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Life and a Half: A Novel
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Life and a Half: A Novel

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Listed as one of the 100 best books on Africa, Life and a Half was Sony Labou Tansi's response to the death of close friends during a bloody military and political crackdown in Congo. The novel takes place in an imaginary African country run by the latest in a series of cannibalistic dictators who has captured Martial, the leader of the opposition, and his family. Though s...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Indiana University Press (first published 1979)
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Tuck
turned back to his Four Seasons meat, which he cut and ate with the same bloody knife." ?

a gruesome fiction of what the big man gets up to in africa. he takes, he stuffs his face, he fucks, he kills. he gives to his family and friends, he protects the weak. a fascinating novel written is vernacular, but rendered in english. a must read for modern afica lit philes.
Jo
The subject matter of the book means that it is a tough read at times, but it skillfully captures the link between tyranny and absurdity. Beautifully written, wide in scope and quite possibly brilliant.

Note that the violence in this book has an unreality to it but is also very extreme. If you can make it through the first chapter you will likely be ok for the rest; in my opinion, it is worth it.
Harry Rutherford
This is my book from the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the Read The World challenge (which was still the Belgian Congo when Sony Lab’ou Tansi was born and was Zaire when he died).

It is yet another book about dictatorship—a sequence of dictatorships in this case, each as violent and capricious as the one before. From the very first scene, in which a man refuses to die even as his body is hacked into ever smaller pieces in front of his family, it is unremittingly brutal and full of impossib...more
Val
Sony Lab'ou Tansi was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, when it was a Belgian colony. His family moved to the Republic of the Congo (former French colony) where he learnt French and English. He became a teacher, a government administrator and ran a theatre group. He was committed to democracy and campaigned for it through his work, but it was under the democratically elected government that he himself suffered restrictions.

This short novel is one of many plays, screenplays, novels, lette...more
Yamini
Beautifully written, captivating, but also so, so disturbing. I'm not an easy person to gross out, so don't read this if you have a weak stomach. I loved it but not without having to take frequent breaks from the gruesome descriptions of eating flesh. At the same time, however, a very powerful way to deal with Labou Tansi's issues with the Congo.
John Baker
Colonialism fucking sucks. So does racism.
alteredLibrarian
Cinq etoiles! Le meilleur roman de Labou Tansi.
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The Seven Solitudes of Lorsa Lopez Parentheses of Blood The Antipeople Het teken van Martial Die heillose Verfassung

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