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Doing Dangerously Well Hardcover – May 11 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada (May 11 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307356906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307356901
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 15 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #545,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bookbug on July 21 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is not at all my usual kind of book. And yet, once I started reading Doing Dangerously Well, I couldn't put it down.

It is a satire about the influence of large corporations. It's about water. Terrible things happen in this book. It all sounds ponderous, but it's not. The author makes the story come alive with fascinating, larger-than-life characters and plot twists that will keep you turning the pages to find out what comes next. I cried and I laughed out loud, and it's been some time since a book made me do either.

The story takes place across different countries--Canada, the United States and America. All are well drawn enough to be characters in their own right. Seeing these places through the eyes of the characters who inhabit them (and those who are only visiting and are shocked by the strange customs found in a place like "Ottawa") brings them to life. Carole Enahoro also plays with the rhythms and types of speech in each location. Her dialogue is wonderfully rich and real.

I read this book some time ago, and the characters are still with me. There are scenes that will shock and horrify you. The beginning comes to mind; the Kanji dam bursts, killing a million people. And there are scenes where the human warmth in the eccentric characters will leave you hopeful that there is good in us after all.

Read it to change your thoughts on big industry and the privatization of water. Read it for the beautiful writing. Read it for the comedy. Read it for the strange, compelling characters. This is a book you don't want to miss.
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Format: Hardcover
"Doing Dangerously Well" is more than amusing satire -- it is a Bellwether, a contemporary canary in the mine, tweeting like mad about what can and will happen if we do not pay attention to how water has become an industry. Enahoro nudges us with her brilliant characters; their flaws are engaging and draw us to them. And such a cast of characters we have to enjoy here. Multinational, multitasking and multi-needy.

It would be easy to dismiss this a funny romp of a read with blistering dialogue and pithy observations of earnest do-gooders, global megalomaniacs and corporate climbers. But there is far more going on here. Smart -- and at time smarting -- this is well-paced and well-written novel that holds up for us a mirror. If we are brave enough to keep our eyes open, Carole Enahoro offers us a glimpse into our difficult future.

A brilliant writer with a confident hand throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Flick on Aug. 3 2011
Format: Paperback
It is a book like this that gives meaning to the Commonwealth Prize: smart, complex and daring. The writer shows that huge decisions are made in small worlds operating on a multi-continental basis. A dam bursts and this creates bedlam... not simply as a result of the human carnage, but also because of the number of people who see this as an opportunity to push forward agendas personal to them from different corners of the earth. So you have the worlds of big business, politics, charities, protest groups, the media, villages and cities colliding. The writer obviously has a strong understanding of how these worlds knit together. This book reminds me of the biting, satirical approach of Manu Joseph's "Serious Men" as well as that book's understanding of context and character, and the extreme comedy of Marie Phillips "Gods Behaving Badly" or a Richard Pryor gig. As for the plot, it's so complex, it's a bit like a detective story gone rampant. The characters are hilarious! The language is brilliant. This is my favorite book of the year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Dudley on July 21 2011
Format: Hardcover
I laughed out loud, real belly aching laughter, on more than one occasion reading this in a room on my own .... this novel is more than just comically funny - the end of the first chapter brutal case in point. Carole Enahoro's characters fill the room, your head space. Brilliant,funny, philosophically political satire and pathos. Genius, Ms Enahoro! Waiting eagerly, impatiently, for the next one....
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By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 21 2010
Format: Hardcover
Doing Dangerously Well is Carole Enahoro's debut. And it's one of Random House Canada's picks for their New Faces of Fiction.

Hey Random - good picking!

The unthinkable happens to the majestic Kainji Dam in Nigeria - it collapses - killing hundreds of thousands. This tragedy is met with great glee by the Nigerian Minister of Natural Resources, Ogbe Kolo. Now, he thinks, is the perfect time to make a run for the presidency and cut some deals with the Americans. Mary Glass of the US company TransAqua sees lots of opportunities as well and is more than willing to work with Kolo. First up - privatizing the Niger River and selling the water back to the Nigerians. This should earn her a promotion. Mary's sister Barbara has a problem with this and joins Femi - a Nigerian activist determined to stop Kolo. There are lots of others with an eye to the water rights and their own agendas.

Enahoro has an incredibly witty sense of humour. There is nothing sacred as she joyfully skewers every faction that comes under her pen. Politics, race, religion, sexuality, nationality, family, body image and more. Her satirical sense is sharply honed. I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

The dialogue is incredibly adroit, but the characters are what I really enjoyed. Barbara is the quintessential tree hugging, new age activist. She lives on her own terms and just barrels through any situation, dispensing her brand of wisdom as she passes through. Barbara's reactions to Canada and its people are priceless.

"Barbara was getting worried about these Canadians. They had a pathological cheeriness that certainly had no place in the world of international intrigue."

"They speak like Americans. They act American.
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