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A Long Way from Douala
A Long Way from Douala: A Novel | Max Lobe
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Bursting with local color, this hilarious, heartwarming coming-of-age tale follows two friends on a raucous journey across Cameroon as they grapple with grief, sexuality, and dreams of leaving. After their fathers sudden death, Jeans older brother Roger decides hes had enough of their abusive mother and their city. He runs away to try his luck crossing illegally into Europe, in the hope of becoming a soccer star abroad. When no news of him reaches the family, and the police declare that finding some feckless brat isnt worth their time, Jean feels he has to act. Aiming to catch up with Roger before he gets to the Nigerian border, Jean enlists the help of the older Simon, a close neighborhood friend, and the two set out on the road. Through a series of joyful, sparky vignettes, Cameroon life is revealed in all its ups and downs. Max Lobe insightfully touches on grave, complex issues, such as the violence Boko Haram has inflicted on the region, yet still recounts events with remarkable humor and levity.
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We read this for the bookstore's Faraway book club, which focuses on books in translation. This book is supposed to be a coming of age novel, but the main character doesn't really show much growth throughout the story, and is very sexist, misogynist, and transphobic, even though he is dealing with his sexual attraction to men- but that's not explored a lot so... The trip through Cameroon was the best part. #Readin22 #BookClub #ebook

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