This book provides and interesting insight into the experiences of one individual working in Zambia. The book contains many small sections/chapters that seem to have been thrown together almost randomly. The book would really benefit from redrafting to give a more chronological account of the two years spent in Zambia, and more careful attention is required to vividly portrait the `emotional rollercoaster' (A classic VSO workshop activity) of adjusting to living in a completely different culture. The book contains some good material (both about the authors personal experiences and also ideas about development, economics etc.) but is repetitive at times, with the author making some points three or even four times.
The author could have consulted more widely on the possible reasons for his apparently quite negative experiences in Zambia. One thing that just hit me in the face again and again was the author's willingness to hand out money to all and sundry. Even in passages relating to later time points during his stay, he was still lending money left right and centre. It was absolutely no surprise to me that the local people came to view him as some kind of bank. In Zambia, someone who hands out money like that is generally considered a fool, and is hence fare game. The author also comes across as slightly self-righteous at times (his generosity, his work ethic etc...) and could maybe explore more (he did to some extent) how his own actions may have contributed to the negative aspects of his experience.
Overall I feel the book paints an unjustly negative impression of a country that I know well. Zambia became a free nation state in 1964. England became a unified state in 927. This may be a somewhat arbitrary starting point, but in terms of millennium development goals, year on year, you can't see Zambia for dust.