The main character, Henderson, is loud, unpleasant, rather thick, and prone to overindulge in pseudo philosophy. He constantly reminds readers of his "failings", but in (what seemed to me) a smug, braggart sort of way. His ostensible redemption in the last chapter is reminiscent of 60s Disney movies. Bellow's own approach to Africa seems set in the 1800s, despite being set in the 1950s. It abounds with absurdly paternalistic views of Africans, not least the tribe that would rather let their beloved cattle die than drink from a water source which contains "animals" (in this case, tadpoles and frogs). Really? Pretty much any sizeable open source of potable water in Africa will teem with life, and frogs are widespread on the continent. Where does this nonsense come from?