Last Orders At Harrods: An African Tale

by Michael Holman | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780349120096 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingAnnimanniwing of Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on 7/20/2009
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingAnnimanniwing from Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, July 20, 2009
From the back:

"Charity Mupanga, proprietor of Harrods International Bar (and Nightspot), the most popular hangout in the shantytown of Kireba, can handle most of life's challenges, but threatening letters from powerful London lawyers are starting to overwhelm her. How dare a London store, no matter how famous, claim exclusive use of the first name of her late father, Harrods Tangwenya?

Tought street-urchins and well-meaning aid workers, a corrupt dictator and riots sparked by a World Bank visit all have their part to play as Charity fights to save her business - and her father's legacy - in this devastatingly funny, brilliantly observed, and acute look at life in contemporary Africa."


Snapped this at a sale in the Academic Bookstore in Helsinki.

Journal Entry 2 by wingAnnimanniwing at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I just didn't manage to finish this (very disappointed with myself :P). I just didn't find it engaging enough - don't know if it's the number of characters or what but there you go. Enough books in my TBR pile anyway!

On its way to ApoloniaX now as part of my Africa VBB. I hope you'll enjoy this!

Journal Entry 3 by wingApoloniaXwing at Bremen, Bremen Germany on Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Thank you, Annimanni, just received this and another VBB book in the mail.
Let's see how I find it...

Journal Entry 4 by wingApoloniaXwing at Bremen, Bremen Germany on Sunday, April 22, 2012
A brilliant satire about development policy! The style of writing isn't that special, but the strength of the novel lies in what it is about and Holman's background knowledge about it.
I liked the changing viewpoints of the protagonists - slum dwellers, street kids, foreign journalists, aid workers, politicians, World Bank staff etc. It's set in a fictional African country and revolves around the country's involvement with development aid, the World Bank, structual adjustment requirements - and the whole craziness that comes along with it. Funny & thought-provoking.

Journal Entry 5 by wingApoloniaXwing at Wishlist Surprise, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, May 17, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (5/18/2012 UTC) at Wishlist Surprise, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases


Happy reading!

Journal Entry 6 by pam99 at Troon, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
thank you very much - what a lovely and well-timed surprise, cheered me up no end this morning. I read the sequel to this (Fatboy and the Dancing Ladies) without knowing that this book existed, and I really enjoyed that one - it made perfect sense without this one - so I'm looking forward to this.

Journal Entry 7 by pam99 at Troon, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 27, 2012
this is the first book of two - I read the second book earlier in the year and I do think the second book is better - it's a bit lighter and the characters become more engaging. This first book was OK - very much the cynical politicians, aid workers and journalists though, and I felt in the second book the characters got to develop a little more.

Journal Entry 8 by wingSoozreaderwing at Joensuu, Pohjois-Karjala / Norra Karelen Finland on Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Thank you very much for this book which I chose from the Global VBB!:)

Journal Entry 9 by wingSoozreaderwing at Joensuu, Pohjois-Karjala / Norra Karelen Finland on Tuesday, August 20, 2013
This was an interesting read though I think the style of writing was a bit confusing. I think it was difficult to really get to know any of the characters as the story jumped from one event to another... but perhaps the characters will become more familiar in the sequels...:)

Journal Entry 10 by wingSoozreaderwing at on Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (8/20/2013 UTC) at


Congratulations on being the winner of my draw! I hope you'll enjoy the book you chose: Happy Reading! :)

Journal Entry 11 by Tarna at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, August 22, 2013
Risukasa-arvonnan voitto saapui. Kirja kiinnostaa ja mustavalkoinen kortti on upea. Thank you, Soozreader!

Journal Entry 12 by Tarna at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Tuesday, August 07, 2018
From back cover:
'Charity Mupanga is an African heroine in the spirit of Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe – big-hearted, township-wise and self-reliant'
Peter Godwin, author of MUKIWA: A WHITE BOY IN AFRICA

Also the way Michael Holman writes brought McCall Smith's Mma Ramotswe books to mind, unfortunately. The thing is, I hate the way McCall Smith – and, as it turned out, also Holman write. I couldn't concentrate on the storyline and can't remember anything about the plot. I am so sorry, I truly wanted to like this book.
Every chapter opens with a proverb of Kuwisha. They were most interesting part of the book, especially since the author explains them in the appendix.
Luckily, most readers, including most BC'ers, seem to enjoy McCall Smith's texts. I hope they'll like this book, too.
In any case, thank you so much for this reading experience, Soozreader. I chose the book and I am happy I was able to read it.
The book is now reserved.

CV: Michael Holman, Africa Editor, Financial Times at Michael Holman's homepage
A Profile of Michael Holman at Michael Holman's homepage

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