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Child Witch Kinshasa

(Child Witch #1)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  70 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Congolese street kid seeks home. Foreign journalist wants to help. The devil is in the detail.

A tale of travel, love and loss, Mike Ormsby's first novel is published in two volumes - 'Child Witch Kinshasa' and 'Child Witch London' - by Nicoaro Books.

Child Witch Kinshasa:

It’s spring 2002 and Frank Kean is training journalists in troubled Congo. When he learns that religiou
Paperback, 506 pages
Published November 30th 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  70 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
For me it’s a sign of a great book when I put it down for the night feeling like I’m returning from the place in which it’s set. Every time I picked up Child Witch I felt I was dropped into the Congo, so brilliantly does it evoke a feeling of the place (the sounds, the smells, the people) without ever getting bogged down in endless description. The dialogue sparkles with realism and humour, and keeps the pace brisk and endlessly readable.

The story revolves around a horrific human rights issue,
David Smith
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were three reasons why I didn’t really want to read this book – I don’t like e-books*; I have my doubts about any book written by somebody working for an overseas non-governmental organisation, who spends a bit of time in an African country, then writes a novel about the place; and I have too many other books to read.
Fortunately, I ignored my concerns.
Child Witch Kinshasa is a page-turner – and it presses many buttons that catch my interest. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Ormsby while
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny. Literate. Real. Especially for anyone with experience in either the aid world, or the Congo (and maybe elsewhere in Africa), Mike's debut is both familiar enough to be interesting and novel enough to keep your interest piqued. And I'm not just saying that because I'm his friend. Really--a pleasure to peruse.
Steven Miscandlon
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure in advance: I did some editing on this novel so you may not consider this review to be entirely impartial. That said, I do a lot of editing work but it's pretty rare for me to feel inclined to review a novel I was involved with, so take from that what you will.

It's certainly not the type of novel I would normally read. But then, as a novel about Congolese child witches (so-called), a British journalist training in the troubled African nation, and the no-less-dramatic ups and down
Sacha Calagopi
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't be fooled by the title. Child Witch Kinshasa is not in the same genre as The Exorcist.

I met the author online in the Baku Expat Community Facebook page while I was promoting our (still) nameless book club. He asked if we could read and review his book. Admittedly, I started reading the book two days before our book club met because I wasn't t sure that if I would enjoy the book based on the title.

But after the first ten pages, I was hooked. (Never judge a book by its title.) I loved the po
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite

Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Those words are the best I can do to describe Child Witch Kinshasa, the first volume in a series by author Mike Ormsby. Follow the story of Dudu, a young Congolese boy, who is accused of being a child witch, one imbued with powerful abilities. Dudu has to flee his village and goes to live with family, where it is hoped he will be safe from harm, but he doesn’t make it and finds himself alone and homeless. Befriend
Arabella Mcintyre-brown
This book needs a wide readership, and a big-budget film deal. Not only for the deeply-felt but utterly unsentimental story of likable characters in a tragic farce, but to understand something of the real and continuing horror of life for so many in Congo.

If I’d not been given this book, I doubt very much that I’d have bought it. I’ve been reluctant to read it, not wanting to encounter something horrid in the dark continent. But I’m grateful that I did. (I have since bought Kindle copies to giv
Ndiaga Seck
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mike Ormsby's Child Witch Kinshasa has taught me so much. I've been in the DRC for more than three years with UNICEF working on child issues, but reading this book has opened my eyes on Congolese artefacts and culture as far as children accused of sorcery/witchcraft are concerned. The way Ormsby tackles the subject is unique. He invites the reader to a voyage to the in-depth of the lives of street-children, total immersion that guarantees you discover what the real lives of the discarded from a ...more
Ananie Olga
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good novel; once you start reading it, you can't take your mindoff the story - I read both volumes in less than two weeks.I 've never been to England or Congo, but this book took meto both places and I learned about the culture of the peoplewho live there. It is a very well-researched story, which shows thebeauty of Congo, the political intrigues, and how some children arepersecuted by those who believe in witchcraft. Anti-hero Frank, ajournalism trainer, cannot remain impassive when he m ...more
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mike Ormsby has written a compelling story about the phenomenon of child witches in Congo. I found the book engrossing and difficult to put down. Ormsby gave a balanced view of the social and historical environments that have contributed to children being accused of witchcraft and the horrifying punishments they endure.

The book drew me in on several levels. I work in media development and it’s not often that one encounters a main character (hero?) with the occupation of journalism trainer. Also,
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the book and I really loved it. It was for me like going back to known places but seeing them from a different perspective. The book is about somebody who cares, who is not able to just pass by without seeing and acting. It may be a good inspiration for those who dream about a better world.
Simon Lawson
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Child Witch” is a gripping tale that manages to both be entertaining and shed light on the gruesome realities of the phenomenon of “Enfants dites Sorciers” - so called child witches. A phenomenon that has sadly spread far and wide with the Congolese diaspora even to the streets – or rather “so called churches” of my own city of London; another consequence of war and the failed state that is DRC.

Mike Ormsby is to be congratulated for capturing the craziness and parallel realities of life in Con
Johnny Fisher
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are two books in this series and now that they're both available, you're not going to be able to read this book and then not read the second. I loved the interwoven style, following different characters' narratives through the books. But it did keep me awake later than I preferred! - I'd keep reading after leaving a storyline thread to find out what happened when we returned to that thread (and of course then got engrossed in the new thread too and had to follow that until it returned and ...more
Katharina Kurmes
What do you think when you hear the word Congo? Drums, dark jungles, lions and elephants, unspoilt nature and happy people? This is the Western idealisation of Africa, and if we are honest, we know little about the cradle of mankind.
Frank Kean, however, soon learns more. Frank is the main British character in the novel ‘Child Witch Kinshasa’; he’s a journalism trainer who believes the press should be independent, democratic and free; his insight into African (or Congolese) reality at the beginni
Jude Alsop
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book out of interest as I had read and enjoyed Mike Ormsby's book about life in Romania so I thought it worth a look and the title suggested the story would be very different to his previous work.
in FEB 2016 there was a harrowing photo of a journalist holding out a bottle of water and packet of biscuits to a tiny child who had been living alone after being condemned by his family as a 'witch'. I remembered the feelings I had when I was reading parts of Child Witch and this photo b
Tony Gambino
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mike Ormsby has written an important book about a depressing topic. When I lived in the Congo early in this century, I was stunned by the reality of children accused of being witches -- and then sometimes horribly abused. I was repulsed by itinerant preachers making money from poor people by playing on their beliefs in things like witchcraft, while also sometimes engaging in child abuse and torture. Ormsby has written a stunningly good novel: he takes the reader to places and introduces us to pe ...more
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Child witch was the most captivating book I have read lately. I literally couldnt put it down. There was a fascinating contrast between the three points of view, different societies, different problems to influence human lives. Social issues and the mark religion has left on people made it practically impossible not to feel like actually being there, in Congo.
It was real. Thats what made me love the book so much. A brutal reality written with humor. I am deffinitely looking forward to read Mike
Laura Rezmerita
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The surprising Ormsby!!!!!He can cover different styles , different generations and subjects ! I follow Mike Ormsby since a while and i quickly became addicted to his style ,to his powerful and subtile way of caching you into a story ! His books and Child Witch especially are pieces of pure humanity who are landing with a clear message: open your eyes and ...keep them like this! You might see beauty , you might see ugliness but enjoy and listen and be aware of your feelings and other feelings! I ...more
Sheila Winters
Actually this book was very informative and competently written, and I was able to immerse myself into the characters and setting. It was a freebie from Kindle, and when I started reading it I didn't know the book was written in two parts. Now I know. The ending of the first part was unsatisfactory ... And then I realized there was more. I haven't yet committed myself to "Child Witch: London." My rating obviously will be reevaluated should I decide to read further.
David Barnett
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Loved Never Mind the Balkans but gave up on this after 250 pages. Not really a page turnover and when a book becomes a chore to read you know it's probably time to move on to something else. I liked the authors use of very inventive similies, but these started to become very irritating after a while when there was at least one similie per page, like a finger nail scratching down a dusty blackboard!
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have to say I know Mike Ormsby so I've been looking forward to reading his first novel for a while. I wasn't disappointed by Child Witch in any way. He's an experienced story teller but in the telling he gave me some intriguing characters and the Congo, development issues, the UN et al, quite apart from the focus of his work, the so-called sorciers. He took up a challenge to air this story and he's done it superbly. I would recommend it to anyone.
Lesley Williams
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly revealing book which makes you look at your own beliefs and others. I like the way the different cultures collide on so many levels, each time bringing the two main characters of Frank and Dudu closer together. Can't wait to read 'Child Witch London.'
Joseph Patrick
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a great book for someone who hasn't been to the Congo, it's really interesting especially if you are interested in Africa, well worth a read! I like how the author compares life in London to life in Africa, a fascinating contrast!
Patricia A Berry
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« previous 1 3 next »
  • African Silences
  • Das Augenspiel. Lebensgeschichte 1931-37
  • Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World's Deadliest Place
  • Moon Over Tangier (Francis Bacon #3)
  • Fight for the Forgotten: How a Mixed Martial Artist Stopped Fighting for Himself and Started Fighting for Others
  • Killed in Kruger
  • Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Botswana
  • Mutation Z: The Ebola Zombies (Mutation Z, #1)
  • The New Reality (Alex Pella, #1)
  • The Midnight Side
  • Canoeing the Congo: First Source to Sea Descent of the Congo River
  • Blood Forest
  • The Witch's List
  • The Boy Who Stole the Leopard's Spots (Amanda Brown, #3)
  • Chief of Station, Congo: Fighting the Cold War in a Hot Zone
  • The Ragged Edge of the World: Encounters at the Frontier Where Modernity, Wildlands, and Indigenous Peoples Me et
  • The Ponds of Kalambayi
  • Ishmael Toffee
Mike is a British writer/musician based in Transylvania, where he has lived for five hundred years. He is the author of:

'Never Mind the Vampires, Here's Transylvania' (2017)
'Palincashire, Tales of Transylvania' (2017)
'Child Witch London' (2014)
'Child Witch Kinshasa' (2013)
'Spinner the Winner' (2012);
'Never Mind the Balkans, Here's Romania' (2008)
See also:

Other books in the series

Child Witch (2 books)
  • Child Witch London (Child Witch, #2)
“I'm not interested in whether I'm better than you; only whether I'm better than yesterday.” 8 likes
“Sometimes you don't really see who you are, until you see who you are not".” 0 likes
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