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Facing The Congo - Jeffrey Tayler

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Facing the Congo - Jeffrey Tayler

Facing the Congo - Jeffrey Tayler

Recent years have seen a spate of "Congo books". Ronan Bennett, Barbara Kingsolver and ... more

John Edric have written acclaimed Congo novels,
and Adam Hochschild's history, King Leopold's
Ghost, documents the atrocities committed during
rubber fever, when 8,000,000 died in the Belgian
Congo and up to 14,000,000 died in French
Equatorial Africa. In the travel genre, we have
had Redmond O'Hanlon's great Congo Journey and
Michaela Wrong's In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz. The
combination of historical tragedy and contemporary
anarchy makes this rich hunting ground for
writers, but also provokes serious ethical
questions about writing commercial books on a
destroyed country--questions which only the nature
of the books themselves can answer.Facing the
Congo is the latest such book. In it, Jeffrey
Tayler recounts his attempt to canoe the navigable
length of sub-Saharan Africa's most symbolic
river. Equipped with help from one of Mobutu's
henchmen and an ailing guide, Tayler finds things
far from plain sailing. Negotiating corrupt
officialdom, murderous peoples on the riverbanks,
widespread suspicion and the dangers of the river
itself, he ultimately finds his plans too
demanding to be fully realised.Tayler's prose is
often evocative and his story is a compelling one.
But he tends to load his descriptions with
adjectives, which can over-dramatise situations.
Of course this is a dramatic adventure, and Tayler
tells it well, but at the end you can't help
feeling that too little attention is paid to the
root causes of both his troubles and the current
situation in the Congo--rubber fever, greed and a
callous European superiority complex. --Toby Green

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Facing The Congo - Jeffrey Tayler

Facing The Congo - Jeffrey Tayler

Outstanding travel narrative about a journey up the Congo river: superbly evocative ... more

writing in the tradition of Paul Theroux and Bruce
Chatwin

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Manufacturer's product description

Outstanding travel narrative about a journey up the Congo river: superbly evocative writing in the tradition of Paul Theroux and Bruce Chatwin

Product details

Type Non-Fiction
Genre Travel
Subgenre Travel writing
Publisher Little
Release Date 02.05.2002
Author Jeffrey Tayler
Title Facing The Congo
EAN 9780349114507

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since 16/02/2011

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