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Johnny Mad Dog

Johnny Mad Dog Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Life During Wartime, As Seen Through the Eyes of Two Congolese Teenagers

Set amid the chaos of West Africa's civil wars, Emmanuel Dongala's striking new novel tells the story of two teenagers growing up while rival ethnic groups fight for control of their country.

At age sixteen, Johnny is a member of the Death Dealers, a rebel faction bent on seizing power. Even as he is drawn into the rebels' program of terror, Johnny Mad Dog, as he calls himself, retains his youthful exuberance-searching for girls, good times, and adventure. Sixteen-year-old Laokolé, for her part, dreams of finishing high school and becoming an engineer, but as rogue militias prepare to sack the city, she is forced to leave home with her mother and brother-and then finds herself alone and running from the likes of Johnny.

Acclaimed in France, Johnny Mad Dog is a coming-of-age story like no other; Dongala's masterful use of dual narrators makes the novel an unusually vivid and affecting tale of the struggle to survive-and to retain one's humanity-in terrifying times.

Review:

"Two teenagers are caught up in the melee as rival ethnic factions turn their Congolese city into a bloody battleground in this harrowing novel by Dongala (Little Boys Come from the Stars, etc.). Laokol, a bright girl of 16 who dreams of one day becoming an engineer, flees home ahead of the marauding militias. With her younger brother and legless mother (whom she pushes in a wheelbarrow), she struggles not only to stay alive but to sustain her hopes for the future. Alternate chapters give readers the boastful voice of 15-year-old Johnny Mad Dog, a member of the Death Dealers militia, as he patrols the city with his Uzi, looting, raping and killing, eager to prove himself a man. Dongala, a native of the Congo Republic (formerly French Congo), offers an unflinching look at the greed and ignorance that drives fighters like Mad Dog, as well as the fear, desperation and anger of those trapped in the cross fire. Despite occasional wooden dialogue and the rather stagey showdown between the two narrators, Dongala frames some powerful questions: namely, how humans can be so cruel, and conversely, how do they maintain their humanity in the face of unremitting ugliness? As Mad Dog himself half-marvels, half-laments, 'even if we looted them a thousand times, they would always manage to hang onto something.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Set amid the chaos of West Africa's civil wars, Dongala's striking new novel tells the story of two teenagers growing up while rival ethnic groups fight for control of their country.

Synopsis:

 
A Los Angeles Times Book Review Favorite Book of the Year

 

Johnny Mad Dog, age sixteen, is a member of a rebel faction bent on seizing control of war-torn Congo. Laokolé, at the same age, simply wants to finish high school. Together, they narrate a crossing of paths that has explosive results. Set amid the chaos of West Africa's civil wars, and acclaimed by such writers as Philip Roth and Chinua Achebe, Emmanuel Dongala's powerful, exuberant, and terrifying new work is a coming-of-age story like no other.

About the Author

Emmanuel Dongala was a resident from birth of Brazzaville, capital of the Congo Republic (formerly French Congo), until he left the country in 1997 during its civil war. He teaches at Simon's Rock College of Bard and lives in western Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374179953
Subtitle:
A Novel
Translator:
Rejouis, Joel
Translator:
Ascher, Maria Louise
Translator:
Rejouis, Joel
Author:
Ascher, Maria Louise
Author:
Ascher, Maria
Author:
Dongala, Emmanuel
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
War & Military
Edition Description:
American
Publication Date:
20060516
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 0.746 in

Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Africa

Johnny Mad Dog
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374179953 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Two teenagers are caught up in the melee as rival ethnic factions turn their Congolese city into a bloody battleground in this harrowing novel by Dongala (Little Boys Come from the Stars, etc.). Laokol, a bright girl of 16 who dreams of one day becoming an engineer, flees home ahead of the marauding militias. With her younger brother and legless mother (whom she pushes in a wheelbarrow), she struggles not only to stay alive but to sustain her hopes for the future. Alternate chapters give readers the boastful voice of 15-year-old Johnny Mad Dog, a member of the Death Dealers militia, as he patrols the city with his Uzi, looting, raping and killing, eager to prove himself a man. Dongala, a native of the Congo Republic (formerly French Congo), offers an unflinching look at the greed and ignorance that drives fighters like Mad Dog, as well as the fear, desperation and anger of those trapped in the cross fire. Despite occasional wooden dialogue and the rather stagey showdown between the two narrators, Dongala frames some powerful questions: namely, how humans can be so cruel, and conversely, how do they maintain their humanity in the face of unremitting ugliness? As Mad Dog himself half-marvels, half-laments, 'even if we looted them a thousand times, they would always manage to hang onto something.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Set amid the chaos of West Africa's civil wars, Dongala's striking new novel tells the story of two teenagers growing up while rival ethnic groups fight for control of their country.
"Synopsis" by ,
 
A Los Angeles Times Book Review Favorite Book of the Year

 

Johnny Mad Dog, age sixteen, is a member of a rebel faction bent on seizing control of war-torn Congo. Laokolé, at the same age, simply wants to finish high school. Together, they narrate a crossing of paths that has explosive results. Set amid the chaos of West Africa's civil wars, and acclaimed by such writers as Philip Roth and Chinua Achebe, Emmanuel Dongala's powerful, exuberant, and terrifying new work is a coming-of-age story like no other.

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