Going Down River Road

by Meja Mwangi | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by grizzled of Stockholm, Södermanland Sweden on 11/17/2005
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by grizzled from Stockholm, Södermanland Sweden on Thursday, November 17, 2005
spare copy

"....A car screeches on the avenue narrowly missing a student from the Kenya Polytechnic. Everybody looks that way. Cars too, Ben ponders. Those do kill Africans. Starvation and cars. Those two are the workers' number-one public enemy.
'Lucky bastard,' Ocholla says of the student. Imagine dying before lunch.' Ben imagines. It is bad to die at any time. It is very bad to do anything on an empty stomach."

Ben is a man on the move - in bars, nightclubs, in the streets, in brothels down River Road in Nairobi. It is on one of these occasions that he meets Wini and her son Baby. But Wini runs off with her white boss leaving her little son with Ben, and destroying his trust in women. When Ben joins with Ocholla at a construction site, action, humour and more people come into the picture.

Journal Entry 2 by grizzled from Stockholm, Södermanland Sweden on Thursday, December 15, 2005
Lent it to E².

Journal Entry 3 by Torgin from Mülheim an der Ruhr, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Sunday, April 05, 2009
Ben had some bad luck and now he's working on a building site. It could be even worse but as long as his girl friend Wini also earns some money as a secretary and a prostritute. At least, they're not living in the real slums (although it's not much better) and there's money for the karara in the evening. And the situation improves even further when Ben starts to provide the site foreman with dope and hooch. Ben and Wini are even thinking of marriage but sometimes chances (real or supposed) cross your way you can't ignore if you're a woman like Wini ...

Mwangi draws a picture of Nairobi most tourist wouldn't like to see (and normally they won't). Surviving is the name of the game, ruthlessness helps. If you sense a chance on improvement: take it, even if the price may be high. And even then you might fall faster than you expect. Bribery might help, but not always, you never know in advance. And so you envisage your room emptied before your eyes, your snack bar pulled down, your slum hut burned down. I was really glad that the book doesn't transport the smell Mwangi describes, it would have been an awful stench. I could imagine very well that people under these circumstances are more interested in an evening beer (or two or three or ...). Ben is exceptional in a way as he's caring for Wini's son Baby. But Mwangi also manages not put complete hopelessness in his characters. At least Ben knows about the value of school education and forces Baby to go.

Journal Entry 4 by Torgin at Irgendwo in -- Irgendwo --, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Sunday, July 15, 2018

Released 3 yrs ago (1/1/2017 UTC) at Irgendwo in -- Irgendwo --, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany


Most likely the book is still with the previous journaler, I had only asked for the BCID for my own journal entry. But I don't want it on my shelf anymore with a misleading status, therefore this entry.

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