read_warbler (read_warbler) wrote,

Swahili For the Broken Hearted

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This one was an 'okay' read. Peter Moore, the author of Swahili For the Broken Hearted, sets off on a journey from Cape Town to Cairo, travelling cheaply, ie. minibuses, ordinary buses, lifts from lorries, after breaking up with his girlfriend. Much of the book was interesting. This was the real Africa not the Africa the tourist sees. He pulls no punches about the poverty and the desperation he observes, the political turmoil and so on, and for that alone it's a worthwhile read. His writing didn't exactly set the book alight though, which is a shame because it did have its moments:

'As I ate the children reached across and tentatively stroked my hair. My flat soft hair was a revelation to them, so different from the coarse, springy hair they had. In the days of apartheid hair was used to determine your colour. A pencil was stuck in your hair and if it fell out you were white. If it didn't you were deemed coloured and sent off to a township'.

This was in Khayelitsha, a black township in Cape Town, a supposedly dangerous place for a white man to venture, so the man doesn't lack bottle. Nor honesty, he loathed some of the countries, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia for instance, and doesn't hesitate to say so. Not bad. I'd give it three and half out of five.

Not a book rec. now but a movie one. Some weeks ago I read 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff and loved it to bits. Someone (I think it was agentxpndble), mentioned the movie so I went ahead and ordered the dvd. I watched it a couple of nights ago - it stars Anthony Hopkins and er... Clare Bloom I think it was. It's a super film, even Hubby enjoyed it, well worth picking up if you see it cheap (or even not cheap).

Next read: Time to return to some gay fantasy I think, so it'll be Traitor's Moon by Lynn Flewelling - the third in her Nightrunner series.
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