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Little Boys Come from the Stars
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Little Boys Come from the Stars

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  144 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Sardonic, subtle, and sweetly scathing, Little Boys Come from the Stars is satire at its best.

Set in an unnamed country in equatorial Africa, it tells the story of Michel, a precocious teen dubbed Matapari (“trouble”) because of his extraordinary birth. Though his father is a reclusive scholar, his mother a pious though confused Catholic, and his uncle a shameless opportun
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 12th 2002 by Anchor (first published January 1st 1998)
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Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nomadic-bookworm
This is the story of a kid who was almost never born, as he himself expresses at the very opening of the book. He was born a whole day after his twin brothers, something that had never happened in the Congolese village the kid was from, and due to the inexplicable connotation this event had on his people, he was dubbed Matapari (trouble).

The day he was born, on the 20th anniversary of Congo’s independence from France, an amalgam of witnesses was present: the most famous midwife of the region, hi
I think I would have liked this more had I not read Cutting for Stone before it. I think it's a pertinant book to read, and an interesting read, just not not well presented. Part of this could be due to translation
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it

I just started this short funny read about the third triplet in a modernized Congo. Dongala has juxtaposed Colonialist pre-developed rule with current technologies in a way that is sad and satirical. The first two chapters are full of satire poking fun at some of our favorite victims, religion, medicine, the power of NAMING as a means to Other or control, law and order, and parenting.

Alliyah finished it in a day or two and recommended it for perhaps a handful of other scholars, though d
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-tour
This is set in the Republic of the Congo (former French Congo), not the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Belgian Congo and formerly Zaire). Dongala does not help the confusion by mentioning Patrice Lumumba and Mobutu, but none of his own leaders by name.

It is the story of a corrupt and repressive regime as seen through the eyes of a young boy. He starts off believing everything he is told, but starts to question things more as he gets older.
It is also the story of his family and village.
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read this book, and I've been meaning to write a few folks about it for some time now -- so please forgive any omission of detail. I really enjoyed reading this piece. I rarely read fiction, so it's possible this book was a draw to me because of the political, cultural, and interpersonal depth it offerred (plus, it was a gift). It is basically a story of an unnamed African country's experience of political upheaval, told from the perspective of a young boy. It's fascina ...more
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was a gem of a book! The narrator is a 15-year-old boy living in Africa. He is one of triplets but because he was unexpectedly born a day after his other two brothers, his mother thinks of him as a curse on the family and treats him as such. Fortunately, the boy has a supportive, intellectual father who treats him as a kindred spirit, sharing his knowledge and theories with him. The best part of the book is its sense of humor. The author pokes continual fun at the political system in Africa ...more
Natalie Petchnikow
Matapari le dit, il n'aurait même pas dû naître. C'est que, dernier né de triplés, il ne quitta le ventre de sa mère que deux jours après ses frères, peut-être par discrétion, ou par prudence. De cette naissance, il conçut un don de curiosité insatiable pour le monde. Et ce qu'il voyait autour de lui, avec les yeux de l'innocence, était parfois étrange, comme ces menées de tonton Boula Boula avec la femme du vieux Bidié ou - autre flirt du même - avec les hautes sphères politiques du pays. Par c ...more
Carolyn Dorstek
Mar 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading Little Boys Come From The Stars by an author from the Congo Republic, Emmanuel Dongola. He captivates his reader with an innocent account of growing up in Africa, then gives his interpretation of the turmoil that spreads through the government. I think he captures, in a very personal way, the impact of oppression such as Apartheid. Another more disturbing first hand account account, although not of Apartheid but of similar oppression in Sierra Leone, West Africa is by Is ...more
Sep 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Emmanuel Dongala created such an interesting read. His storytelling is endearing and clever. He uses humor as he presents some very serious insight into the political struggles of the Congo (Brazaville) as it moves from a Communist dictatorship to a more democratic nation. Again, for most Americans, this is a situation most of us are totally unaware. Also interesting is the exposure that Dongala gives to the tribal religious and cultural traditions.
Mar 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was really good. I'd never heard of it before, but had to read it for class and was very pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. The book's narrator, Matapari, is very endearing and innocent amidst the political turmoil of his "small, no-name African village". There is a really beautiful quote from the book: "Don't you cry, Matapari. You know life is lots of little gray clouds in a great blue sky."
A great story but not really well told. Interesting to learn the history of the Congo and extremely disturbing. Some terrifically drawn characters but the hero who writes is a but full of himself so the story loses credibility.
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, africa
Underlying themes of the first-ever born set of triplets in village, familial ties and traditions, and "democracy" as seen through different lenses, made for a story that was witty, enlightening, and educational.
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I loved seeing the farce of African politics through the eyes of a young boy in all his innocence. His take on everything kept me smiling as did the political antics that went on. I greatly enjoyed Dongala's writing - I will definitely be reading more by him.
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was far funnier than I expected it to be, given that it's about a communist state in equatorial Africa and its overthrow. But the child narrator has some really humorous misunderstandings about the state of things.
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this book when I had Emmanuel Dongala as a professor in college. I must say it was very interesting analyzing a book in class when the professor was the one who wrote it. But nevertheless, it was a pretty good read and I enjoyed it.
Suzanne Rogers
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it. I think some of our students will struggle with the satire.
The grandfather is important, yet the family spend little time with him.
Curious thing to think about on Father's Day.
María Eugenia
Jul 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
al igual que la película, la sencillez de lo trascendente es representada de modo óptimo...
Jan 21, 2016 added it
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Adorable tale of twins/triplets blended into pop culture and Congolese political systems.
rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2015
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Nov 02, 2013
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Jul 16, 2016
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May 01, 2007
Fernando Barceló
rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2016
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May 31, 2008
Theodore Jones
rated it it was amazing
Apr 25, 2016
Allya Yourish
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Mais le monde est plein d'énigmes car tout ce qui est profond ne se révèle pas au premier coup d'oeil; l'univers s'avance masqué et les hommes, après avoir mangé, dansé et fait l'amour, passent le reste de leur temps à essayer de déchiffrer ce qui se cache derrière l'apparence des choses. C'est pourquoi ils écrivent des livres et ceux qui ne savent pas écrire interrogent les forêts, écoutent les animaux, creusent la terre ou regardent les étoiles. Sache lire mon enfant, sache lire et les livres ...more
Gontse Lucas
rated it it was ok
Apr 09, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2009
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Emmanuel Dongala born July 14, 1941 is a Congolese Chemist ,short story writer, novelist and playwright, schooled in Brazzaville , and studied in the United States where he earned a BA in Chemistry from Oberlin College and an MA from Rutgers University . He then left the United States for France , where he was awarded a PhD in Organic Chemistry. Upon his return to the Congo he worked as a teacher ...more
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