The Weekenders: Travels In The Heart Of Africa
by W.F. Deedes, Sue Ryan , Alex Garland , Tony Hawkes , Andrew O'Hagan , Irvine Welsh , Giles Foden , Victoria Glendinning
What would happen if you took some of Britain's best writing talent, put them on a plane and flew them to one of the most extraordinary and inaccessible places on the planet? What would happen if you took Irvine Welsh from the streets of Edinburgh and showed him a remote, dangerous village in Africa? What would happen if you flew Alex Garland into one of the world's most h...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published November 8th 2001 by Ebury Press
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Its an interesting idea to get together well-known current authors and ask that they travel to South Sudan and then write short story pieces. I found many of them very real - well real from what I know after being here only 1 week. But a lot of the stories are similar, which I suppose is due to them all traveling together.
The first few stories were pretty interesting, but the rest of it was just a waste of time. I read this book hoping that it'll give me more insight and information about what's actually going on in the warring parts of Africa while being entertaining, but this did neither.
What do you get when you invite a handful of Britain's best young writers on a press trip to Southern Sudan? Short stories that attempt to grapple stereotypically with Poverty, First-World Apathy and Civil War. It's a pity this book isn't travel writing; the best parts are when the young Britishers' honest and well-written reactions to Africa shine out and leave their lame attempts at fictionalizing a complex conflict in the dust.
A real mixed bag. I almost quit during the first story, which is so horrible it is responsible for the loss of one star all by itself. On the other hand, the Irvine Welsh story here does not occur in Scotland, uses no dialect, contains no drugs... and is the best thing he's ever written. It's also the longest piece in here, which is good. The piece preceding it is also humorous. But the 3 stars here are all because of Welsh.