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Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
     

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood

4.3 109
by Alexandra Fuller
 

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In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and

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Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 109 reviews.
n2nis More than 1 year ago
My husband and I actually read this book together. We would get ourselves a cup of coffee and head out to our deck every morning during the summer with this delightful book in hand. We were so engaged with "Bobo" and her entire family that we couldn't wait to get started each day. When we finished the book, we were actually saddened that we wouldn't have another day in which to share this wonderful read. We laughed till we cried as Alexandra Fuller told her delightful stories about her mother, her father, sister, and the others who lived with and helped this fascinating family. We also cried when tragedy struck. We felt as though we knew these people and shared in their sorrows as they faced them throughout their lives. We truly loved this book and just wanted it to go on and on. Thank you, Alexandra Fuller, for giving us such a fond memory. My only regret is that there isn't a sequel. It's been a long time since I read a book that I enjoyed this much.
BrynS-D More than 1 year ago
This was a really compelling memoir, brutally honest and beautifully insightful. Alexandra is a fascinating woman whom I would love to meet and talk with. I have not read her other book... but someday it will make it into my very large pile! My criteria for what makes a "good read" are: hooks me in the first 10 pages, opens my eyes to a new point of view, teaches me something about another culture or part of the world, makes me want to learn more. This book hit them all hands down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
An amazing story that reveals the harsh realities of life for the poor in several African countries during the 1970s. Written as a memoir and dedicated to the author's mother, this book would be appreciated by those interested in African life, manic-depression, alcoholism, poverty, farm life, race relations or people who enjoy stories with a wry, dark sense of humor. This book is not written with the sense of balance or thoroughness one might find in a textbook, but rather it is a collection of stories that describe how one family coped with the extreme poverty and the political upheaval of 1970s Africa. By turns it is sad, desperate, intimate, bittersweet, and funny as hell. It will surely evoke some strong emotions in anyone who reads it.
Reeves4 More than 1 year ago
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller portrays a different perspective on life. Alexandra is a young girl living in Africa and she does not live an ordinary life. Alexandra lives with her family in a small city in Africa. This house consists of two rooms and zero bathrooms for a family of five. After just one month of her baby brother being born, he passes away from a horrible disease. Her mother struggles with this loss and progressively gets more depressed as life goes on. Alexandra is accustomed to hunger, drought, malaria, and fighting guerrillas that represent colonial Africa. Her family not only is a victim of racism, but they are guilty of being racist as well. Although Alexandra's family is struggling during such hard times, she has no problem finding laughter in her life. Alexandra looks past all of the terrible situations she has been put through and lives life to the fullest. She looks at her past and discovers love during her journey. This book sends many messages. One prominent message in this book is courage. I believe that Alexandra had been put through many tough situations and she overcame all of the troubles that her family had. Alexandra stared down disaster and made the best of what she could. One thing that I really liked about the book is the imagery. Fuller portrayed the environment and time period that they were in and I enjoyed being put into Alexander's situation. One thing that stood out to me in a negative way was how slow the book started off. It was hard to understand Fuller's language. I recommend this book to all teenagers. Teenagers typically think pessimistically about their own lives and they usually do not see that some people are living in Africa with diseases, have no food or home, or even do not have an income. Another book that relates to this is A Child Called 'It' by Dave Peltzer. A Child Called 'It' is similar in many ways because of the situations he must overcome. Dave was beaten as a child by his mother, yet still found a way to enjoy life and make the best out of his situations. Overall, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight was a well written book.
Ryanhouston More than 1 year ago
This author also wrote Scribbling the cat. This book describes some interesting events and the underlying hardship faced by white family in southern africa. It is a personal biography/diary more than a cultural critique.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an easy read. Once I started to read it I could not put it down. The author is very descriptive when recalling the accounts of her life. She includes so much detail it's like watching a movie. She paints a picture in your mind with each page. It is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It was sad, funny and just a wonderful story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hope that the many who have read and lauded this book don't think that all Rhodesians, 'White' or 'Black' are like those portrayed in this book. I feel like writing a rebuttal to this work in a way - and calling it 'Do let's go to the dogs tonight!'... only no-one would want to read it. It wouldn't be a point by point debate in answer to Ms Fuller's recollections, (that would not interest me). My story of the halcyon days of my childhood in Africa would be no less 'brutal' but hopefully more balanced, in proper context and truthful. Africa is a magnificent continent and the countries in which I have lived are peopled with characters that go beyond a mawkish mixture of personal tragedy and a personal history that I think is used,unsuccessfully, to excuse bad behaviour, racialism and add grist to a mill that is inaccurate, disjointed and exaggerated. Further, being an ex-Rhodesian around 10 years older than the writer, I see no good in the naive political commentary that has no context really other than to make the reader think they understand Africa, Rhodesia, African politics and rule or life on the dark continent, or to 'faga moto' to an already cockeyed view of Africans, Black, Coloured or White. But then perhaps that was what the wiriter wanted. Or maybe she just wrote a story and was suprised at the response of the non-African reading public? Who can really know? I happened to have been born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), lived and schooled in Southern Rhodesia and Rhodesia, (now Zimbabwe) and now live in South Africa. Thank heavens my parents worked hard (they too went without food to protect and care for us three children), they were not drunks, and I did not have a childhood filled with ticks, worms and fleas. Please understand, this did not represent Rhodesia for everyone - there was love, respect, understanding and care between all people (both Black and White) when I was growing up ... but then I suppose I was the lucky one. Yes there was a war, yes, in a war horror abounds, yes there are two (?) sides to every question, yes there is enmity between peoples, but to take Ms Fuller's account as a standard interpretation of these times and to fete it as I have read above, well that saddens. I wonder how many of those critics have actually been to Africa in general and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe in particular. Read 'A story of an African Farm'... now there's a story about Africa that's more honest by far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such an enjoyable read. I ate it up and will be pondering on it for sometime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable.
LKoza More than 1 year ago
It took a good 80 pages to truly get interested in the story and used to the author's style. But after that, I enjoyed the book. Very interesting and informative. I knew NOTHING about Africa....this was very eye-opening! I enjoyed it enough to go on and read her recent "sequel." IT moved a little faster...but I suppose that's because I knew the characters and her style.
horseloverDB More than 1 year ago
I started reading this in South Africa (second trip with more to follow) while visiting family (expats). From Pretoria we self drive so we get to see parts of Africa others never experience, plus we get to "visit" with the people of Africa...African, Afrikaner, and British. Our son and his family have a diverse group of friends and acquaintances; and it is fascinating to just sit and listen to each person's perspective and observe their interaction. Fascinating book with crazy, funny, heartbreaking vignettes throughout. Yes, Africa gets into some folks' blood (my son a little I think). Despite all my past and present obsession with Africa I know, after reading this book and then right after...Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness...I am not one of them. Much as I love to visit Africa, the romanticism has worn off. It is a continent that needs the crazy adventurism of Nicola and Tim Fuller.
obeythekitty More than 1 year ago
the author's frankness and dry humor are totally captivating. she lets bare facts speak for themselves without moralizing or attempting to go beyond the scope of one little white girl's African experience.
EHB More than 1 year ago
Being raised in the city in the U.S. would not prepare you for life like growing up in Africa during the Rhodesian war. From the cigarette smoking and beer drinking to being taught to tend wounds and deliver babies in school as an eight-year old, Bobo's upbringing was anything but traditional. I envied her and pitied her at the same time. What an exciting and scary time to be a white child in Africa. A great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There was a lot of good hype for this book, but I just didn't get it. What could have been an interesting story was hard to follow. I'm still trying to figure this book out, even after our book club discussed it.
Anonymous 11 months ago
So well written. This book was so easy to read and so interesting I began reading it again after I finished it. Her vivid descriptions of everyday life are wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story truly puts you into a different world, a world full of danger and challenges I can't even imagine living, and even more amazingly, this difficult life is portrayed as one the author would never trade. With optimism, love, humor and passion, "Bobo" brings you into her world as a child with a life full of contradictions. It is a life of minimal modern comforts - and with servants; there are the dangers of war, the ongoing experience of loss, and a less-than-stable homelife - but with a fiercely loyal, protective, and very close family; she is a transplant to her homeland, but it is as much a part of her as are the feet that stand upon it's earth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have not finished reading. Might try to finish at a later time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exceptional book, it commands your attention, then stays in your thoughts even when you are not reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way Alexandra Fuller writes. She uses words so fully. A good book, to me, is like a good meal. And this book is steak with all the fixings with chocolate mousse for dessert. Please enjoy. ~*~LEB~*~
Brodk More than 1 year ago
Life of a white family in Rhodesia during the Troubles. Seems to be authentic. Recollections of a girl growing up primarily in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe during the seventies and eighties. Strikes me as being truthful. Humorous, as though the author is thinking "Oh Lord, did this really happen to me?" Worthwhile as a slice of life in that place at that time.
Matt_C_M More than 1 year ago
I just finished this incredible book, and although not prone to write reviews of books many books, I had to make an exception for this one. To me, this is more than just a book - it's a work of art. Bobo has such a fantastic voice as author of this book, co-mingling brutal honesty, descriptions so vivid as to be nearly tangible, and British humor and sensibility so masterfully that this book should be required reading for anyone seeking to perfect their craft. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight has earned its place amongst my most treasured books - I find it supremely recommendable. I will definitely seek out any further books written by the former Ms. Fuller. Thank you so much for giving us such a rich and honest look into your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ZoeCL More than 1 year ago
Safe and Privileged My school had Alexandra Fuller come and talk to us. I was slightly confused about why she was there, but as she ta;led to one of my classes about the hardships of living in Africa during civil wars. When I found out she had her own book talking about her childhood, it sparked my attention, but I never got around to reading it. Now, I was able to read it and I didn't want to put the book down. Being in Africa during the ending of a ten year civil war and the starting of "a new civil war between the Renamo rebel forces and the new Frelimo government" (52), I would think that living in Africa as a child would be terrifying, especially living as close to Mozambique as she did. To most people watching out for land mines and snakes in a yard is not their main priority of caution, but for Fuller and her family, they needed to use land rovers to even get in to the town. Although, Fuller did not have to live through this by herself because she had the comfort of her older sister and servants. The Africans who helped out, such as Violet, the housekeeper or Snake, the cook, definitely added entertainment to the story. Before reading the book, I knew that there was a lot of conflict in Africa,but after reading the book, I realized how much of an impact these wars had on people's everyday lives. From learning how to use a gun as a little girl or burglaries from people she knew well, Fuller lived through something I could never go through. This book also made me realize that I take my safety for granted, and I will never need to worry about terrorist raiding my house or having to carry a gun with me at night. The detail of the book makes you feel like you're watching a movie. While I was reading the book, I could feel the the excitement, despair or fear from her point of view. Overall, this book is a chance to see how a child grows through and adapts to the African lifestyle, and I would definitely recommend it!   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago