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Tom Craigmyle (Bath)

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Ten Weeks in Africa
Ten Weeks in Africa
by J M Shaw
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story, well written., 20 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Ten Weeks in Africa (Hardcover)
In a fictional African Republic (a sort of Uganda with a coast) where corruption is normal and tribal allegiances trump moral values, the plot follows Government ministers, slum-dwellers, and a well-intentioned Aid worker, as the government collapses. Aid agencies are addicted to giving without reference to benefit, officials steal without fear of exposure, do-gooders move on to the next project, while "the Army of Celestial Peace" hack and slaughter their way to power and those wonderful Western handouts. The author sites fifteen reference works "among others". While I enjoyed the good read - an easy page-turner - the book also gave me a digest of how the whole woeful circus operates.

Under the Sun
Under the Sun
by Justin Kerr-Smiley
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faith and honour under strain., 3 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Under the Sun (Hardcover)
A British airman is captured by Japanese soldiers in the South Pacific.

Under the Sun is the subtlest of the POW genre, where the theatre of conflict shifts to the cultures of the protagonists, under the ever-present threat of death or dishonour. Two men square up to each other, each confident enough of himself to want to know the other; an illicit friendship that would earn either a Court Martial. Meanwhile, the World War closes in like the sharks around their island paradise.

This is an easy and enjoyable read, always charming, sometimes thrilling. It is never far from fearful pathos, yet there is a sort of innocence in the main characters that keeps hope alive. It is a story of men in war, rather than a `war story', so don't go looking for blood-lust and battle heroics. The research has been meticulous, and the exploration of the mind-sets as honest an exposition as you could find.

The book is surprisingly gentle given the subject matter. It is well written, engaging and fun. Try to get a few signed copies to flog when Kerr-Smiley is famous.

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