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Tribal Gathering - Eight stories set in 1960's post-colonial West Africa [Paperback]

Kenneth C Ryeland
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 8.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 Jan 2008
Tribal Gathering is a collection of stories set in an imaginary West African state shortly after gaining its independence from the British in 1962. Struggling to come to terms with the tribalism, nepotism, corruption and greed that flourishes at all levels of society is part of everyday-life and relatively simple compared to the problems of surviving three military coups and a civil war. It is against this backdrop and that of a rapidly failing infrastructure that the stories evolve. From the dry heat of the Northern Desert to the suffocating humidity of the Delta, the stories tell of the daily ordeal as the characters try to live out their lives against all the odds. Betrayal, revenge, ignorance, pride and stupidity intermingled with witchcraft, African Deities and Freemasonry, these stories have it all and Ken Ryeland deals with them in his usual consummate way to provide interesting and compelling reading.

Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Bright Pen (3 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755210786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755210787
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,760,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After 20 years living and working in Africa, the Far East and the Middle East, Ken Ryeland returned to the UK and occupied various senior engineering and research posts within the motor and insurance industries before retiring in 2004. He is a widower, has three grown children and likes gardening, writing, cross-country walking, classic British motorcycles and fine red wines.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 23 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Never having been a lover of short stories I must admit I hesitated before buying Tribal Gatherings but I decided to give it a try. I was looking for something 'different' to read. I'm so glad I bought it. Tribal Gatherings is a brilliant read from start to finish.
From the first page I was drawn into the story and simply had to finish it there and then.
Every story was well thought out and had many twists and turns along the way. These kept you guessing as to what the outcome of the story would be.
The stories have stayed with me and this is always the sign of an excellent writer, who knows their craft inside out.
K.C. Ryeland is a born story teller and I look forward to reading more of his work.
I highly recommend Tribal Gatherings.
Dancing with Spirits Birmingham Girls
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Read 7 Jan 2012
By Brucie
Format:Paperback
Bought this as a present for my dad as he worked in West Africa in the 1950's/60's and he has found it to be a brilliant read. My mum, who joined him there after their wedding, is now reading it and I'm next in the queue!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World of "Dash" or be Dashed! 5 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
These eight stories perfectly recreate a lost world: the early post-colonial era in West Africa. They present both a faithful portrait of expatriate society and a brave attempt to get under the skin of local West African cultures.

The stories from a European perspective amply illustrate the fascination/aversion, and above all, frustration that the European managers felt towards local traditions; while the stories from a native perspective attempt to get inside a civilization that appears to both repel and captivate the author.

Many of the stories draw on the incomprehensibility of both parts of the equation. The Europeans cannot understand why the local culture is as it is and the locals find it difficult to come to terms with European demands which are totally alien to their society. However, the worldview presented in "Tribal Gathering" is not (and excuse the pun) just black-and-white. In the story "The Visit" we clearly see how the visiting director from Europe neither knows, nor desires to know anything about the country in which his company has invested; contrasting greatly with the superior knowledge of the local British manager, who has lived in the country long enough to know how things work there. The story "Tief Man" attempts to give us an insight into how the grinding poverty of much of West Africa leads otherwise honest citizens into a life of crime that their better off counterparts find incomprehensible.

There are stories dealing with the strange and powerful world of local "juju" beliefs, or the pantheon of local gods; and a story which explains how sudden death can be met at almost any crossroads on the continent.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tribal Gathering by Kenneth C Ryeland 18 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback
I have to confess I approached this book with some trepidation. A series of short stories about a fictional African country in the 1960s is hardly my bag, but I made the commitment to review the book and went into it with an open mind.

And what a wonderful surprise it was. I absolutely loved the book. The stories are set in the fictional country of Nibana in West Africa, but the situations and characters are very real. Each story has a clear beginning, middle and end, most of them ending with a grisly, almost Dahl-esque twist. Ryeland's experiences of working in Africa in the Sixties certainly enriches the book with realistic touches, language and settings.

I wouldn't recommend the book for those that are easily offended. It is hardly PC and creates the impression that many of Africa's modern day problems are down to the end of Colonialisation and the corruption that self-government bought. Do not be mislead though, the book also highlights the attitudes of the white people who remained in Africa, making money from the indigenous people. Attitudes that occasionally led to un-rest.

My only criticism is sometimes Ryeland overuses back stories, which detracts from the story, and there are not enough women in the book, and for the most part (apart from the last story) are only on the periphery.

Minor criticisms though. This book held my interest and I would be happy to read anything else by this author.

Karen Mason for I Heard it on the Grapevine
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 23 Aug 2010
By Carol Arnall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Never having been a lover of short stories I must admit I hesitated before buying Tribal Gatherings, but I decided to give it a try. I was looking for something 'different' to read. I'm so glad I bought it. Tribal Gatherings is a brilliant read from start to finish.
From the first page I was drawn into the story and simply had to finish it there and then.
Every story was well thought out and had many twists and turns along the way. These kept you guessing as to what the outcome of the story would be.
The stories have stayed with me and this is always the sign of an excellent writer, who knows their craft inside out.
K.C. Ryeland is a born story teller and I look forward to reading more of his work.
I highly recommend Tribal Gatherings.

SPIRITS OF THE LIGHTS
Dancing with Spirits
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