Posted 20 hours ago

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

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The author has that rare gift, being able to speak to us through the eyes and mind of the child that she was. I suppose you could argue she should have done more to challenge the views around her, such as when Mum is bemoaning the fact that she wants just one country in Africa to stay white-run, but she was only a child at this point. Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Alexandra Fuller's classic memoir of an African childhood is suffused with laughter and warmth even amid disaster. Her parents’ wildness is now terrifying to their children and the war seems, at times, just an extension of that fear: “then the outside world starts to join in and has a nervous breakdown all its own, so that it starts to get hard for me to know where Mum’s madness ends and the world’s madness begins”. And then when the author gets married, on the way to the ceremony, sitting in the car with her father who is now driving and has just handed her a gin and tonic to combat both nerves and a persistent case of malaria, her father says, "You're not bad looking once they scrape the mud off you and put you in a dress.

In "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. a vibrantly personal account of growing up in a family every bit as exotic as the continent which seduced it . It is so hot outside that the flamboyant tree outside cracks to itself, as if already anticipating how it will feel to be on fire.In Rhodesia we are born and then the umbilical cord of each child is sewn straight from the mother into the ground, where it takes root and grows.

There was so little introspection, so little emotional reaction to anything, and the end of the book was so rushed, that at the end I was disappointed. Children and chickens and dos scratch in the red, raw soil and stare at us as we drive thought their open, eroding lives.The book was hard to enjoy at times since my mind was often on the children, and I kept questioning the parent's reason for bringing them to Africa during such a turbulent time. There is fun, but also a lack of overt love, particularly touching (the many dogs are far luckier in this respect! One girl used the toilet while the other held a candle high to check for "snakes and scorpions and baboon spiders.

Their frequent moves and their physical and racial isolation force the family to learn to accommodate each other’s flaws/quirks, and they become very tight-knit because of (not in spite of) their individual eccentricities. I wanted to go back, even though I knew I'd have to experience the heartbreak again, because it was a place I wanted to visit one more time. Fuller’s memoir quickly draws the reader into her girlhood growing up in Africa with candor and humor. These are difficult things to say – get the tone wrong and you will offend almost everyone – but Fuller’s gaze is equally astonishing when she directs it at the bodies of the white people around her. In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity.it's a slipping and damp thing she's doing with her lips which looks as much as if she's lost control of her mouth as anything else. Unsentimental and unflinching, but always enchanting, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight is the story of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time.

Their farm is seized by the new government and awarded to political cronies under a land distribution programme and they move south to a much harsher ranch, where their diet is based on impala and brackish water from a borehole that is strictly rationed. I found it fascinating to not only read of the hellish conditions, but also how this young girl named Bobo, deals with so many challenges. Fuller resists the temptation to explain things to the reader, to presume insight she could not have possessed at any given age, of vilifying her parents or glorifying her plucky younger self.Fuller's look back at her early life in an English family at the violent tail end of colonialism is sad and hilarious. This means the precise sequence of events is not always clear, but overall, it is an endearing insight into some troubled lives and times. By opting not to romanticize her family life, Fuller allowed her Mum, Dad, and older sister to shine as “hard-living, glamorous, intemperate, intelligent, racist, … taciturn, capable, [and] self-reliant.

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