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Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood Paperback – 3 Jan 2003
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'Like Frank McCourt, Fuller writes with devastating humour and directness about desperate circumstances.' Daily Telegraph
‘Told with all the intensity of Lorna Sage’s Bad Blood ’ The TimesSee all Product description
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My acquaintance with Africa is restricted to a small number of holidays and a slightly larger number of business trips - and of course reading books like this.
Bo (sorry to be familiar but I felt we were good friends by the end of the book) writes so evocatively that it's just like being back there.
If you want a taste of Africa and an absolutely compelling family story read this book.
In the mid-60's, a Mau-Mau like group of local rebels, vaguely communist inspired, the Simbas, attacked isolated farms (all farms were isolated) to chase out of the country all remaining Europeans and we had to take what precautions we could. We had far less weaponry around the house than the family in the book and only my father handled his hunting rifle. We also had a small hand gun, meant mainly to have a go at the snakes (although our fore-man was far better at it with his "coupe-coupe", his machete). When things became untenable, we took a rather dramatic runner, passing through two improvised prison-camps - luckily held by the official Congolese army. Each time the officers let us go when their men's mood turned decidedly nasty, although in the second camp they did not let go other families with teenaged children or adults without children. When we left, their men had started sorting the adults for execution after having brought in a machete'd "collaborator" to show what they had in mind and took pot-shots at us while we were running towards our van. We finally ended up in a refugee-camp in Uganda, where an outbreak of polio was in full flight. The men were called up to man barricades at the border, as the Congolese army was deemed likely to attack the refugee-camp. The women and children had to take refuge in a water-tower. From there, we eventually returned to a very different country - for us children at least - Belgium. We could never ascertain what had happened to the other families in the second prison camp, which probably means they got out in the end as well. Different story from the book, but a lot of things ring nevertheless quite familiar.
The book is well written and adopts the right tone for the subject as seen through a growing child's eyes. To be recommended.
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on a book after just 50 pages of reading, but this one gets 10 out of 10 for succeeding.Read more