A thrilling and powerful novel about one young man's struggle to survive the deadliest wars in modern African history, from the prize-winning author of THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND.
It is autumn, 1996. Patrick Rwema, a seventeen-year-old Congolese farm boy, is tending cattle in the Kivu hills when the troops of Zairian dictator President Mobutu appear and slaughter the herd. Patrick is helpless to defend his home and is forced to watch as his parents are killed. Too late, a rebel group led by Laurent Kabila emerges from the jungle, causing the soldiers to flee. Far from safe, Patrick has no choice but to join Kabila's boy rebels.
After months of witnessing and taking part in unspeakable brutality, one day, fleeing the scene of a killing, Patrick stumbles upon an airfield and meets a pilot, Norm Cogan, who helps him to escape Zaire. But Cogan isn't all that he seems, and when he bets another pilot that he can train Patrick to fly in six months, he brings the young man into the world of 'freight dogs' - a dangerous world of mercenaries and weapons, where money trumps honour and contracts are agreed regardless of side.
The most original and interesting novelist of his generation - SCOTSMAN
Audacious, shrewd and spirited - William Boyd on THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND
Rich, complex and immensely satisfying . . . [Foden's] fiction is so convincing that it is hard not to feel that you are reading the real inside story - Evening Standard on ZANZIBAR
Foden writes of Africa with great beauty, even love; his sense of place is unerring, his details exact, felicitous, often rising to the luminosity of poetry - THE TIMES
A fascinating read: Wilbur Smith meets William Boyd in the warm seas and spice-scented air of Zanzibar - NEW STATEMAN on ZANZIBAR
Giles Foden was born in Warwickshire in 1967 and grew up in Africa. He is the author of four novels, Last King of Scotland, Ladysmith, Zanzibar and Turbulence, and one work of non-fiction, Mimi and Toutou Go Forth. For five years he was assistant editor of the TLS, and was then Deputy Literary Editor at the Guardian. He's now Professor of Creative Writing at UEA. He is married to Matilda Hunt and lives in Norfolk.