The book starts with a little history of the Congo under Belgium rule during the colonial days. This gives the reader an insight into how things were in Belgian Congo, and how ‘La Territoriale’ was made to get rid of King Leopold’s cruelty and brutality in the CFS regime. The first chapter gives a lot of information about Belgian Congo and all that happened. I had the impression that I was attending a history class, as the author wrote about events I had never heard of. It was agonizing to read about King Leopold, as his inhuman acts against the Congo people led to a lot of loss.
Politics in Congo, the formation of political parties, King Leopold’s atrocities and the influence of Rumba are all covered in the book. Reading about natives who were killed as directed by King Leopold in the harvest of red rubber in the era of CFS regime was one of the moments I almost broke down. Natives’ hands were chopped and others left with permanent wounds and under the CFS regime. Just how cruel could one man be? The worst thing was that even as he committed all these crimes, King Leopold received backing from his country, and even had support from his followers.
The author covered a number of themes in the book. Politics, music, law, human rights violation, business, and trade were all covered. This book highlights the use and impact of Congo music in Africa and other continents like America and Europe. Thierry Antha extensively writes about the brand associated with Congo Rumba and Rumba Lingala, Congo music that is known by just a few, how the Flemish administrators took Rumba, the industrialization of Congo music during the colonial days and much more.
Thierry Antha extensively writes about the brand associated with Congo Rumba and Rumba Lingala, Congo music that is known by just a few, how the Flemish administrators protected Congo music’s exceptionalism, while Walloons industrialized it with the addition of the legal diversity of South American music for export in the late 1950s and much more. And mostly how Fonior, the Belgian company, misused its monopoly to commit fraud and defraud Congolese musicians’ copyrights and consumers’ human rights in America, first, after the colony’s independence.
Rumba music, as allegedly sold in the West, is beautiful to the Soul. When played in clubs, the radio, and other public media, one can feel how passionately the artists feel the music they create. As you enjoy “Rumba” music, do you know a little history about Fonior’s fake-outs and how the genres were born? Do you know the challenges they faced and how the music they made affected them and the people around? If not, then you need to read this book. It has all the good, bad, fantastic and ugly stories about Belgian Congo, the natives, Congolese musicians and the exploitation of Congo music.
Pages: 598 | ASIN: B07CH9M9BR
Posted in Book Reviews
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Terrifyingly gritty is the world within Kill the Teachers: Mexico’s Bloody Repression of Human Rights by Robert Joe Stout. Reader will not find a kind world in this historical retelling of events from the not-so-distant past. Corruption, suppression and oppression are what wait for readers within these pages. It is important to read about the past in order to learn from it: to prevent ourselves from making the same mistakes again. However, learning is not the same for everyone. The brutal history of Oaxaca, Mexico is what readers are going to find themselves thrown into within this book. This small area that has never quite advanced with the rest of the country where dangerous men with big ideas crushed the spirits of those who lived there. Sometimes even ending their lives.
This book is a carefully researched and written recounting of life in Oaxaca. There are interviews with those directly in attendance of the rallies and demonstrations those who wanted reform. These first-hand accounts bring home the reality of what people were facing in this tiny state. Stout crafts his retelling of the events in his novel in easily digestible chunks. It is easy to be overwhelmed with the history, politics and subterfuge in books like this. Those who are not history buffs may be turned off by the content at first, thinking it too dense for their enjoyment. They’re not wrong, as a lot of information is covered in this book. This is not something you pick up to read while relaxing in the backyard.
That being said, the layout and the formatting of the book are reader-friendly. The chapters are peppered with quotes from interviews and the content is presented in a way that makes it easy for readers to absorb the information they are reading without feeling like they signed up for an intensive history course. The data is dense, but it is not difficult as it flows like a novel would. It is not dry and boring.
It is easy to see that Stout had a competent editor as the errors in grammar and style are minute. It is not easy to share the fragmented history to a world that is not familiar with its roots. Stout appeals to the reader in such a way that learning happens naturally.
Those who are looking for a political or historical thriller will find their needs met with Kill the Teachers: Mexico’s Bloody Repression of Human Rights by Robert Joe Stout as he shares the non-fiction reality of Oaxaca, Mexico. This is the real-life story of a state that has a bloody history. At times, this information is devastating to read, especially when the reader realizes that this did not take place hundreds of years ago, but within the last half-century. However, this truth is something that we should not avert our eyes from, but learn from instead.
Pages: 316 | ASIN: B07C883C1S
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, ebook, eduction, goodreads, government, historical, history, human rights, ilovebooks, indiebooks, Kill the Teachers, kindle, kobo, literature, mexico, Mexico's Bloody Repression of Human Rights, non fiction, nook, novel, Oaxaca, oppresion, politics, publishing, read, reader, reading, repression, robert stout, shelfari, smashwords, society, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writer community, writing
The Game Changer, written by Dave Dröge and set in Rotterdam, revolves around the life of creative businessman Henk van Wijnen-Swarttouw. Henk finds himself caught up within a web of trouble with the law after an art robbery that takes place in the heart of Rotterdam.
Meanwhile Henk’s daughter, Julia, attempts to reach for liberty and human rights through art that is confrontational and provocative. She showcases her talent within her parents art gallery, located in the famous Witte de Withstraat. Henk’s clear distaste for Julia’s “shock value” art drives a dividing wedge between father and daughter and he becomes obsessed with knowing every aspect of Julia’s life.
Through the help of German psychiatrist Von Stürmer, Henk and his daughter must come to grips with understanding her desires for a green sustainable future, whilst facing investigation on his own business practices.
Dave Dröge’s words are enriched with an artistic flair that allows the reader to feel as though they are more than just a spectator in the story of flamboyant Henk van Wijnen-Swarttouw. A mixture of modern era and a touch of old school, The Game Changer allows the reader to easily picture the charming life within Rotterdam. The wine, decadent buildings and lively characters of the novel piece together a picture of beauty and intrigue.
If you enjoy an element of lust in your novels, The Game Changer will satisfy your needs in an elusive room 33. However the relationships in this novel are often short lived and instead the novel draws focus towards the father-daughter relationship and the relationships with Henk’s business associates. Secret meetings, codes lined with dark, red leather and a detective are all part of the mysterious circumstances surrounding art and business.
Henk’s daughter Julia is a free bird, a lover of all things green and a passionate advocate for creating a green, sustainable future. Julia has plans to go to medical school however during her sabbatical she uses her father’s art gallery to display her provocative art. In retaliation, Henk becomes obsessed with his daughter as he fights to control every element of her life. This sometimes leaves the reader feeling slightly uncomfortable as he borders the line between concerned father and an obsessive stalker.
The Game Changer switches between first and third person easily in order to portray various characters points of view. Cor Figee, an account manager, is one character that I came to admire due to his unwavering moral compass, even in the face of adversity. Figee’s neighbour, Elenoor, is handicapped and with her low IQ is often the target of bullies and Figee heroically defends her- even if he needs to cross cultural boundaries. Hard working, he establishes himself with Russian businessmen and creates an honest lifestyle for himself and soccer mad son, Daan.
Many of the characters find themselves stumbling through life and the excessive drinking implies lavish lifestyles of ordinary folk, such as Johanna the barmaid. She indulges in liquor and is almost sycophant to Henk but proves her friendship to Henk loyal when the time arises. Henk’s German psychiatrist, although small in stature, proves to be an integral part of reviving the relationship between father and daughter.
Best read with a pot of fresh mint tea, I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in learning about life within Rotterdam whilst indulging in a spoonful of romance, crime and art history.
Pages: 384 | ASIN: B01N5CQY1A
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25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More chronicles the path into a hellish future of food shortages, contaminated water, sweeping incarceration, radical religion, and extreme population control. What was the spark that made you want to write a book with such dystopian themes?
The idea for 25 Perfect Days came about after my wife suggested that I connect “5 Minutes Alone” and “Four Percent,” two short stories I’d been trying to publish. Once I saw the possibilities, I dove into this dystopian world. I had been spending a lot of time researching police brutality, government conspiracies, and the abuse of human rights, so this was my chance to work through the anger I had toward these injustices.
There is a large cast of characters in this novel. What was your favorite character to write for and why?
Tough question, but I have to go with Michael Adams, the father in “Five Minutes Alone.” I reworked this story several times, even after it’d been published, because my perspective changed after I became a father. I forced this character to make a very difficult decision and discovered a lot about him in the process.
The novel is really a collection of short stories, much like the novel World War Z. Why did you choose this format to tell the story?
I began my writing career with short stories and absolutely love being able to tell a story in just a matter of pages. The short story format however comes with many limitations, especially when protagonists routinely die and there are hard-to-find connections between stories. I intended each of the stories to be capable of standing alone, but also add something to the overall collection. One of my favorite aspects of this format is that I could pop right back into it and expand it to showcase a new character or an unjust law as I did with 5 More Perfect Days (included in the bonus edition.)
In 25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More you tackle a lot of extreme social viewpoints. Do you think there is anything today that you once thought only fiction, but has become reality?
I’m afraid I haven’t been all that creative in imagining some of these desperate situations, as I’ve simply exaggerated what is already taking place in different parts of the world. Outlawing homosexuality, the use of indentured servants, our dependency on technology, the corruption and oppressive potential of both religion and government. The biggest compliment I’ve been given in reviews is that 25 has made readers consider their rights and how important they are to hold onto.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will that be published?
Early 2017 I will be releasing Unlocking the Cage which documents my four-year journey where I traveled to 25 states and over 100 gyms to interview 400 MMA fighters. Summer will mark my return to fiction with Try Not to Die: In Brightside and Ain’t No Messiah.
25 Perfect Days, named one of IndieReader’s Best Indie Books for 2013, just got better with the addition of 5 More Perfect Days. A totalitarian state doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a slow, dangerous slide. 25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More chronicles the path into a hellish future of food shortages, contaminated water, sweeping incarceration, an ultra-radical religion, and the extreme measures taken to reduce the population. Through twenty-five interlinked stories, each written from a different character’s point of view, 25 Perfect Days captures the sacrifice, courage, and love needed to survive and eventually overcome this dystopian nightmare.
Posted in Interviews
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