I didn’t actually sign up for the Challenge, but even before it came up I had already made the decision to read more African non-fiction. It is embarrassing, after all, for a man my age to be there when he hasn’t read Long Walk To Freedom. I also need to read at least three accounts of life under Idi Amin, and am interested in a history of Shaka Zulu so as to get at least some kind of insight into how the tribes we have nowadays were formed.

(Raises nose haughtily at Carlo)

A couple of days before the mosquitoes got me I was at Aristoc and landed on this book. (That’s the Amazon link. I have recently discoverd Google Books, too… here

And now, presenting: A brief review.

a long way gone by ismael beah

 It isn’t brilliantly written. In fact, it is quite amateurishly written. It is definitely not Dickens; it is the kind of thing you would expect from a young guy who only began read and write in proper English in his later teens, who, before that, only attended rural primary schools in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Ishmael Beah was caught right in the middle of the Sierra Leone civil war and was a child soldier himself.

And when a person who has seen that much decides to talk about life, the wise man listens.

So you should read this book.