granted. But in the case of Julia, it is assumed Stephanie was created by her father with the insistent alcoholic, sexual and sodomic abuses, while Julia retained the sanctity of her personality to protect her helpless mother. But in the event that she dies, Julia loses her job and steps aside for Stephanie to exert whatever monsters are known to exert on their creators.

Akin Akingbogun has presented us a successful tale because questions flood the mind of the reader upon engaging the text. More so, our eyes are open to a new disorder in town (perhaps, not new, but we know its name now). The author, at his task of entertainment, has educated us also—passing judgement that the text perfectly fulfils the demands of literature—entertain and educate.

Among the questions that would worry the reader are, is it possible to remove every trigger of DID in the case where there is no known cure? How effective is the cure, if there is any, for the disorder? How do we detect and respond to individuals with DID? Do I or my friend or partner have DID, perhaps undiagnosed? Do people truly heal from trauma or how do we prevent our pasts from impinging on our present and affecting our new relationships?

A myriad question may spring up and give us diverse lenses to monitor our actions and inactions; however, the comment on this work of art is that language is efficiently appropriated to relay the tale without forcing knowledge on the reader.

The book merits being conscripted as a recommended text in literature and medicine because its contemplations subsist within the ambits of the preoccupation of this field of study.

Also, it merits a place in the shelf of every home as it holds insight into understanding yourself, your partners (lovers, friends, associates, etc.,) and your child(ren), if and when you do have. 

The book is available in bookstores of repute in the country and continent, and can be ordered online and delivered anywhere in the world. It comes in a two-in-one pack with another story, Blood in the Water. All both excellent stories tersely narrated yet overflowing with depth, wit and mastery.

Utibe Hanson is a writer as well as literary and cultural theorist. He is the author of the poetry collection, Unnoticed Presence of Things, and the study, Football as Literature: A Semiotic Reading.

Related Posts


3 thoughts on “Book Review – Waste of Sin”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

Just write down some details about you and we will get back to you in a jiffy!