Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Life and a Half based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
After reading Life and a Half, most of it in a day, I felt like my head was on fire. Discovering Sony Labou Tansi was like suddenly having a brilliant, eccentric friend in Africa who could really puncture the lazy generalizations about life there. This wouldn't be possible without Alison Dundy's spectacular work in bringing this novel into English. As far as I could tell (without having the French original at hand), the translation is completely transparent. Despite some pretty gnarly problems to solve, Dundy's work does not call attention to itself at all and totally honors the wild mind of this guy. Tansi is unrelenting and funny. Life and a Half is a dark, wild fever dream of a novel. Read it.
If politicians around the world had read this book when it was first published in 1979, violence and massacres could have been avoided in Rwanda, in Congo, in Sierra Leone and many other African countries. Life and a half is one of the most powerful books you'll ever read. Many thanks Alison Dundy to put this book on the map, on the reading map and for your vision and energy to undertake one of the most difficult translations ever. Although Alain Mabanckou and Ahmadou Kourouma's language and humour are hard to translate, Sony Labou Tansi's language is probably the toughest. And Ms Dundy's rendering of rhythm, satire and derision, is a tour de force.