Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back to Africa

To Senegal for "So Long a Letter" and now Libya for "In the Country of Men". Is there any book written about Africa besides the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series that is not depressing? This one is told from the point of view of a man recalling a summer when he was 9 years old. The author does a great job of capturing the carelessness and selfishness of a child. I read some reviews where people dinged the author for letting the adults talk about secrets so much in front of the child. I think adults forget how much children understand.

I felt the same feeling as when reading "Kite Runner". While the child does not experience as graphic an event as that story there is still the "Oh, no - watch out" type of terror when you see the characters interact with people in positions of authority in a land with no laws. Or laws that are designed to keep certain factions oppressed. Not an upper but very simple language and a good story. I'm crossing the Mediterranean to leave Africa for Istanbul for my next selection.

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