Black Moses

by Alain Mabanckou

Black Moses is like nothing that you have ever read. You need to think of a cross between Oliver Twist and Huckleberry Finn, but set on the River Congo, not the Mississippi or the Thames. Add a touch of Azaro from Ben Okri's 'The Famished Road' to give you the full flavour, and you will get an idea of the fun in store. And I don't think that anything will prepare you for the denouement.


We accepted anyone in our gang. I got on very well with the paralytics, who thought it was ridiculous, shocking, quite possibly even unacceptable to have two legs, with the blind, who could find a needle in a haystack, or those with only one eye, who took turns to lend each other their good eye, in exchange for meals or a stash of beer.
I'd say to them: 'If you are blind, why don't you make some arrangement with the paralytics, that way they could be your eyes, and you could be their legs?'
Translated by Helen Stevenson


The Famished Road by Ben Okri
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

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