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Burma Boy [Hardcover]

Biyi Bandele

List Price: CDN$ 31.22
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2008 Ulverscroft Large Print
It's winter 1944 and the Second World War is entering its most crucial stage. A few months ago Ali Banana was apprenticed to a whip-wielding blacksmith in his rural hometown; now he's behind enemy lines, trekking through the Burmese jungle, a private in Thunder Brigade. He is fourteen years old. Led by the scarred, charismatic Sergeant Damisa, Thunder Brigade has been given orders to go behind enemy lines and wreak havoc. But the jungle is a treacherous place, riddled with Japanese snipers, infection and disease. As torrential rains turn the landscape into a mud-riven death trap, the losses mount up, Ali's sanity falters and troubling questions arise. Who, for instance, is 'Kingi Jogi'? What does his empire stand for? And what does it all mean for Banana, the men of Thunder Brigade and for their inspirational general? "Burma Boy" is a story of the adventure of war and the terrible consequences of that adventure. Biyi Bandele's novel is a meticulously researched, elegantly written tribute to the Africans who fought in the Second World War - detailing the madness, the horror, the sacrifice and the dark humour of its most vicious battleground.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books Ltd; Large type edition edition (Feb. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847820948
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847820945
  • Shipping Weight: 789 g

Product Description

Review

"As humane, ridiculous and moving as Waugh's novels of the world at war" -- Ronan Bennett "A gripping narrative - by turns pathetic, comic and exciting" Sunday Times "Fascinating...unusual...invigorating...and very funny" Observer "A superb Second World War adventure... tender and funny" The Times "Vividly recreates the violence and drama of a forgotten war, describing the camaraderie between fighting men with humour and compassion" -- Maggie Gee --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Biyi Bandele is an award-winning novelist, playwright and director. He was born in Kafanchan, Nigeria in 1967, the son of a veteran of the Burma campaign. His plays have been seen at the Royal Court Theatre, the Gate Theatre, the Barbican, and have been performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. He lives in London. In 2006 he was named by the Independent as one of Africa's fifty most important artists.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel that honors the soldiers in the WWII Burma campaign as well as any history July 11 2009
By Donald M. Bishop - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This coming-of-age novel of a Nigerian soldier, humorously named Ali Banana, in the Burma campaign during World War II is simply marvelous ... enchanting ... charming ... and unforgettable. It's comic and tragic. The merry verve of Nigerian English infuses the dialogs. So does the banter of Hausas, Yorubas, Ibos, and Tivs thrown together in the same unit -- and the reactions of their sometimes perplexed British officers and NCOs.

As the Nigerians deploy into Burma, the lighthearted scenes turn horrific as they fight off Japanese suicide formations attempting to dislodge them from White City. And there are ... the leeches.

The gifted Nigerian playwright Biyi Bandele took the war stories he heard from his father and added what he learned from background research on the troops from Britain's African colonies fighting the Japanese in Burma, the 1944 campaign of the Chindits, and the legendary commander of the Chindits, Major General Orde Wingate.

"Burma Boy" (the American edition is titled "The King's Rifle") is fiction. Yet this lively novel commemorates the campaign and honors its ordinary soldiers as well as any history.

The personal account of the Burma campaign written by George MacDonald Frazier, "Quartered Safe Out Here," is one of the best memoirs written by a private soldier from any nation during the entire war -- take John Keegan's word for it. "Burma Boy" well merits a place on the bookshelf next to it.

-30-

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