3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Exceptional journy into the heart of man, nature & history,
By A Customer
This review is from: No Mercy: A Journey into the Heart of the Congo (Paperback)
O'Hanlons book - in his own great tradition and the tradition of travel and soul writer Bruce Chattwick - is a splendid piece of Art. The book is a travelor's impression, a natural science description of flora & fauna of the Congolese jungle, an ethnographic description of tribes, traditions and beliefs, a political opinion on the communist state-form in Africa, it is also a fascinating plot and adventure story - but it is, above all, more than all these parts: the vivid, humorous, spell-binding and exact description provides the reader with an all encompassing inside into the human nature - ours and theirs - the fragility of life, and the exteme span of priorities the peoples populating this earth pursue. Even though one might guess the actual outcome of the trip as such, I read the entire book in one spell-bound session, laughing at times, having shivers running up my spine at others - this book sticks in your memory, and deepens the understanding of the world. Above all because O'Hanlon does not teach, preach or offers opinions: almost all is written in direct speech, and where not, like a diary - the reader travels with the author, is experiencing all his adventures looking over his shoulder. Therefore the impact is strikingly direct. Also, I'd say, it is a must read for all who work in or for-, or are interested in central Afrika - and to others who wonder why things seem to happen differently, and according to different agendas, in that part of the world.