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The Antipeople

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Citoyen exemplaire, Dadou est directeur d'une école de Kinshasa. Une terrible accusation l'aspire une tornade dévastatrice: sa femme et ses enfants sont tués, sa vie saccagée. Il résussit s'échapper des lugubres geôles zaïroises et s'enfuit de l'autre côté de la rivière. Vide de son âme, il découvre une succession de mondes désolés, rongés par la même corruption que son pr ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd (first published September 1st 1983)
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May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not afraid to admit that this is among the most difficult-to-grasp pieces ever to be encountered in my entire adult reading career. I liked reading it, and I am glad that I did— but I am not entirely sure that I understood it all.

First off, I read the English translation. I don't know how great this (only?) translation is in contrast to the original French, but it's all that seems to be out there. And beyond that, I know VERY little about the history and customs of the Congo. I think this
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
Writing these reviews calls my attn to what I haven't read. Prior to reading this I hadn't read a single bk from Africa. I've only read 1 Japanese novel. Definitely a big lack. So I decided to read this. I was attracted by the title. The description on the bk's back gives away the outline of the plot but it didn't spoil it for me.

As a person who knows African music somewhat but African literature not at all, what did I expect? Not really anything in particular but certainly NOT this. It reminds
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roman intéressant, surtout pour l'atmosphère qu'il évoque: une ambiance de peur, d'injustice et de désespoir dans un monde qui semble s'écrouler.

L'histoire se joue en RDC après les indépendances, où le protagoniste, un homme jeune, ambitieux et vertueux, se perd complètement en essayant de résister aux charmes d'une des élèves de l'école normale dont il est le directeur. Il tente de s'échapper dans l'alcool et précipite ainsi sa chute.

Cela m'a pris du temps avant de me fondre dans l'histoire :
Apr 04, 2021 rated it liked it
The story of Dadou, exemplary teacher in a girl school of Kinshasa, who is a parangon of resistance, first with one of his flirtatious students and then with his society, government and very man condition. L’anté-peuple has a unique narrative style that mixes the comical with the existential, in a style constantly on the verge of breaking sentence structure to explore concepts in a language of its own. The first and last part were to my liking, but the middle part when the main character becomes ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa-2018, fiction
The difficulty of this novel is that everyone is a complicated mix of bad motivations and worse choices. Dadou is a shuddering hunk of pure manhood such that he has all the young girls at his school lusting after him. And it is musky masculinity that ultimately dooms him. He turns to drink to stop himself from falling prey to the perfection of young girls' constant undulating attention.

The tragic events of this novel are conveyed in short pithy sentences, while the excuiating details are left t
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un livre aussi insaisissable que ses protagonistes et que le grand fleuve qui le traverse, et qui devrait avoir tout pour me déplaire - du destin faussement combattu, du misérabilisme, de l'exaltation du populaire et de la caricature du riche... Sauf que rien de tout ça ne tient une seconde face à la langue chamboulante (et évidemment ironique) de Labou Tansi. Cette langue sexy, bluesy, puissante, fatiguée... Un tour de force inexplicable qui transforme ce qui pourrait être une histoire de chute ...more
Pedro Casserly
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
En Brazzaville (R. D. Congo), el ciudadano Dadou es íntegro y respetado, hasta que una mujer se apodera de su deseo; protegerá su virtud a través del alcohol y la caída en desgracia. Esto podría parecerse a una clásica tragedia (como Desgracia, de Coetzee, o tantas más). Pero es contado en clave africana, con un formato entre la leyenda populary el antiguo cuento infantil. La historia, que por momentos tiene caracteres del absurdo, se desarrolla en medio del abuso de poder y la violencia. Y una ...more
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
'A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks.' (George Orwell)

I confess I read the first part of this book and skim read the rest, if that's at all possible. I just didn't get into it - it reminded me of both the film Leaving Las Vegas, and the book L'étranger. There is a deep dissatisfaction with life, a hopelessness, a nothingness and an indifference to others that just didn't chime with me. It's the lamentation of
This is a much admired and lauded book but it just didn't work at all for me so I dnf it. I didn't get along with the writing which I found overly flowery and fragmented. Moreover, the main character's misogyny and self-absorbed and misery nature just rubbed me the wrong now. I realise the author uses this to make a societal critique but I couldn't connect with the sense of nihilism that pervades the book (or at least the half that I read of it). ...more
Celia Murias
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: áfrica
Leído en castellano en la colección El bronce.

Aunque al principio me pareció árido y no me interesaba mucho la historia de la obsesión "Lolita", la prosa es alucinante, especialmente la segunda parte, buenísimas reflexiones con un regusto a poesía cruel (algunas recogidas en la review de literafrica; tengo pendiente tomar mis notas).

Colleen Moore
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fabulous existentialist novel set in Zaire, amongst corruption, war, and alcoholism.
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
the way he used the word putrid was so perfect in contrast to how this book ends. tansi is one of the great african/congolese writers for a reason.
Royce D
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Jun 15, 2015
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Mar 31, 2016
Jen Widmer
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Jan 15, 2021
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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

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