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

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

4.3 104
by Alexandra Fuller, Lisette Lecat
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

Overview

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 unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time.

Author Biography:

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
Alexandra "Bobo" Fuller's journey crosses unchartered roads. This dazzlingly written memoir of a young English-born girl, whose family moves to strife-torn Rhodesia in 1972, paints a canvas of a landscape few Americans will easily recognize.

The family barely scrapes by as Rhodesia is ravaged by war, then relocates to the bleak, inhospitable landscape of Malawi and finally settles on a farm in Zambia. Along the way, these insistent white settlers encounter an environment many might question.

Three of the five Fuller children die before the age of two; only the author and her sister Vanessa survive. Their mother struggles with fierce bouts of alcoholism and breakdowns that ultimately are diagnosed as manic-depressive episodes. Meanwhile, their father fights in the Rhodesian bush for months at a time.

In the tradition of other white European women before her, such as Isak Dinesen, Bobo falls in love with an Africa she cannot be a part of and yet cannot walk away from. "My soul has no home," she movingly writes. "I am neither African, nor English nor am I of the sea."

The book may be somewhat disturbing in its politics, depending on one's viewpoint on the Rhodesian struggle, but as a writer, Fuller gives us a tour de force. We see, hear, and even smell the Africa of her childhood. Ultimately, Let's Don't Go to the Dogs Tonight becomes a 20th-century swan song to the long story of colonials in Africa; in this case, told from the inside out. And as such it makes for riveting reading. (Elena Simon)

Elena Simon lives in New York City.

Stephen Clingsman
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight is surprisingly engaging and even moving.
New York Times
Publishers Weekly
A classic is born in this tender, intensely moving and even delightful journey through a white African girl's childhood. Born in England and now living in Wyoming, Fuller was conceived and bred on African soil during the Rhodesian civil war (1971-1979), a world where children over five "learn[ed] how to load an FN rifle magazine, strip and clean all the guns in the house, and ultimately, shoot-to-kill." With a unique and subtle sensitivity to racial issues, Fuller describes her parents' racism and the wartime relationships between blacks and whites through a child's watchful eyes. Curfews and war, mosquitoes, land mines, ambushes and "an abundance of leopards" are the stuff of this childhood. "Dad has to go out into the bush... and find terrorists and fight them"; Mum saves the family from an Egyptian spitting cobra; they both fight "to keep one country in Africa white-run." The "A" schools ("with the best teachers and facilities") are for white children; "B" schools serve "children who are neither black nor white"; and "C" schools are for black children. Fuller's world is marked by sudden, drastic changes: the farm is taken away for "land redistribution"; one term at school, five white students are "left in the boarding house... among two hundred African students"; three of her four siblings die in infancy; the family constantly sets up house in hostile, desolate environments as they move from Rhodesia to Zambia to Malawi and back to Zambia. But Fuller's remarkable affection for her parents (who are racists) and her homeland (brutal under white and black rule) shines through. This affection, in spite of its subjects' prominent flaws, reveals their humanity and allows the reader directentry into her world. Fuller's book has the promise of being widely read and remaining of interest for years to come. Photos not seen by PW. (On-sale Dec. 18) Forecast: Like Anne Frank's diary, this work captures the tone of a very young person caught up in her own small world as she witnesses a far larger historical event. It will appeal to those looking for a good story as well as anyone seeking firsthand reportage of white southern Africa. The quirky title and jacket will propel curious shoppers to pick it up. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote KLIATT's March 2003 review of the Recorded Books audiobook edition: Alexandra (Bobo) was born in England but moved to what was then Rhodesia in the early 1970s when she was about three years old. As that child, she recounts the wars, the fighting, the racism, and her family's struggles with the climate, the land, and the people. They are farmers and everything is difficult. Bobo's view of it all is fresh, matter-of-fact and often naïve, as she describes driving through land mine-ridden country, her mother going down the driveway to greet visitors with her Uzi slung over her shoulder, her father leaving for his stint of soldiering in the bush, or the children learning how to take apart and put together the family guns and learn CPR and first aid, "in case all the grown-ups are dead." Pathos, humor, and the details of what life in Rhodesia was like make this a remarkable, startling experience. (Editor's note: the paperback edition includes a Reader's Guide, with a statement from the author, suggested reading, and questions for discussion.) KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Random House, 316p. illus. map. bibliog., Purucker
Library Journal
It is difficult for most people even to imagine the world described in this book, let alone live in it as a child: the nights are dark, scary, and filled with strange noises; the people welcome you and despise you at the same time; there is a constant anxious feeling burning in your stomach, which, you later realize, is fear of the unrest surrounding you. The British-born Fuller grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), losing three siblings to disease as her father fought in the Rhodesian civil war and her mother managed the farm. She approaches her childhood with reserve, leaving many stories open to interpretation while also maintaining a remarkable clarity about what really transpired in her homeland, in her own home, and in her head. The narrative seems complicated, weaving together war, politics, racial issues, and alcoholism, but its emotional core remains honest, playful, and unapologetic; it hardly seems possible that this 32-year-old has so much to say and says it so well. In this powerful debut, Fuller fully succeeds in memorializing the beauty of each desert puddle and each African summer night sky while also recognizing that beauty can lie hidden in the faces of those who have crossed her path. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/01.]-Rachel Collins, "Library Journal" Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Pining for Africa, Fuller's parents departed England in the early '70s while she was still a toddler. They knew well that their life as white farmers living in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia at the time) would be anything but glamorous. Living a crude, rural life, the author and her older sister contended with "itchy bums and worms and bites up their arms from fleas" and losing three siblings. Mum and Dad were freewheeling, free-drinking, and often careless. Yet they were made of tough stuff and there is little doubt of the affection among family members. On top of attempting to make a living, they faced natives who were trying to free themselves of British rule, and who were understandably not thrilled to see more white bwanas settling in. Fuller portrays bigotry (her own included), segregation, and deprivation. But judging by her vivid and effortless imagery, it is clear that the rich, pungent flora and fauna of Africa have settled deeply in her bones. Snapshots scattered throughout the book enhance the feeling of intimacy and adventure. A photo of the author's first day of boarding school seems ordinary enough- she's standing in front of the family's Land Rover, smiling with her mother and sister. Then the realization strikes that young Alexandra is holding an Uzi (which she had been trained to use) and the family car had been mine-proofed. This was no ordinary childhood, and it makes a riveting story thanks to an extraordinary telling.-Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fuller's debut is a keen-eyed, sharp-voiced memoir of growing up white in 1970s Africa. Born in England in 1969, the author by age three had moved to civil-war-torn Rhodesia, where her parents had lived before they lost an infant son to meningitis. Tim and Nicola Fuller ran a farm on Rhodesia's eastern edge. Mozambique, just across the border, was deep into its own civil war, and in this hostile geopolitical climate the Fullers struggled for a toehold that would keep Rhodesia white-ruled. In 1976, Nicola gave birth to a daughter who drowned in a duck puddle less than two years later. Minority rule ended in 1979; the country began its gradual, uneasy metamorphosis into independent Zimbabwe. The Fullers lost their land; Nicola bore and for the third time lost a child. To gain distance from all this failure, the family moved to dictator-controlled Malawi before ultimately settling in Zambia, where Tim and Nicola remain to this day. Fuller makes no apologies for her parents' (especially her mother's) politics. The loose structure and short takes here crystallize and polish the general subjects-race, politics, history, home, loss-into diamond-hard clarity without sacrificing the pace and intensity of the narrative or distracting the reader from the appeal of the personal. Like Dinesen, the author takes an elegiac tone, but it's balanced by a bouncy lyricism derived from compression, humor, and gimlet-eyed compassion. Fuller loved and loves her Africa; in the final analysis that passion takes a bright and vivid story to the next level, and even further. An illuminating, even thrillingly fresh perspective on the continent's much-discussed post-colonial problems.
From the Publisher
“This is not a book you read just once, but a tale of terrible beauty to get lost in over and over.”Newsweek
 
“By turns mischievous and openhearted, earthy and soaring . . . hair-raising, horrific, and thrilling.”The New Yorker
 
“The Africa of this beautiful book is not easy to forget. Despite, or maybe even because of, the snakes, the leopards, the malaria and the sheer craziness of its human inhabitants, often violent but pulsing with life, it seems like a fine place to grow up, at least if you are as strong, passionate, sharp and gifted as Alexandra Fuller.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Owning a great story doesn’t guarantee being able to tell it well. That’s the individual mystery of talent, a gift with which Alexandra Fuller is richly blessed, and with which she illuminates her extraordinary memoir. . . . There’s flavor, aroma, humor, patience . . . and pinpoint observational acuity.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“This is a joyously telling memoir that evokes Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club as much as it does Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa.”—New York Daily News
 
“Riveting . . . [full of] humor and compassion.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“The incredible story of an incredible childhood.”The Providence Journal
 
“Fuller’s look back at her early life in an English family at the violent tail end of colonialism is sad and hilarious.”USA Today

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402558177
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
05/20/2003

Read an Excerpt

Rhodesia, 1975

Mum says, "Don't come creeping into our room at night."

They sleep with loaded guns beside them on the bedside rugs. She says,
"Don't startle us when we're sleeping."

"Why not?"

"We might shoot you."

"Oh."

"By mistake."

"Okay." As it is, there seems a good enough chance of getting shot on purpose. "Okay, I won't."

So if I wake in the night and need Mum and Dad, I call Vanessa, because she isn't armed. "Van! Van, hey!" I hiss across the room until she wakes up. And then Van has to light a candle and escort me to the loo, where I pee sleepily into the flickering yellow light and Van keeps the candle high, looking for snakes and scorpions and baboon spiders.

Mum won't kill snakes because she says they help to keep the rats down (but she rescued a nest of baby mice from the barns and left them to grow in my cupboard, where they ate holes in the family's winter jerseys). Mum won't kill scorpions either; she catches them and lets them go free in the pool and Vanessa and I have to rake the pool before we can swim. We fling the scorps as far as we can across the brown and withering lawn, chase the ducks and geese out, and then lower ourselves gingerly into the pool, whose sides wave green and long and soft and grasping with algae. And Mum won't kill spiders because she says it will bring bad luck.
I tell her, "I'd say we have pretty rotten luck as it is."

"Then think how much worse it would be if we killed spiders."

I have my feet off the floor when I pee.

"Hurry up, man."

"Okay, okay."

"It's like Victoria Falls."

"I really had to go."

I have been holding my pee for a long, long time and staring out the window to try and guess how close it is to morning. Maybe I could hold it until morning. But then I notice that it is the deep-black-sky quiet time of night, which is the halfway time between the sun setting and the sun rising when even the night animals are quiet-as if they, like day animals, take a break in the middle of their work to rest. I can't hear Vanessa breathing; she has gone into her deep middle-of-the-night silence. Dad is not snoring nor is he shouting in his sleep. The baby is still in her crib but the smell of her is warm and animal with wet nappy. It will be a long time until morning.
Then Vanessa hands me the candle-"You keep boogies for me now"-and she pees.

"See, you had to go, too."

"Only 'cos you had to."

There is a hot breeze blowing through the window, the cold sinking night air shifting the heat of the day up. The breeze has trapped midday scents; the prevalent cloying of the leach field, the green soap which has spilled out from the laundry and landed on the patted-down red earth, the wood smoke from the fires that heat our water, the boiled-meat smell of dog food.
We debate the merits of flushing the loo.


"We shouldn't waste the water." Even when there isn't a drought we can't waste water, just in case one day there is a drought. Anyway, Dad has said, "Steady on with the loo paper, you kids. And don't flush the bloody loo all the time. The leach field can't handle it."

"But that's two pees in there."

"So? It's only pee."

"Agh sis, man, but it'll be smelly by tomorrow. And you peed as much as a horse."

"It's not my fault."

"You can flush."

"You're taller."

"I'll hold the candle."

Van holds the candle high. I lower the toilet lid, stand on it and lift up the block of hardwood that covers the cistern, and reach down for the chain. Mum has glued a girlie-magazine picture to this block of hardwood: a blond woman in few clothes, with breasts like naked cow udders, and she's all arched in a strange pouty contortion, like she's got backache. Which maybe she has, from the weight of the udders. The picture is from Scope magazine.
We aren't allowed to look at Scope magazine.

"Why?"

"Because we aren't those sorts of people," says Mum.

"But we have a picture from Scope magazine on the loo lid."

"That's a joke."

"Oh." And then, "What sort of joke?"

"Stop twittering on."

A pause. "What sort of people are we, then?"

"We have breeding," says Mum firmly.

"Oh." Like the dairy cows and our special expensive bulls (who are named Humani, Jack, and Bulawayo).

"Which is better than having money," she adds.

I look at her sideways, considering for a moment. "I'd rather have money than breeding," I say.

Mum says, "Anyone can have money." As if it's something you might pick up from the public toilets in OK Bazaar Grocery Store in Umtali.

"Ja, but we don't."

Mum sighs. "I'm trying to read, Bobo."

"Can you read to me?"

Mum sighs again. "All right," she says, "just one chapter." But it is teatime before we look up from The Prince and the Pauper.

The loo gurgles and splutters, and then a torrent of water shakes down, spilling slightly over the bowl.

"Sis, man," says Vanessa.

You never know what you're going to get with this loo. Sometimes it refuses to flush at all and other times it's like this, water on your feet.

I follow Vanessa back to the bedroom. The way candlelight falls, we're walking into blackness, blinded by the flame of the candle, unable to see our feet. So at the same moment we get the creeps, the neck-prickling terrorist-under-the-bed creeps, and we abandon ourselves to fear. The candle blows out. We skid into our room and leap for the beds, our feet quickly tucked under us. We're both panting, feeling foolish, trying to calm our breathing as if we weren't scared at all.

Vanessa says, "There's a terrorist under your bed, I can see him."

"No you can't, how can you see him? The candle's out."

"Struze fact."

And I start to cry.

"Jeez, I'm only joking."

I cry harder.

"Shhh, man. You'll wake up Olivia. You'll wake up Mum and Dad."

Which is what I'm trying to do, without being shot. I want everyone awake and noisy to chase away the terrorist-under-my-bed.

"Here," she says, "you can sleep with Fred if you stop crying."

So I stop crying and Vanessa pads over the bare cement floor and brings me the cat, fast asleep in a snail-circle on her arms. She puts him on the pillow and I put an arm over the vibrating, purring body. Fred finds my earlobe and starts to suck. He's always sucked our earlobes. Our hair is sucked into thin, slimy, knotted ropes near the ears.

Mum says, "No wonder you have worms all the time."

Meet the Author

Alexandra Fuller was born in England in 1969. In 1972 she moved with her family to a farm in Rhodesia. After that country’s civil war in 1981, the Fullers moved first to Malawi, then to Zambia. Fuller received a B.A. from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. In 1994, she moved to Wyoming, where she still lives. She has two children.

From the Hardcover edition.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Wilson, Wyoming
Date of Birth:
March 29, 1969
Place of Birth:
Glossop, Derbyshire, England
Education:
B. A., Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1992

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 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.
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.
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.
Brodk 11 months 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
janeo More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, loved Bobo, Van, Olivia, Adrian, and Richard.  Ms Fuller's writing is exquisite, so descriptive , the book is full of poetry and horro.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Don't Lets Go To The Dogs Tonight"    Although, It was hard to get into and the beginning was all over the place and it was difficult to understand Fuller’s language, the story eventually made sense.  After Fuller introduced her family, the novel became more interesting and fast paced. I found it amazing that Fuller had such a positive mind through such  hardships. She experienced many deaths that almost put me to tears.  The way she told her stories made me feel as if I was there with her and feeling the same sorrow as her and her family.I really felt it after he sisters death when Fuller said "I understand, through the power of her emotions, her tears, the way she is dissolving like soap left too long in the bath, that this has been the greatest tragedy of our lives." (Fuller, 32). It is astonishing how she would speak so highly of her mother even though her mother was usually drunk. Fuller became independent at a very young age and it is shocking how well she handled some dreadful situations. Every time I picked up the novel I would get lost in it almost instantaneously. This is a book that I would read again. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fuller gave a stark view of how her childhood experiences stuck in her memories. Fantasitc descriptions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago