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The King of Kahel

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  111 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Tierno Monénembo 's The King of Kahel was originally published in France in 2008 and was the winner of the French literary prize, the prix Renaudot, which is awarded to the author of an outstanding original novel during the previous year. Loosely based on the life of Olivier de Sanderval, a man who journeyed to Guinea to build an empire by conquering the hostile region of ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published by Amazon Crossings (first published April 30th 2008)
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Sarah
Jul 30, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biographie romancée d'un aventurier ayant réellement existé, Olivier de Sanderval, qui fut maire en France puis roi en pays Peul.
Un personnage pittoresque comme l'atteste son parcours et auquel l'auteur, Tierno Monenembo donne une personnalité absolument excentrique, mais qui incarne également la vision des colonisateurs français "progressistes" du XIXe siècle comme Jules Ferry.
Ses aventures au Fouta Djalon nous donnent un aperçu du fonctionnement de la société peule à cette époque, tandis que s
...more
Harry Rutherford
The King of Kahel is my book from Guinea for the Read The World challenge. It is the first book printed by AmazonCrossing, Amazon’s own publishing imprint specialising in translated literature. They say ‘AmazonCrossing uses customer feedback and other data from Amazon sites to identify exceptional works that deserve a wider, global audience.’ So this book was presumably picked up because it was a big hit in French.

It’s rather unusual among all the post-colonial literature I’ve read for the Read
...more
Kate


I received Le Mot Juste: A Dictionary of Classical and Foreign Words and Phrases for my tenth birthday, and though I am unable to locate it in the stacks at the moment, (though I suspect that it is somewhere in the second or third row of books on the shelf in the foyer) i distinctly remember an entry for a word in Javanese (or Zulu?) that translates roughly into English as "the act of stealing everything a man owns by borrowing each of his possessions one by one and not returning them". This w
...more
Tony
I'm always on the lookout for new fiction from Africa, so when I saw this translation of a Guinean book was available I snapped it up. Aside from my interest in world literature, my grandparents lived in Conakry from 1960-62, so the country holds a particular interest for me. The novel as a form does not have a long history in Africa, and as a result, much of the African fiction available in the West focuses on the struggle for independence and the legacy of colonialism. This book goes further ...more
Karen
Oct 03, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-the-world
Aime Sanderval (Olivier de Sanderval) dreamed of going to Africa to find land that had never been seen by a white man before, so that he could set about improving the Negroes, and creating a new Versailles for France. He was determined to be a King. He believed that he could win over the Kingdom Fouta Djallon (Central Guinea) by enlightenment, not by fighting, and he was convinced if he could become one of the Fulas, they would make him a King.

Monenembo has written this wonderful historical fic
...more
Veterini
Oct 05, 2010 Veterini rated it it was ok
Shelves: guinea
Une biographie romancée d’un aventurier qui rêvait de se tailler un royaume en Afrique ! Il y a des qualités, surtout dans la description du peuple Peul, un peuple assez étrange ne rechignant pas à couper des têtes et en même temps amateur de paperasserie. Mais le gros problème est que la moitié des points sont des points d’exclamations ! Si ! Pourquoi ? Je sais pas ! Mais c’est fatigant ! Non ?
Tucker
Nov 04, 2012 Tucker rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Sweeping story about the life of a Frenchman whose dream from childhood was to become the king of Fouta Djallon. He develops a great affinity for Africa while never shedding the imperialist culture he comes from. Vivid depiction of the intersection of cultures leading to war. The narrative style is original and entertaining.
Maya Panika
Oct 27, 2010 Maya Panika rated it it was ok
A fictionalised account of the real-life Oliver de Sanderval’s brief soujourn as king of his own African kingdom.

The story is an interesting one, but the style constantly gets in the way of its telling. I found it overblown and over written, the humour laboured, the jokes telegraphed and there are more exclamation marks than a teenage girl’s diary.

A good story badly told.
Faridali
ترجمة سيئة المترجم يخيل الي انه لم يسبق له الكتابة باللغة العربية انتج نص لا يمكن فهمه او الاستمتاع به كفاية تعذيب سلسلة الجوائز تشبه شراء البطيخ بختك يابو بخيت قبل ان تشتري كتاب من السلسلة تأكد من اسم المترجم
Mohamed
Mar 25, 2016 Mohamed rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
الرواية عبارة عن عبث في الترجمة عبث في كل شيء !!
ربما هي درس لى لحسن اختيار المترجم أولا قبل اختيار الرواية ,ومازلنا نتعلم .
قراتها كاملتاً من اجل ما دفع فيها ليس الا كتمرين على القراءة ,او في محاولة لفهم شيء !
Claire Vo
Feb 04, 2011 Claire Vo rated it it was ok
Would have liked this book much more if the narrator didn't sloppily make himself so apparent every few 100 pages or so. Despite the occasionally poor writing, enjoyed the story.
Devin
Apr 17, 2014 Devin rated it it was ok
I grew weary of all the political intrigue and the unforgivable perspective of a colonist and would-be monarchist. It felt like an account written 100 years too late.
Adina
May 13, 2012 Adina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cum ar fi putut arata colonizarea Africii daca europenii trimisi acolo ar fi avut un pic de bun simt.
Jean
Jan 11, 2014 Jean rated it really liked it
Very tongue-in-cheek view of franco-colonialsim. The perspective is unique in that our hero, is well, not really a hero, but kind of a self-centered, colonialist with visions of grandeur.
Janet
Jun 03, 2012 Janet rated it liked it
Shelves: stopped-reading
I'm a third of the way through this book and I choose to walk away; wish it had engaged me, I'd like to read more African fiction: selections, of which, seem few and far between.
Amelie
Amelie rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2009
James
James rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2014
Danielle
Danielle rated it liked it
Nov 15, 2012
Lamin
Lamin rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2015
Ahmed Dokhan
Ahmed Dokhan rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2016
Patricia Osgood
Patricia Osgood rated it liked it
Sep 02, 2016
Drabauer
Drabauer rated it it was amazing
Jun 07, 2015
Vivan Tran
Vivan Tran rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2011
Olga
Olga rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2016
Michael Mastroianni
Michael Mastroianni rated it liked it
Aug 13, 2011
Madeleine
Madeleine rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2016
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Elisa rated it really liked it
May 20, 2013
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Thierno Saïdou Diallo, usually known as Tierno Monénembo (born 1947), is a Francophone Guinean novelist. Born in Guinea, he later lived in Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, and finally France since 1973. He has written eight books in all and was awarded the 2008 prix Renaudot for The King of Kahel (le Roi de Kahel).

His most noted book is said to be Pelourinho, which was set in Brazil. For the English-spe
...more
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