This book is both entertaining and informative about the current situation in Africa. Some New Zealand cyclist friends had planned on going to Africa, but changed their minds after reading "Dark Star Safari".
I believe what Paul Theroux says about Aid Agencies in Africa is verifiable and logical. People are kept in a dependent status by giving them what they should get for themselves. The West has done irreptuable harm to people of less fortunate countries by doing for them what they should and can do for themselves.
He has written so many travel books and novels. I read them all. Too many to list. His views are insightful and a bit twisted...he is definitely not the guy you bring home to meet "mom". Seriously...any of them are great and if you can meet him at a book review you will see what I mean...very edgy. Reminds me of the Oscar Wilde comment about heaven versus hell and Wilde chose hell because you would meet so many more interesting people...Theroux would be there waiting for you....Continua
Paul Theroux wants to get away from his desk, from emails, faxes and mobile phones .. so he embarks on a journey back to Africa where he had been a teacher some 40 years earlier (in Uganda and Malawi). He starts from Cairo and crosses a dozen countries across the entire continent, ending the monumental journey in Cape Town, South Africa. This is no tourist-type affair - Paul does is the hard way: in crowded buses, run-down trains, canoes, on foot, alongside the colourful and diverse locals he meets along the way. Here is an excerpt: "I had seen poor roads on this trip but this one was spectacularly bad, worse than the no-road route through the Sudanese desert ...... The day was very hot, there was no shade, and the land stretched ahead, white and dazzling, like an alkali desert. We were travelling at about ten miles an hour and had 200 miles ahead of us...."
It's a good read if you are interested in the cultural and geographical aspects of many different countries in Africa, narrated with gusto, with humour and with a prose that "leaps to life like a mosaic splashed with water."...Continua