Good Man in Africa

( 3 )

Overview

Morgan Leafy is determined to make the most of his position as Her Britannic Majesty's representative in tropical Kinjanja--although a successful climb up the diplomatic ladder usually requires a finesse he sadly lacks. But despite his weakness for bribes, booze and fleshy pleasures, Leafy perseveres--pressing his way through revolution, blackmail and worse... and into an outrageous stew of political corruption that will ultimately reveal his true mettle.

To tie in ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $7.00   
  • New (5) from $7.79   
  • Used (3) from $7.00   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$7.79
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(4464)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
New Book. Shipped from UK within 4 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000.

Ships from: Horcott Rd, Fairford, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$10.14
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(122)

Condition: New
New Book from multilingual publisher. Shipped from UK within 4 to 14 business days. Please check language within??the description. Established seller since 2000.

Ships from: Fairford, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$28.05
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(864)

Condition: New
0141046899 Brand New. Exact book as advertised. Delivery in 4-14 business days (not calendar days). We are not able to expedite delivery.

Ships from: Romulus, MI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$34.41
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(7)

Condition: New
2010 Paperback New Book New and in stock. 30/03/2010. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you ... will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Morden, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$48.50
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(13)

Condition: New
2009 PAPERBACK New 0141046899 ADULT PBS (40158) Weight: 245g. / 0.54lbs Great Customer Service! *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In ... the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: La Rochelle, France

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
A Good Man in Africa: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

Morgan Leafy is determined to make the most of his position as Her Britannic Majesty's representative in tropical Kinjanja--although a successful climb up the diplomatic ladder usually requires a finesse he sadly lacks. But despite his weakness for bribes, booze and fleshy pleasures, Leafy perseveres--pressing his way through revolution, blackmail and worse... and into an outrageous stew of political corruption that will ultimately reveal his true mettle.

To tie in with the publication of Boyd's new novel, Brazzaville Beach, here is the first of his critically acclaimed novels, the long out-of-print winner of the Somerset Maugham Award. It is the darkly comic tale of an overweight, oversexed escapee from suburbia and his trials as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinjanja.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a wildly funny novel, rich in witty prose and raucous incidents . . . without qualification, a delight." -The Washington Post

"Entertaining and successful . . . a champion storyteller. His prose style is intelligent, vigorous and pleasant." -The New York Times Book Review

"Comic realism echoing Evelyn Waugh . . . nimbly plotted, gracefully written . . . Boyd had endowed British fiction with a welcome depth and liveliness." -New York Newsday

"A gutsy writer . . . William Boyd is good company to keep." -Time

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141046891
  • Publisher: Viking
  • Publication date: 3/28/2010

Meet the Author

William Boyd’s first novel, A Good Man in Africa, won a Whitbread Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award; his second, An Ice-Cream War, was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and The Blue Afternoon won the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction. Boyd lives in London.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

"Good man," said Dalmire, gratefully accepting the gin Morgan Leafy offered him, "Oh, good man." He presents his eager male friendship like a gift, thought Morgan; he's like a dog who wants me to throw a stick for him to chase. If he had a tail he'd be wagging it.

Morgan smiled and raised his own glass. I hate you, you smug bastard! he screamed inwardly. You shit, you little turd, you've ruined my life! But all he said was, "Congratulations. She's a fabulous girl. Lovely. Lucky chap."

Dalmire rose to his feet and went to the window that looked over the Deputy High Commission's front drive. Heat vibrated up from the parked cars, and a dusty even light lay over the view. It was late afternoon, the temperature was in the low nineties, Christmas was less than a week away.

Morgan watched in disgust as Dalmire tugged and eased his sweaty trouser seat. Oh Priscilla, Priscilla, he asked himself, why him? Why Dalmire? Why not me?

"When's the great day then?" he asked, his face all polite curiosity.

"Not for a while," Dalmire replied. "Old Ma Fanshawe seems set on a spring wedding. So's Pris. But I'm easy." He gestured at the sombre bank of clouds which loomed over the rusty sprawling mass that was the town of Nkongsamba, state capital of the Mid-Western region, Kinjanja, West Africa. "Looks like we're in for a shower."

Morgan thought about replacing the gin in his filing cabinet, decided against it and poured himself another stiff three-fingers. He waved the green bottle at Dalmire who threw up his hands in mock horror.

"Lord no, Morgan, couldn't take another. Better let the sun hit the yard-arm."

Morgan shouted for Kojo,his secretary. The man promptly emerged from the outer office. He was small, neat and dapper with a starched white shirt, tie, blue flannels and black shoes loose on his feet. Every time he was in Kojo's presence Morgan felt like a slob.

"Ah, Kojo. Tonic, tonic. More tonic," he said, trying to keep himself in check.

"Comin', sah." Kojo turned to go.

"Hold on. What's that you've got?" Kojo held several looping strands of paper-chain.

"Christmas dec'rations, sah. For your office. I thought maybe this year. . . ."

Morgan rolled his eyes heavenwards. "No," he shouted. "Never, none of it in here." A merry bloody Christmas I'm having, he thought bitterly. Then, aware of the startled look on Dalmire's face, he said more reasonably, "Nevah bring 'im for here--you sabi dis ting. I nevah like 'im for dis place."

Kojo smiled, ignoring the pidgin English. Morgan scrutinised the little man's features for signs of resentment or contempt but found no trace. He felt ashamed of his boorishness; it wasn't Kojo's fault that Dalmire and Priscilla were engaged.

"Of course not, sah," Kojo said politely. "It will be as usual. Tonic comin' up." He left.

"Good man?" Dalmire asked, eyebrows raised.

"Yes, he is actually," Morgan said, as though surprised by the thought. "You know: bloody efficient." He wished Dalmire would go. The news was too depressing for him to maintain his conviviality for much longer. He cursed himself futilely for not paying more attention to Priscilla these last weeks, but they had been impossible, amongst the worst he had ever experienced in his generally fraught existence in this stinking hot frustrating shit-hole of a country. Don't think about it, he told himself, it'll only seem worse. Think about Hazel instead--the new flat. Go to the barbecue at the club tonight. Do anything other than dwell on golden opportunities missed.

He looked at Dalmire, his subordinate, Second Secretary. He thought now that, in fact, he had really disliked him all along. From the day of his arrival. Something about his unreflecting Oxbridge assuredness; something about the way Fanshawe had instantly taken to him. Fanshawe was the Deputy High Commissioner in Nkongsamba; Priscilla was his daughter.

"Glad you had a chance to have a chat with Morgan, Dickie," Fanshawe had said to Dalmire. "Old Nkongsamba hand is Morgan. Been here, oh, getting on for three years now, isn't that right, Morgan? Part of the furniture almost, eh? Ha-ha. Good man though, Dickie. Finger on the pulse. Got great things planned, haven't we, Morgan, eh?"

Morgan had smiled broadly throughout the whole harangue, a brief but foul chant of rage running through his brain.

He looked at Dalmire now as he stood by the window. He was wearing a white shirt, white shorts, beige knee socks and well-polished, brown brogue shoes. That, Morgan decided, was another thing he despised about him: his affected old-colonial attire. Ghastly wide shorts, billowing Aertex shirts and his college tie, thin and discreetly banded. Morgan himself sported flared, light-coloured flannels, bright shirts and these new wide ties with fist-sized Windsor knots which, so his sister assured him, were the latest fashion back home. But when he met with Fanshawe, Dalmire, and Jones, the Commission's accountant, they made him feel cheap and flashy, like some travelling salesman. Even Jones had taken up shorts since Dalmire's arrival. Morgan detested the sight of his fat little Welsh knees peeking out between the hem of his shorts and the top of his socks like two bald, wrinkled babies' heads.

Morgan wearily dragged his attention back to Dalmire who was saying something while still dreamily staring out of the window.

". . . the whole fate thing, gosh. Priscilla was just saying how extraordinary it was that my very first posting should be here."

Morgan felt a sudden desire to weep hot tears of frustration. How dare he throw fate in his face? When it could so easily have been him standing there, the new fiance, if Hazel had only kept . . . if Priscilla hadn't . . . if Dalmire had never come . . . if Murray . . . Murray. He stopped the runaway car at the edge of the cliff. Yes, Murray. Fate had been working overtime.

Dalmire was still talking. "Don't you agree, Morgan? Astonishing how these things happen?"

"Quite," Morgan said, looking intently at the Annigoni reproduction of Her Majesty on his office wall. "Absolutely. No question." He sighed quietly. He cast a glance at Dalmire who was shaking his head in wonder at the miraculous nature of things. What was so remarkable about Dalmire? he wondered to himself. Mild, reasonably pleasant features, thick brown hair with a straight well-defined parting, slim, fit-looking build. In strong contrast to himself he had reluctantly to admit, but beyond that nothing but unexceptionable blandness. And, in truth, he had to concede also that Dalmire had always been amicable and subservient; there was no evident cause for the poisonous hate he now nurtured in his breast.

But he knew he hated Dalmire abstractly, sub specie aeternitatis, so to speak. He hated him because his life was so easy and his attitude, far from one of abject and astonished gratefulness that this should be so, seemed rather to indicate that this was as fixed and natural a state of affairs as the planetary orbits going on invisibly above their heads. He wasn't even particularly clever. Checking up his A-level and degree results in his personal file, Morgan had been amazed to discover how much worse Dalmire had done than he. And yet, and yet he had gone to Oxford, while Morgan went to some concrete and plate-glass building site in the Midlands. He already owned a house--in Brighton, legacy of some distant aunt--while Morgan's UK base was his mother's cramped semi-detached. And yet Dalmire had been posted abroad as soon as his training was over, while Morgan had sweated three years in an overheated office off Kingsway. Dalmire's parents lived in Gloucestershire; his father was a Lieutenant Colonel. Morgan's lived in Feltham; his father had been a catering manager at Heathrow. . . . He could go on and on. It just wasn't fair, he moaned to himself, and now he's got Priscilla too. He wanted something harsh, cruel and inexplicable to happen to Dalmire; something shocking and arbitrary, just to put him in touch with real life again. But no, the final insult from a bourgeois, ex-public school God had allowed Priscilla to be swept off her feet within weeks of Dalmire's arrival.

His thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door and Denzil Jones, the accountant, poked his head round it.

"Excuse me, Morgan. Ah, there you are, Dickie. See you at the club. Five-ish?"

"Fine," Dalmire said. "Think you can cope with eighteen holes, Denzil?"

Jones laughed. "If you can, boyo, so can I. See you there, OK? Tara, Morgan." Jones left.

Morgan reflected that of all the accents he disliked, the Welsh was the most irritating. Except possibly Australian . . . or perhaps Geordie come to that. . . .

"Good little golfer is Denzil," Dalmire volunteered amiably.

Morgan looked astonished. "Him? Golf? You must be kidding. With a gut like that?" He sucked in his own. "I'm surprised he can see the ball."

Dalmire screwed up his face in polite disagreement. "There's more to Denzil than meets the eye. You'd be surprised. Handicap of seven. It's all I can do to beat him." He paused. "Talking of golf I heard you used to play a bit. What about joining us?"

"No, thanks," Morgan said. "I've given up golf. It was ruining my mental equilibrium." He suddenly remembered something. "Tell me," he asked, "do you ever see Murray on the course?"

"Dr. Murray?"

"That's the one. The Scottish chap. Doctor for the university."

"Yes, I see him down there at some point during the week. He's quite good for an oldish fellow. I think he's teaching his son to play at the moment--he's usually been with a young kid the last week or so. Why?"

"Just curious," Morgan said. "I wanted a word with him. Perhaps I'll catch him at the club." He looked thoughtful.

"How well do you know Murray, then?" Dalmire asked.

"I only know him professionally," Morgan said evasively. "I had to see him for a while about a couple of months ago for . . . I wasn't feeling so good. Just before you arrived in fact." Morgan's face coloured as he remembered the most achingly embarrassing moments of his life, and he said with some venom, "Actually I can't stand the man. Sanctimonious, Calvinistic so-and-so. Totally unsympathetic--can't think why he became a doctor--hectoring, bullying--sort of moral storm-trooper."

Dalmire looked surprised. "Funny. I've heard he's very well liked. Bit stern maybe--but then I don't know him at all. They say he holds that university health service together. Been out here for ages, hasn't he?"

"I think so." Morgan felt a bit of a fool; he hadn't meant his attack to be quite so vigorous, but Murray had that effect on him. "I suppose we just didn't hit it off," he said. "Personality clash. The nature of the illness and so on." He left it at that.

He didn't want to go on about Murray because he regarded the man as a wholly unwelcome and intensely annoying presence in his life. For some reason he seemed to stray across his path repeatedly; no matter what he did he seemed to run into Murray somewhere along the line. In fact, now he thought about it, in a way Murray had cost him Priscilla; indirectly, Murray was responsible for this latest disastrous piece of news that Dalmire had so smilingly brought him. He stiffened involuntarily with anger. Yes, he remembered, if Murray hadn't told him that night. . . . He stopped himself; he saw the if-clauses stretching away to the crack of doom. It was pointless, he told himself in a sudden chill of rationality; Murray--like young Dalmire--was simply a handy scapegoat, a useful objective correlative for his own stupid mistakes, his fervent pursuit of the cock-up, the banal farce he was so industriously trying to turn his life into: Morgan SNAFU Leafy, R.I.P.

He looked pointedly at his watch, then interrupted Dalmire's reverie. "Look, Richard,"--he couldn't bring himself to call Dalmire Dickie, not even now--"I've got a hell of a work to do. . . ."

Dalmire looked at his feet and pushed both his palms forward, as if to support a toppling bookshelf. "Far be it from me, old man," he said mock-abjectly. "No no. You plug on." He walked to the door swishing an imaginary golf club. "Sure you don't fancy a round this afternoon? Threesome?"

Morgan was sorely tried by the way Dalmire persistently accompanied his conversational remarks with visual analogues, as if he were a presenter on a TV show for the under-fives. So in response Morgan exaggeratedly shook his head and histrionically indicated towering reams of bumf in his in-tray. Dalmire flashed him a thumbs-up sign and slipped out of the door.

Morgan sat back in pained relief and gazed at the motionless fan set in the ceiling. He sat and listened to the hum of his air-conditioner. How, he asked himself with a smile of sad incredulity on his face, how could a demure, refined . . . sweet girl like Priscilla marry that crass nonentity, that ignorant scion of the English upper middle classes? He pinched the top of his nose in heartrending disbelief. She knew that I loved her, he told himself, why couldn't she have seen. . . . He checked the progress of his thoughts for the third time. He should stop deluding himself this way; he knew why.

He stood up and walked round his desk to the window. Dalmire had been right about the storm. There was a fuming cliff-edge of dense purple-grey clouds looming to the west of Nkongsamba. It would probably rain tonight; there invariably were a few thunderstorms at Christmas time. He stared out over the provincial capital. What a dead-end place, he thought, as he always did when he contemplated this view. The only large town in a small state in a not-very-significant West African country: the diplomatic posting of a lifetime! He sneered--you couldn't even call it a backwater. He felt miserable; the irony wasn't working for him today. Sometimes he panicked, imagining that the records of his posting had been lost, deep in some bottomless Whitehall file, and that nobody even remembered he was here. The thought made his scalp crawl.

Copyright© 2003 by William Boyd
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)