Hell on earth — 2 years ago
Less lacerating perhaps than Kourouma’s take on child soldiers, militias and senseless civil war, this is still a stark story. The parallel and intertwined narrative strategy is ingenious in that one sees things from . The violence and sociopathy, the brutal rapes and the cynical trigger-happy people who perform them have their own logic. Dongala however must think that it is would be too much for the reader and so he serves up a contrasting perspective of life under assault from these hellish small boy units. It does soak up some of the shock. Too much of the unrelenting violence would lose the audience. The indictment of the international community, well, that is par for the course. The set pieces have indeed historical antecedants: helicopter interventions, rescuing only favoured nationals and leaving the locals to fend for themselves, collateral damage etc. A novel about outrage at the depths to which we can descend in Africa.