Tuesday, April 12, 2005

18: The Wild Ones

For some reason the title of this book always reminds me of that Suede song.

Anyway, normally I'm not much of a one for memoirs unless the person in question has been in black and white Hollywood films. Then I'm all in favour. But I had heard good things about this book, and couldn't believe that a book so attractive and so well-known had been culled from the bookshop without anyone wanting to buy it. "I bet if I stuck a recommended sticker on that, it would sell" I said to myself. But of course, to recommend it I have to read it first.

Turns out to be a good book. And Alexandra Fuller seems like a very interesting person who has lived an interesting life during dangerous times in volatile countries. And it's good to hear someone describe the day-to-day lives of the white people who wanted to keep Rhodesia white.

Of course there are imperfections and things to dislike. Her adjective-or-adverb-creating hyphenations do get on my nerves after a bit. Just say you were bored! You don't have to say you were leg-swinging bored! And of course there is something deeply unpleasant about the whole idea of calling indigenous people muntus and constantly complaining about them being lazy (this is Fuller's mother, not Fuller herself).

But really the excepts and buts and howevers are pretty small beer in the face of the total package. The books does a fine job of describing both the everyday and the extraordinary in the lives of Fuller's family, and I do heartily recommend it.

Original comments

Never heard of it myself. Is it a recent book? Did Fuller become famous for something else?
Posted by Ray on Apr. 12 2005, at 11:21 AM
It's fairly recent. As far as I know she hasn't become famous for anything else. I'm buggered if I know where I heard of the book. It could well have been on ILB.
Posted by perfectlycromulent on Apr. 12 2005, at 11:43 AM

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