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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2009
I bought this having read 'Exterminate All the Brutes', Londqvist's exploration of the genocidal logic of colonialism through the concluding line to Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'. 'Desert Divers' hypnotically uncovers a European infatuation with the Sahara, using language as spare (and often as brutal) as the desert it chronicles. His work is usually described as part travelogue, part history, part literary criticism. Here, Londqvist's late-in-life voyage into the desert that obsessed him as a child in Stockholm merges with the poignant stories of early twentieth-century European writers, whose self-destructive love affairs with the Sahara cast ominous light on his own. Beneath the surface lurks the ghost of colonial atrocity, though the focus is more personal than 'Exterminate All the Brutes'. The fragility of memory, the pursuit of dreams, and the precariousness of morality are among the things Londqvist reflects upon with effortless poetry and startling honesty. The book has the quality of a dream (not always a pleasant one), and I could not put it down. If travel, history or literature (in their broadest senses) interest you in any way, something in this book is sure to grab you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2013
Just back from the desert when I read this. Like all Lindqvist's work, it's gold-dust – utterly focused, fiercely energised, original and shocking. Overall, he's revealing the truth about the West's appalling exploitation of the rest of the world, the rape, pillage, lies and genocide. We need him.
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on 27 September 2013
This title was in the bibliography of something else I was reading. I find people's descriptions of being in the desert (which is something I shall probably never experience) very interesting. This is a thin paperback, very short chapters, but made me want to read the works of St Exupery. An odd little book, but worth reading, if only once!
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on 18 October 2010
Fascinating. Lindqvist explores the personalities of those (mainly) Europeans who fell in love with the desert. A great read.
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