A Long Way From Douala by  Max Lobe

A Long Way From Douala

Max Lobe

I found this book to be a compassionate coming-of-age journey through a richly described Cameroon. I enjoyed reading about a whole host of colourful characters from grief-stricken parents to corrupt police and shady people smugglers. I felt the ever-present threat of Boko Haram but laughed at the developing relationship between two friends as they navigate through a country in turmoil and search for their runaway brother.


Under a merciless sun, we went down all the dusty alleyways of the seedy solo-quarter in search of Roger’s former teammates. Like Jehovah’s Witnesses, we went from door to door: houses, small shops – the whole lot. We knocked. We questioned. When necessary, we showed a photo of him posing, smiling, bare-chested, in red shorts with a ball at his feet. Each time, people shook their heads. They all said the same thing: ‘We haven’t seen him since your father passed away. Not even with our own eyes.’
Eventually, we ended up back on the main road. Once there, unlike at Pa’s funeral, I broke down. I simply couldn’t hold back my tears.

In front of Simon, I can cry.

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