NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Saturday, May 17, 2008

ALLAH IS NOT OBLIGED

by Ahmadou Kourouma



Allah is Not Obliged is the the story of Birahima, who tells of his three years as a child-soldier in war-torn West Africa. If you have an issue with offensive language in your reading, skip this book. There is not a single page that does not contain phrases that will make your hair stand up. Strangely, it doesn't come off as gratuitous. It bothered me at first, but after a while it seemed the only way this kid would talk, considering his life. With the atrocities he not only sees but participates in, the greed and corruption that surround him, it's not likely he's going to express his thoughts like a country gentleman. The book is exceedingly disturbing in it's bluntness. Not in a way that makes you sad, but in a way that makes you cringe and look away. You think to yourself, "He has to be making this up. This has to be exaggerated." But, even though it's fiction, you're sickly certain that he's not off the mark at all. You only wish he was. And then you get sad. It's sad what people do to each other.

Kourouma was working on a sequel to this when he died, which I would have read if only to see what happened to this hopelessly messed up kid in his hopelessly mess-up world.

Lezlie

Learn more about this book and the author at this Official Web Site.

2 comments:

stefanie said...

I have this book in a pile somewhere. I am glad to hear it is a good however difficult the subject matter. It's good be challenged to look at ugly things sometimes.

Lezlie said...

Stefanie ~ I think so, too. They're not always "fun" reads, but I get a lot out of them emotionally.

L.