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A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,474 Ratings  ·  310 Reviews
A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali is a moving, passionate love story set amid the turmoil and terror of Rwanda’s genocide.
All manner of Kigali residents pass their time by the pool of the Mille-Collines hotel: aid workers, Rwandan bourgeoisie, expatriates, UN peacekeepers, prostitutes. Keeping a watchful eye is Bernard Valcourt, a jaded foreign journalist, but his closest at
Hardcover, Nook book, 258 pages
Published May 30th 2007 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published 2000)
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Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surrounding a pool in an upscale hotel in Rwanda, an eclectic group sits consisting of a journalist, upper class Rwandans, expats and prostitutes. They are removed from what is happening in the city which is rape, violence and murder.

It's 1994 and civil war has began between the Hutu and the Tutsi population. Massacres, brutality and AIDS is rampant. A war rages and whereby much of the world ignores and thereby in its passivity, condones. A country divided by ethnicity and ignorance breeds a mil
Tea Jovanović
Žila smo ugostili na Sajmu knjiga u Beogradu davne 2004. i imali neobična iskustva s njim... Knjiga ima mučnu temu ali je predivna... Srbija je jedina zemlja gde nije bila hit... Ali nije kasno da svi oni koji su propustili tada da je pročitaju da to sada učine... :)
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We can all turn into killers, Valcourt had often maintained, even the most peaceful and generous of us. All it takes is a certain circumstance, something that clicks, a failing, a patient conditioning, rage, disappointment. The prehistoric predator and the primitive warrior are still alive beneath the successive varnishing that civilization has applied to mankind. All the Good and Evil of humanity is in our genes. Either one can emerge at any moment, as abruptly as a tornado can appear and destr ...more
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub, fiction
The churches became Rwanda's gas chambers.

This is one of the most upsetting and shocking books I've ever read. Because the author share his experiences in the form of a story you get to know all the people, which had an even bigger impact on me than reading the non-fictional account in We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda, which sometimes felt almost overwhelming in its scope. He also writes the most horrific scenes without any sentiment or
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada, rwanda
Non so dire cosa non mi ha convinto di questo libro.
Non so se è il fatto che probabilmente Courtemanche non è all’altezza del compito che si è proposto.
Oppure, se dipenda dallo ‘sfondo’, i fatti veri, quello che successe in Rwanda dalla sera del 6 aprile 1994 per i circa cento giorni a seguire, un pezzo di storia al quale in qualche modo sono legato perché me ne sono occupato in vari modi, che per me è difficilmente raccontabile (su questo fatto di puro orrore
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Feb 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010
It might be a good idea to start with a bit of backstory here, since we should all have heard of the Rwandan genocide but that doesn't mean we really understand it. What follows is a hugely simplified history lesson (complete with my personal bias) which you are free to skip over.

Rwanda is a tiny fertile inland country surrounded by four larger ones, with a long, relatively peaceful history. First settled by African pygmies called Twa, they were later joined by the farming Hutus. Some time la
Precious Williams
in some ways this is a 5-star book because it forces down our throats the atrocities so many of our fellow human beings suffered in the Rwandan genocide.

However, I was concerned about the way the African male characters in the book were portrayed. They were almost comically sex obsessed. One man, who is dying of Aids, gets a blow job from a prostitute as his mother watches, presumably unfazed. His own mother then helps remove the prostitute's clothing and observes in silence as her son performs
Apr 21, 2008 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Sarah Carstairs
A sad and noble effort to bring the events of the genocide in Rwanda to a Western reading public; the dedication moved me almost to tears when I looked at it again after finishing the book. And yet for about three quarters of the novel it pretty much left me cold. The characterization was just not convincing or deep enough; the omniscient narrative voice was distanced and stiff, though this may have been a translation problem (it was written in French originally); there didn't seem to be any mot ...more
Missy J

Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills.
For a long time, I didn't want to read this book, because I knew the subject was painful and it wasn't available in my local library.

This book is written from the perspective of a Quebec Canadian journalist (Bernard) working in Rwanda. He lives in a luxurious hotel in the capital city of Kigali (hence, the title "A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali"), illuminating the absurdity of class difference, racial difference and on top of it all, the international "respons
Mary Soderstrom
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some 800,000 people massacred in three months, most by machete-wielding neighbors: that was the horror which began 20 years ago today in Rwanda. The conflict was ostensibly between ethnic groups, the majority Hutu and the minority Tutsi. But lines were blurred since many moderate Hutus were killed and anyone who has looked closely at the history of the African Great Lakes Region sees that the groups were often related and their differences were used by European powers to divide and conquer.

Gil C
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Gil Courtemanche est journaliste depuis 1962.

Jusqu’en 1977, il a collaboré à différentes émissions radio et télé de Radio-Canada telles que Le 60, Métro Magazine et Présent national.

De 1978 à 1980, pour Radio-Canada toujours, il a conçu et animé l’émission L’Événement et a aussi été animateur et scripteur de l’émission Enjeux, tout en étant éditorialiste à la sation CBOT à Ottawa (réseau anglais).
More about Gil Courtemanche...
“Propaganda is as powerful as heroin; it surreptitiously dissolves all capacity to think.” 19 likes
“What is a country for someone who is neither a soldier nor a rabid patriot? A place of subtle affinities, an implicit understanding between the land and the foot that treads it. A familiarity, an agreement, a secret sharing with the colours and smells of it. The impression that the wind is with us and is sometimes carrying us. A renunciation that does not imply acceptance of the idiocy and inhumanity that the country nurtures.” 3 likes
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