I'd just like to jump in here and say how much I enjoyed reading this book. As some have noted, it's size is intimidating. I definitely noted the size, as I had just finished reading Pynchon's 1200-page Against the Day, and a couple of 600-page books right before I started Wizard. At that point I really wouldn't have minded a nice short read, but duty calls.
My worries proved completely unfounded, as I raced through Wizard in under a week. What really distinguishes this book for me is that Thiong'o continually sets up high narrative expectations, and then he delivers. Time after time he set me up for a big plot twist, or a big revelation of the kind that usually happens only once or twice in a novel. What truly impressed me about Wizard was that after setting me up time and time again, I can honestly say that Thiong'o almost never let me down throughout the course of this 780-page book.
This tracks back to Thiong'o's interest in oral storytelling, because an oral storyteller needs to meet different needs than a novelist. She is face to face with her audience, and if she fails to deliver, then she is in trouble. In contrast, a novelist can write complete drivel, and never have to come face-to-face the ire of fans. Thiong'o wrote his book as though he was one the spot, 100% accountable for his story, and it shows. This book is entertianing from start to finish.
But what's more, Thiong'o's storytelling isn't just for the sake of entertaining us. By filling his fable-like story with many, many twists and revelations, he gives it great depth--although this book is told like a fable, it's morality is very nuanced and complex. Similarly, the symbols in this book take on many, many meanings over the course of the novel, and interact in very interesting ways. So Wizard is as much of an intellectual pleasure as it is an entertainment.
And to cap off all this, Thiong'o's book is laying bare before our eyes the way an African dictatorship works. Wizard of the Crow is a very ambitious book, and I think it succeeds in almost everything it sets out to do. It's easily one of my favorite Read This! selections yet.