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One Hundred Days [Kindle Edition]

Lukas Bärfuss , Tess Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Book Description

When Swiss aid worker David Hohl arrives in Rwanda in 1990, he wants to know what it feels like to make a difference.Instead, he finds himself among expats, living a life of postcolonial privilege and boredom, and he begins to suspect that the agency is more concerned with political expedience than improving lives. But are his own motives any more noble?When civil war breaks out and David goes into hiding, he is forced to examine his own relationship to the country he wants to help and to the cosmopolitan Rwandan woman he wants to possess. As the genocide rages over the course of one hundred desperate days, the clear line David has always drawn between idealism and complicity quickly begins to blur.

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Review

One Hundred Days is written in the spare, distilled language that befits its task, never sensational and never squeamish... It is an unflinchingly political novel that brings across its devastating message without making any narrative compromises - "Times Literary Supplement" [A] harrowing portrayal of organised slaughter... it explores the existential dilemmas that come with being Swiss - a more interesting topic than you might imagine... Magnificent - "Glasgow Herald" His writing is seriously good, dramatising horrific events in illuminating ways -"Independent""

About the Author

Lukas Barfuss, born in Thun, Switzerland in 1971, is one of the most successful dramatists to emerge in recent years, and his plays are staged all over the world. Barfuss was voted playwright of the year in the critic poll featured by the magazine "Theater heute" in 2005. Barfuss was awarded the Mara-Cassens Prize, the Schiller Prize and the Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis Prize for One Hundred Days. He was also nominated for the German and Swiss Book Prize.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 412 KB
  • Print Length: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (4 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0095SDC3U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #467,487 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Sofia
Format:Paperback
"One Hundred Days" purports to be about the genocide in Rwanda and for some, myself included, that might be a cause for wariness. In actual fact the 1994 massacre of nearly a million Rwandans (mostly Tutsi) is only covered over the novel's last 30 pages.

Barfuss' novel is actually a far more interesting novel about moral ambiguities; not just those universal to all war stories, but also, more challengingly, those that motivate Europeans to go and live and work in far-flung developing nations. The protagonist, David Hohl, is a Swiss ex-pat who chooses to work for a Development Agency in Kigali several years before the infamous civil war. Barfuss really challenges this choice, portraying it as a quasi-colonial quest for excitement in the modern world. There is much debate throughout the book about the effectiveness of any of the Agency's projects (with a few tragic exceptions) and through David and his adventures, Barfuss really questions the loyalties and motivations of these apparently virtuous ex-pats.

"One Hundred Days" doesn't seek to explain the Rwandan genocide, nor take sides, in fact the book makes great play of illustrating how little, if at all, Europeans parachuted into countries such as Rwanda can truly understand a people or a country, especially when they refuse to even try to learn the local language. There are frequent attempts to explain the tribal histories but they also highlight how messy the push for power is and with this translation avoiding almost completely the mention of 'Tutsi' or 'Hutu', opting instead for 'Longs' and 'Shorts', the utter senselessness of interethnic violence is underlined even more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific 21 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I did know abut the horrors of Rwanda and the genocide, and knowing something of that is helpful ... but this brought everything terrifically to light. It gave much to think about, concerning the global aid industry, but was a truly compelling drama in itself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moral dilemmas 25 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book during the twelve days of Kindle just because it sounded interesting and was cheap. What a gem.

It is about the genocide in Rwanda but more to the point when wanting to do good turns out you actually not only made it worse but with your "tools" you allowed killing on a grand scale. And once you accepted your guilt is it therefore allowed to go with the flow, fraternise with killers to get even with another killer and to save your life. Can guilt become so strong that you give up on your idealism and trade with corrupt men in order to visit a corrupted) woman because you think her understanding will bring you the sense of "you are forgiven, it was not you, it was the country"? And how do you live with guilt and shame for the rest of your life?

On top of it, it is political and investigates the dark side of a society based on strict order and how easily it can flip over from giving security to hell.
Dont expect background on what happened, the reader is expected to know that or look it up. However you get a rough picture.
And during each step "David" takes you, ask yourself: "What would I have done in his shoes."
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