What a find Apr 3, 2007
Someone had suggested this book to me several years ago, but it somehow made it to the bottom of my pile. Then I recently read a review of another of the author's books and decided to pull this one out and give it a try. I can't believe I waited this long to read it. It is a fascinating portrait of Africa, in the form of a number of vignettes or articles. It is a type of travelogue in that he describes his experiences with hotels, tranpsortation adventures, and his personal hardships including bouts of malaria and attacks by hordes of tropical insects. He intersperses this with bits of history, political analysis, and descriptions of people he meets along the way. The writing is rich and emotional and sometimes humorous. You suspect he exaggerates somewhat, but maybe not that much. It leaves you feeling stunned and somewhat depressed about the state of affairs in these countries. Having read the book, I feel better equipped to understand and evaluate some of the things going on in African countries today.