Alexandra Fuller won worldwide attention, popular acclaim, and critical accolades for her memoir of her childhood in Africa, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. This engaging follow-up explores Fuller’s parents’ childhoods and charts the trajectories of their lives through all the British couple’s experiences in war-torn Africa.
Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war- torn Africa of her own childhood. At its heart, this is the story of Fuller's mother, Nicola. Born on the Scottish Isle of Skye and raised in Kenya, Nicola holds dear the kinds of values most likely to get you hurt or killed in Africa: loyalty to blood, passion for land, and a holy belief in the restorative power of all animals. Fuller interviewed her mother at length and has captured her inimitable voice with remarkable precision. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is as funny, terrifying, exotic, and unselfconscious as Nicola herself.
©2011 Alexandra Fuller (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
Nothing ordinary in this woman's life, funny and poignant.
Nicola Fuller of Central Africa was both ridiculous with her snobbery and admirable for her strong core.
I like Amato's plain reading. Too many readers feel compelled to over dramatize, rather than give a plain, strong delivery. Her accent added location, but didn't interfere with understanding the story.
This book is well and tightly written.
Is this just too annoying to listen to?!
I admit I should probably listen to more than just a few chapters before reviewing this, but goodness it was a challenge to continue, and allowing myself to give up is a 2016 resolution....
Some stories and characters feel very familiar, but not in a novel or endearing way. That was kind of the case for me with this book. Anyone seeking a supposedly 'achingly' colonial slice of life with 'eccentric' English folk behaving in 'outrageous' ways might enjoy this. As an English person I just wasn't convinced by the people or the dialogue - the word contrived springs to mind.
In the end I couldn't quite imagine myself caring enough about the characters to persevere. I might be entirely wrong and the whole thing sparks into 'arresting brilliance' shortly after where I left off... I'm going to give the story a 3 as I will assume perhaps my experience of it is at least partially blighted by the unconvincingly plummy, ponderous and obvious narration.
I adored Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight and suppose I expected the same. While Cocktail Hour is perfectly fine, it just did not grip me the way Dogs did. I also found the bits when the mother sang (which was many times) annoying rather than additive.
Realtor, Newport Beach Homes, Foreclosure and Short Sale Specialist
If you want to get out of your world and into another's - sit back and enjoy. Struggles, conflicts and loss keep this family coming back for the love and beauty that is only unique to Africa.
Reading is the cheapest ticket to a journey in another place and time. Where you can observe peoples deepest thoughts and aspirations.
Fuller picks up from her prior book and elaborates on her mother gritty mother who is displeased with how the family is portrayed in the book. Nicolette faced many hardships, and was defiantly a colorful person. I just felt like there was a lot recycled material from the prior book, and I was kind of tired of it all. On to West With Night ;)
An interesting, well-read book EXCEPT for the singing. Why, oh why, did the publishers require -- if require they did -- the reader to sing the songs in the text? It's utterly painful.
When The Crocodile Swallowed The Sun.
Fine except for the singing.
Photographer's Moll, Chicken breeder, school administrator and owned by four dogs. Busy life, Happy life!
A well written, well narrated story that describes a family history that is at once difficult and heartwarming. Beautiful descriptions of life in a different era of Africa.
A good friend recommended this book to me so I wanted to like it. I do generally like the ex-pats in Africa topic. This book however never developed a character I cared much about, and I was glad it wasn't that long.
Tried again to listen to this book but it's so trite and seems to have no plot. Managed to listen to 45 minutes on the train but it was too painful, especially the singing. Best avoided.
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