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Painted Devils and the Land of Ordinary Men

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  12 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Zanzibar’s brief and brutal revolution is almost forgotten. During the Cold War, the small archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Tanganyika, became significant in the early ‘60s because of its vulnerability and position at the edge of Africa’s rotting Colonial corpse. As had the early Arab slavers, religious pioneers and Imperial European adventurers, so too th ...more
Kindle Edition
Published April 1st 2014 by Storyline Studio
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4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  12 ratings  ·  7 reviews

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Paola Fornari
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I heard about this book when I read about the author's death: I discovered then that he had been at the same school as my brother, just two years above him. It's a fascinating autobiography of a wild and original childhood and adolescence, which delves deeply into themes so familiar to me: boarding school in Colonial East Africa, Indian Ocean living, with all the exotic glamour of beaches and spear-fishing (how often did I accompany my brother on spearfishing trips in that same Indian Ocean!), s ...more
Ankit Gupta
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a standout amongst the most motivating books that I have perused in quite a while! I discovered myself so occupied with this story and the author did truly put their everything into this one. It helped me to remember a percentage of the stories that I was told as a youngster. I read this book rapidly on the grounds that I was so occupied with the written work style and the story that was being told. Tuan Marais, is a young man why should attempting discover his spot on the planet and it ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most inspiring books that I have read in a long time! I found myself so engaged in this story and the author did really put their all into this one. It reminded me of some of the tales that I was told as a child. I read this book quickly because I was so engaged in the writing style and the tale that was being told. Tuan Marais, is a little boy who is trying to find his place in the world and it seems to be difficult for him to do so. His mother is always moving around and doe ...more
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-have-read
Loved it. Beautifully written, haunting and enthralling. A book that leaves you wanting more.
Patricia Allen
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fascinating account of the little known facts of Zanzibar's history.
Anne Chappel
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'Painted Devils & the Land of Ordinary Men'is a poignant tale from the time of colonial Africa, the time of cruel boarding schools and stern duty when the British Empire was in its final gasp.
Tuan Marais is a child of an unusual and wayward mother, who whisks him away to live with her and his stepfather in Zanzibar in 1955. She instills in her son a sense of difference (she decries the ordinary) but gives him little in the way of skills to deal with swimming against the tide. It is interest
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Not what I was expecting, didn't have much of an intriguing storyline - was more an interesting account of growing up in Zanzibar over unstable decolonisation - would have liked more depth.
Hilary Isakow
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Tuan Marais
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