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The full, final and completely complete title of my bullshit story is: Allah is not obliged to be fair about all things he does here on earth'. Birahima's story is one of horror and laughter. After his mother's death he travels to Liberia to find his aunt but on the way gets caught up in rebel fighting and ends up with a Kalashnikov in his hands. He tells of the chaotic and terrible adventures that follow in his career as a small soldier with heartbreaking bravado and wisdom.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099433927
ISBN-10: 0099433923
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 14mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 2-Aug-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » This fourth and final novel by the acclaimed Ivoirian (1927 - 2003), published in France in 2000, combines an invented child-soldier's story with that of a gallery of real warlords. The narrator, Birahima, a ten-year-old who loves to cuss, belongs to the Malinke tribe of Ivory Coast - "Black Nigger African Natives" - a constant refrain; but Birahima has access to four different dictionaries, and he proudly parades definitions (an over-used device). In this way, Kourouma sets up a tension between the "primitive" and the "civilized." The self-styled street kid drops out of village school after third grade (the dictionaries come later) - his father died young; his mother after injuries incurred in the ceremony of excision (clitoris removal). The village elders decide Birahima must join his aunt, who has fled from her abusive husband to Liberia, so in June 1993, he begins his journey, accompanied by Yacouba, a village hotshot, a money multiplier and marabout (fortune-teller) bedecked in grigris (amulets). This is a world saturated in history and superstitions, which coexist with Islam and Christianity; what's new are the child soldiers in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Eager to join them, Birahima gets his chance soon enough and is given a kalash (AK-47). He participates in the killing, and sees fellow child-soldiers killed in a kind of dark vaudeville. His quest for his aunt is put on hold while the author offers thumbnail sketches of Liberian warlords such as Charles Taylor and Prince Johnson. Kourouma then delves (too deeply) into a ribald history of factional blood-letting in Sierra Leone; top billing goes to Foday Sankoh, that notorious amputator of hands and arms. ECOMOG, the Nigerian-dominated peacekeeping force, is also pilloried. The author's implicit message is that all the players, religions included, have failed a generation of young Africans. As eye-catching as graffiti, but lacking the emotional power of Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation (2006). (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Ahmadou Kourouma

Ahmadou Kourouma was born in the Ivory Coast in 1927. Hailed as one of the leading African writers in French, he died in 2003.

Books By Author Ahmadou Kourouma

Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote by Ahmadou Kourouma

Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote

Paperback, May 2004
$19.28
Allah Is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma

Allah Is Not Obliged

Paperback / softback,

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