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by Moses Isegawa

Download Snakepit fb2, epub

ISBN: 0375414541
Author: Moses Isegawa
Language: English
Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (March 16, 2004)
Pages: 272
Category: Contemporary
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 392
Size Fb2: 1433 kb
Size ePub: 1441 kb
Size Djvu: 1982 kb
Other formats: lrf lit docx doc

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FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Praised on both sides of the Atlantic as well as in the author’s native Uganda, Moses Isegawa’s first novel Abyssinian Chronicles was a big.

One. In the Air. Bat Katanga did his first and only job interview inside a military helicopter, the missile-laden Mirage Avenger, owned by General Samson Bazooka Ondogar. In the years to come, his first impression of the machine would repeat itself in his mind like a leitmotif. The thing looked surreal, the spinning blades like whirling knives, the sun’s rays its only decoration

This was the time when he indulged himself and did whatever came into his head.

This was the time when he indulged himself and did whatever came into his head. e, fornicate and swear deep into the night. His favourite trick was to shoot beer bottles placed next to his friends, and, to perfect the skill, he practised assiduously every week. In the migratory season he often challenged them to shoot birds flying over his house for five hundred dollars per bird.

Moses Isegawa Moses Isegawa was born in Uganda and worked as a history teacher before leaving for the Netherlands in 1990

The book follows a cavalcade of characters as they reach for power, love or money in the new "snakepit" that is Uganda, and many are. Moses Isegawa was born in Uganda and worked as a history teacher before leaving for the Netherlands in 1990. He is the author of Abyssinian Chronicles. He lives in Amsterdam.

Snakepit by Moses Isegawa.

Электронная книга "Snakepit: A Novel", Moses Isegawa Moses Isegawa was born in Uganda and worked as a history teacher before leaving for the Netherlands in 1990.

Электронная книга "Snakepit: A Novel", Moses Isegawa. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Snakepit: A Novel" для чтения в офлайн-режиме.

Acclaim for Moses Isegawa’s. This diverting, absorbing read. makes us wonder where Isegawa’s creative genius will take him next. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Isegawa’s painful honesty and his unwillingness to spare any of his characters make Snakepit a work of fiction that bears the hallmark of truth. The Star-Ledger (Newark). Reads like a macabre horror tale-the special agent comes home to find his wife with her head cut off-but the fiction is grounded in the facts of Idi Amin’s dictatorship in Uganda in the 1970s, when atrocity was ‘business as usual.

In Snakepit, Isegawa returns to the surreal, brutalizing landscapes . Every once in a while there emerges a literary voice with the power and urgency to immerse readers deep within a previously "invisible" culture.

In Snakepit, Isegawa returns to the surreal, brutalizing landscapes of his homeland during the time of dictator Idi Amin, when interlocking webs of emotional cruelty kept tyrants gratified and servants cooperative, a land where no one-not husbands or wives, parents or lovers-is ever safe from the implacable desires of men in power. From a young African writer who has already earned comparisons to Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez comes this masterful saga of life in 20th-century Uganda.

From the author of Abyssinian Chronicles (“one of the most impressive works of fiction to have ever come out of Africa”—Kirkus Reviews), a powerful new novel set in Uganda in the 1970s—a dark picaresque that brilliantly depicts the life and death of a nation run by men gorged on power and paranoia.Bat Katanga is a Ugandan just returned to his homeland after two years in Britain. While he completed a postgraduate degree at Cambridge, he watched from afar as “flag independence [gave] way to economic independence” in Uganda, his chances to make a fortune there increasing with each “reform” imposed by Idi Amin. Now, when Bat lands a job as Bureaucrat Two in the Ministry of Power and Communications, he feels himself entering the top echelons of government, his sense of honor and honesty firmly intact: “Everything seemed to have been building to this moment, his triumphant entry into the bastions of power.” But when he is threatened into taking a bribe from a Saudi prince, he unwittingly begins a journey—both psychological and physical—into the darkest and most dangerous precincts of the madness that was Amin’s Uganda. As Bat’s life begins to unravel, we see the men and women whose lives intersect his: General Bazooka, his superior at the ministry—“a creature of people’s fears and prejudices”—a man slowly losing Amin’s approval, and with it any sense of safety or sanity; Victoria, who bears both Bat’s child and a deadly grudge against him; Bat’s family and friends, coping with the advantages and disadvantages of connection to someone in high places; Bat’s wife, Babit, who pays the ultimate price for his mistakes; Robert Ashes, the mercenary Englishman who insinuates himself into Amin’s trust—and who will be the only one left standing after Amin’s downfall. Snakepit is an extraordinarily revealing, deeply humanizing exploration of the experience of virulent corruption. It is a fiercely compelling novel.


This superb novel of the final days of Idi Amin's despotic regime in Uganda captures the inhumanity of absolute power in horrifying detail. Bat Katanga, a graduate of Cambridge, returns to his homeland and a job at the Ministry of Power and Communication to seek his fortune. The man who hires him, General Bazooka, has done so to undo him, for Bazooka is sensitive about his own lack of education as well as Bat's privileged southern roots and wants to see Bat - and the part of Uganda he represents - to fail. Bat, of course, has no clue; he is more interested in the expensive house and XJ10 that await him. Unfortunately for Bat, Bazooka is as brutal as Bat is naive. When a third man, a white man named Ashes becomes Marshal Amin's confidante, Bat becomes a pawn in a battle of power-grubbing one-upmanship that puts everything he values in jeopardy. As author Isegawa takes the reader into the minds of these men and their lovers, family, and those who surround them, a full, unsettling picture of tyranny emerges. In this country ruled by murder and revenge, no one is safe.
Moses Isegawa writes with stunning clarity and force, faltering only slightly at the end with scenes that would be dramatic in any other novel but which are anticlimactic given what has occurred before. His most amazing achievement is the descent into the minds of brutes to make them understandable even if they are wholly despicable. The weaving of these multiple stories - Bat's, Bazooka's, and others - is seamless, as everything points toward the fall of Idi Amin's hedonistic and unforgiving regime.
I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. Its bold look at a country ruled by brutality adds a surprisingly human dimension to outright inhumanity. Readers of Nuruddin Farah's LINKS, which details an intellectual in the midst of Somalia's civil war, will find many similarities, although the two novels belong distinctively to their respective authors and homelands.
The modern history of the region now known as Uganda is utterly dominated by the bizarre and terrifying rule of that most clownish of despots, Idi Amin. In this, his second novel, Isegawa attempts to explore the notion of individual responsibility under such a regime. The main protagonist in this story is recent Cambridge graduate Bat Katanga, a math whiz who returns to his native country around 1973, just after Amin has kicked out the many Indians who lived there. Seeing opportunity in the misfortune of these others, Bat manages to land a high position in the MInistry of Power and Communication. The other primary player in the story is Bat's patron, General "Bazooka", who is cut of an altogether different cloth. One of the highly uneducated army officers from the South who stormed the palace in the 1971 Amin-led coup that removed Prime Minister Milton Obote, the General is an established member of the dictator's inner circle.

The duo's stories, and that of many members of their two families (and not a few other people) provide plenty of material for Isegawa to paint a very grim portrait of Uganda under Amin. Arbitrary violence, Caligulan decadence, and thoroughly pervasive corruption started at the very top and filtered through the entire ruling structure. The hollowness of civic institutions and the proliferation of guns led to an utter breakdown in civil society, which in turn led to cycles of revenge. As if this wasn't enough, an increasingly cocaine-addicted Amin relied more heavily on his two strange advisors: the renown astrologer Dr. Ali ($10,000 session) and the cunning Englishman Robert Ashes (modeled after the real-life adventurer Bob Astles, who became Amin's confidante). While all this certainly makes great material for a writer, the novel suffers from several flaws.

One of these is Isegawa's decision to blend fact and fiction to ill effect. It's not clear why he's created this character of Ashes, when the real-life Astles was such a strange story unto himself. Similarly, Idi Amin's real antics were so outlandish that there's no need for Isegawa to have invented new ones, such as the notion that Amin made several movies in Hollywood where he starred as Mussolini, or that he released a banknote showing him using Europe as a cesspit. A second, and more major flaw, is Isegawa's inability to stay in once place or with one character for very long. The book has no rhythm or pace whatsoever, lurching from scene to scene and character to character in its attempt to paint a broad picture. (A more cohesive fictional examination of Amin's rule is Giles Foden's "The Last King of Scotland".) Finally, the book is rather confusing when it comes to who has the ability to do what. For example, sometimes General Bazooka can perpetrate the most heinous outrages, and other times not. It's never clear why Ashes is considered untouchable some of the time, and not others.

In the end, these flaws don't obscure the book's true theme, which is an exploration of how people respond to despotism and brutality. Although they are carefully constructed to come from opposite backgrounds, Isegawa seems to be saying that both the General and Bat are complicit in the evil regime. In other words, while the violent thug is easily recognizable as evil, the intellectual whose "victimless" work supports the regime is perhaps equally evil. And naturally, in the end, it is the innocent who suffer most of all.

PS. For a "where are they now" glimpse of Amin's exile in Saudi Arabia before his death last year, see Italian journalist Ricardo Orizio's fascinating book "Talk of the Devil."
This is my first book by this author and I happened to pick it out at my local library. It is basically a story about government and bureaucratic corruption. Being a fellow african, like the author, I can only agree that such a story can only be told authentically from first hand experience. I originally come from a country that has known power-crazy, bloodthirsty military leaders and still knows dire corruption.

This writer's rendition of the bloody and dirty politics of the self-proclaimed Marshall Idi Amin's regime is all too familiar and is written excellently. I also like the book's paper type.

However, that is the only strength of the book. Everything else seems fake and contrived. General Bazooka's hatred of Bat is totally unexplained. I did not buy Bat's imprisonment. He wasn't even tortured at first. It's like the writer remembered at the last minute that political prisoners in Africa arent handled with kid gloves and then decided to make the rest of Bat's prison stay unpleasant, the English MP friend was unrealistically handy to facilitate Bat's release, the courthouse antics of Victoria struck me as clownish, foolish and unreal. I also didnt feel any genuine affection for Bat and Babit as a couple and the descrition of their trip to England was hollow. Also, Bat's daughter was never mentioned again. The entire plot was a mess, the ending glossed over.

On a whole it was like a bad version of a good Frederick Forsythe book, with a Ugandan flavour.

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