Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “La vie et demie” as Want to Read:
La vie et demie
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

La vie et demie

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Grandeur et décadence de la Katamalanasie, immense pays d'Afrique noire soumis à la plus sanglante, mais aussi la plus absurde des dictatures. Les morts n'y meurent jamais tout à fait, juste retour des choses puisque les vivants n'ont guère le droit d'y vivre. Si le constat de Sony Labou Tansi, pour drôle et réjouissant qu'il soit, peut paraître pessimiste, c'est qu'il ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 191 pages
Published October 14th 1998 by Seuil (first published 1979)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about La vie et demie, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about La vie et demie

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 14, 2013 Tuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: south-africa
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.
Sep 07, 2014 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 16, 2016 Max rated it it was amazing
Very strong, beautiful, cruel, horrible and fascinating as only black Africa can be. Not for everybody. It doesn't happen me very often to read two times a book, but this one is worth. Artaud? Bataille? Alfred Jarry? What else? A tropical nightmare.
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
May 30, 2012 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-tour
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
Feb 17, 2013 Yamini rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 19, 2016 Florianus rated it it was amazing
Une lecture exigeante, mais méritante. Il s'agit d'un roman satirique sur une dictature dynastique en Afrique et la lutte contre le régime par des moyens parfois très décalés. Le livre est une critique forte du système néocolonialiste.
Janet Alain
Aug 16, 2016 Janet Alain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In memory of Sony who shared with me his vision of Africa, while he was in residence at the La Napoule Art Foundation (chateau Henry Clews).
Christopher rated it liked it
Jul 19, 2012
Christophe rated it it was ok
May 10, 2016
Ben Dragon
Ben Dragon rated it liked it
Mar 13, 2014
Miha Medved
Miha Medved rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2016
Maika Nguyen
Maika Nguyen rated it it was amazing
Dec 19, 2015
Hana Bouziane
Hana Bouziane rated it it was amazing
Dec 04, 2015
Charlotte rated it liked it
Nov 09, 2013
Sam rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2014
Anja rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2013
Kim Ventrella
Kim Ventrella rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2015
Sara Oliveira
Sara Oliveira rated it it was amazing
Jan 28, 2016
Fernanda Vilar
Fernanda Vilar rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2016
Scoutaccount rated it liked it
Nov 17, 2013
Megan Moulos
Megan Moulos rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2016
Guillaume De
Guillaume De rated it really liked it
May 26, 2013
Tsiresy Pierre
Tsiresy Pierre rated it it was ok
Nov 29, 2013
Resla Wesonga
Resla Wesonga rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2016
Sara rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2009
Jen rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2015
Chris rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2008
Laura Lenssen
Laura Lenssen rated it it was ok
May 08, 2016
John Baker
Jun 10, 2012 John Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Colonialism fucking sucks. So does racism.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Sony Lab'ou Tansi (5 July 1947 - 14 June 1995), born Marcel Ntsoni, was a Congolese novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and poet. Though he was only 47 when he died, Tansi remains one of the most prolific African writers and the most internationally renowned practitioner of the "New African Writing." His novel The Antipeople won the Grand Prix Littéraire d'Afrique Noire. In his later years, ...more
More about Sony Labou Tansi...

Share This Book