In the tradition of Joseph Conrad, the author explores the heart of darkness in a traditional African village. But unlike authors in the Great Tradition, his young hero, a Congolese boy, discovers himself by moving from the city to the country, not, like Pip in Great Expectations, from the country to the city.
'"C'est l'arrivee," someone said. These were the first words the boy heard when the lorry on which he and the others had been travelling at last turned into the parking lodge at Bulungu, their final destination after a two-day journey from Kinshasa. The boy was impatient to find out more about this place, which might soon become his permanent home. With his little brain he had imagined that people everywhere lived like the people at his birthplace.'
The idea of clashes or differences between cultures didn't make sense to the young boy who is sent by his international parents to a country village for his social education. For him, everybody, everywhere, had the same family structures, the same moral values, the same needs-the vision of different cultures was elusive if not beyond his grasp. But the impact of this new cultural environment, this formative excursion into the heart of the African darkness, will change his life-and destiny.
An excellent story that will hold the interest and throw a revealing light into the heart of darkness in Africa and on the African culture in which this novel is rooted. While this novel is in the tradition of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the African heart is explored sympathetically and realistically from the African perspective, in the tradition of Chinue Achebe.