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Ut it was all done with a sledgehammer rather than his usual deft touch Overweight beleaguered Morgan Leafy a minor official in the fictional African country of Kinjaja muddles his way through a series of misadventures He faces scandal blackmail and venereal disease as well as a righteous Scottish doctor whom he must attempt to bribe A very funny novel with solid human characters and wonderfully bizarre situations that are nevertheless believable than say Tom Sharpe s The plot unfolds compellingly in three parts with the middle part a flashback and the third a continuation of the first This is than just a comic novel it s an almost poignant commentary on what it means to be human Leafy is an ass and he brings most but not all of his troubles on himself yet he has the reader s sympathy throughout An extremely enjoyable book Setting Kinjanja West Africa In his debut novel William Boyd tells the story of Morgan Leafy secretary to the British High Commissioner in the town of Nkongsamba a thoroughly jaded and not particularly ikeable character who has been in the country for several years and although generally disliking it has no particular ambition to do anything else Through his often well meaning actions Morgan gets involved in blackmail adultery body snatching election tampering and bribery and the outcomes are rarely the intended onesI have read several of William Boyd s novels but Modern South Asia liked this one theeast of all of them perhaps it was because it was a debut novel and he was just finding his feet as an author perhaps it was the high expectations generated from cover blurb describing the novel as uproariously funny The Observer certainly if I was going to recommend a book about Africa that was uproariously funny it would be Indecent Exposure or Riotous Assembly which are definitely that This one to me was not didn t especially Picture Theory like the central character so this was a bit of a miss for me Still won t put me off reading other books by him which I already have as I have enjoyed the four others of his I have read 610 My second book club book turned up trumps thanks to my fellow member for recommending this to the groupThe folly of imperial Africa isaid bare The personality of diplomatic relationships exposed Power and Ancestral Voices lust collide All told through the eyes of an imperfect Englishman struggling to make a name for himselfAt times funny shocking intriguing or all at once A page turner with a good story that moves cleverly between time periodsWill read of Boyd now. Anned from horizontal delights by a nasty dose Falling back on his deepaid reserves of misanthropy and guile Morgan has to fight off the sea of humiliation betrayal and ju ju that threatens to wash over him.
Morgan Leafy is a great tragi comic character This is a good story with a And Bid Him Sing lot of humour Like Rome Nkongsamba was built on seven hills but there the similarity ended Set in undulating tropical rain forest from the air it resembled nothing so much as a giant pool of crapulous vomit on somebody s expansive unmownawn Every building was roofed with corrugated iron in various advanced stages of rusty erosion and from the window of the Commission established nobly on a hill above town Morgan could see the roofs stretch before him an ochrous tin checker board a bilious metallic sea the paranoiac vision of a mad town plannerMorgan Leafy is the protagonist of this comedy set in the fictitious town of Nkongsamba state capital of the Mid West region of Kinjanja West Africa As the second in command to the Deputy High Commissioner he occupies what could be considered an important post in Her Majesty the ueen s diplomatic service if only Nkongsamba could be considered a posting of any conseuence As the story begins Leafy s many trials are just beginning with the announcement that his new assistant just recently arrived for the UK to give a helping hand has gotten engaged to his boss s daughter which he himself had had high hopes of marrying This is only a minor setback though because there are pressing matters to attend to mainly the business of bribing a high official a task which he s been blackmailed into taking on and also getting rid of the body of a Aristotle Detective (Aristotle local woman recently hit byightning which her compatriots absolutely defend anybody from touching for fear a Bones, Clones, and Biomes local wrathful deity will take offence Caught between a boss who uses him to take care of any and all unpleasant and humiliating tasks he can come up with and a megalomaniacocal politician who threatens to reveal his most compromising secrets not to mention the amorous attentions of the politician s wife and a nice dose of ghonorrea passed on to him by his ocal girlfriend Leafy s trials and tribulations truly make for a comical read as he tries to extricate himself from a mess that just keeps getting complicated and unpleasant with every move he makes I m not altogether sure what to make of A Good Man in Africa It was certainly entertaining and I guess I should take into consideration that it was William Boyd s first published effort for which he won both a Whitbread and a Somerset Maugham award and also that it was hardly a story I could expect to end with all oose ends perfectly tied up and neatly tucked in. Escapee from suburbia overweight oversexed Morgan Leafy isn't overburdened with worldly success Actually he is refreshingly free from it But then as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinja.
While this book certainly works well as high comedy I couldn t help but feel a slight discomfort about the way in which the ocals are depicted as either unscrupulous power hungry manipulators or superstitious simpletons content to ive in sualor and stinking decay but in all fairness all the characters in this biting satire receive evenhanded treatment as unlikeable individuals all the better to reflect Leafy s own cynical view of humanity which he may or may not be forced to reconsider by novel s end 45 stars which means I will most probably give it another reading or two sometime My actual rating for this book is a 35 I really enjoyed reading it but I had to take periodic breaks because poor Morgan s Building the Cold War life was such a shitshow it just got overwhelming Half of the crap is from other peopleike his boss Fanshawe And half of the crap is of his own making Like Hazel and Celia But you do feel Canadian Art, Volume 1 (A-F) like he s asked to put up with than anyone can reasonably handle Anyway it was a good tragicomedy that was fun than I expected Ioved this book and was uite surprised to see so many one star reviews I think fans of Evelyn Waugh and of Kingsley Amis s Lucky Jim will Counter-Amores like it It helps if you don t mind the protagonist being a reprehensible character This was William Boyd s award winning first novel so I thought I would give it a try after having LOVED Restless This is dated and terrible not at all funny Don t waste your time I kept hoping it would get better and it didn t If I had known I wouldn t have wasted my time I found this book absolutely hilarious I wasiterally in hysterics for an entire 20 page chapter my husband was Dancing at Armageddon looking at me in awe as I have notaughed that Double Jeopardy long or hard in ages and as he says I am a hard audience That being said it s not a riot throughout but Boyd develops the characters so well that he can pull this off artfully Havingived in Africa and England I really appreciated Boyd s characters in all their Africanness and their Britishness Morgan Leafy is an aspiring diplomat in a small West African nation and despite the best of intentions he makes a complete ass of himself I l eave it at that I d Cezanne and Provence love to hear if others find it as amusing I didn t realise until seeing other reviews that this was Boyd s first book I was so glad to discover that for I was concerned he dost his touch One of the things I really Dark Voices love about his books is how well he knows Africa Of course he s also a great storytellerIn this one all the component parts were present Nja it was not very constructive of him to get involved in wholesale bribery Nor was it exactly oiling his way up theadder to hunt down the improbably pointed breasts of his boss' daughter when officially
REVIEW A Good Man in Africa
book pdf A Good Man in Africa – avitamin.us
A Good Man in Africa 1981 was publishedBoyd spent eight years in academia during which time his first film Good and Bad at Games was made When he was offered a college lecturership which would mean spending time teaching he was forced to choose between teaching and writingBoyd was selected in 1983 as one of the 20 'Best of Young British Novelists' in a promotion run by Granta magazine and the Book Marketing Council He also became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in the same year and is also an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres He has been presented with honorary doctorates in literature from the universities of St Andrews Stirling and Glasgow He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005Boyd has been with his wife Susan since they met as students at Glasgow University and all his books are dedicated to her His wife is editor at large of Harper's Bazaar magazine and they currently spend about thirty to forty days a year in the US He and his wife have a house in Chelsea West London but spend most of the year at their chateau in Bergerac in south west France where Boyd produces award winning wines