The Black Stars of Ghana Paperback – 8 May 2012
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'Alan Whelan's latest book, The Black Stars of Ghana, is littered with enviable and illuminating turns-of-phrase of the kind that made African Brew Ha-Ha one of the stand out books in recent motorcycle travel writing.' - Overland Magazine
'A vivid and moving introduction to Ghana from a novel and welcome perspective' --Lord Boateng
'He combined both to take the motorcycle diary writing market by storm with African Brew Ha-Ha and has just followed up with The Black Stars of Ghana, another one man and his bike epic solo odyssey.' --Blackpool Gazette
'Alan Whelan's journey to the far reaches of this extraordinary country is documented with startling clarity... The Black Stars of Ghana is an insightful, well-written memoir which positively sparkles with energy and colour - a snapshot of a defining moment in the recent history of a nation. This is an important read for any biker with a sense of adventure.' --Visor Down website
Top Customer Reviews
If you are after a book on bitchin biker stuff this is not for you. A locally acquired Chinese Royal RYGY 150cc is anyway hardly the stuff of biker dreams.
It is thoughtful, contemplative and gentle, rich with the humour of the chance encounter with strange Ghaniaian characters and tinged at other times with sadness.
Another interesting adventure by a man seemingly oblivious to the risk of the unknown. I do not know that many would venture in a strange country with no western trappings
except a small camera and a blind faith of finding good in strangers and in the reliability of a talking Chinese clone bike- "wehcorm to woyoh motorcycoo"
Read and enjoy. I did.
At the end of the book, Alan Whelan says, "I came to Ghana to disprove the suggestion that giving African colonies independence in the 1950s would be like giving a child a latch-key, a bank account and a shot gun." "But now," he says, "the country has plenty to teach the West: its ingenuity, perseverance and the ability to keep in plain sight the important aspects of life." Whelan travels across Ghana by motorbike, stopping off to watch the World Cup Football matches that Ghana plays in 2010.
This book is all about giving the general reader snapshots of life in Ghana today, and what to expect if you travel there. It's a feel good book that makes you want to go to Ghana and it makes you understand why Whelan wanted to sell a lot of his possessions when he returned - the things you don't need as you travel through life. The people of Ghana are presented as full of hope, humour, and hospitality. Whelan admires them for the way they naturally come to each others' help, and tries to emulate that - for example, by allowing a man whose motorbike has broken down to catch hold of his arm and be towed along (up hill and down hill) to the next town!
I really liked the inscrutable names of taxis and shops: The It Take No Time vehicle repair shop, the Be A Man bar, the Don't Mind Your Wife bar, the Messiah hotel ("a glimpse of Heaven"), the Don't Go There taxi, and so on.Read more ›