The Laughing Cry: An African Cock and Bull Story

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9780930523329: The Laughing Cry: An African Cock and Bull Story

This novel,a classic of African literature, still speaks to us today. We look back at Africa’s grotesques like Idi Amin of Uganda, Bokassa of the Central African Empire or Zaire’s Mobutu, but now we must also look around us at comic opera heads of state posturing extravagantly on our domestic stages. We need this cleansing laughter.

“Is the funny bone a literary erogenous zone? Anyone who thinks so will certainly be turned on by Henri Lopes’ The Laughing Cry . . . this writer has the same feel for the literary burlesque that Woody Allen has for the philosophical kvetch.” —San Francisco Examiner

 

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Language Notes:

Text: English, French (translation)

From Publishers Weekly:

The author, a former prime minister of Congo-Brazzaville (now the People's Republic of the Congo) who works for UNESCO in Paris, offers a seamless blend of lyric sensuality and finely honed political satire. The narrator of this tale, known only as "Maitre," lives in the capital city of a fictional African country. After a coup d'etat, Daddy, the thug who becomes president, chooses Maitre to become the maitre d'hotel of the presidential palace. However, Maitre is a political innocent who would rather be left alone to carry on his adulterous dalliances, most notably with the fiery Soukali. Still, he is at the center of political action in the country, and he chronicles the monomaniacal leader's "reforms" and the subsequent degeneration of the country. In the end, Maitre's affairs of the heart prove to be both his undoing and his salvation: because Soukali phones him from her job at the Bulgarian embassy, he is denounced as a communist plotter; but he is given safe passage into exile by Daddy's wife, who takes fierce pleasure in cuckolding her husband with the very willing narrator. This superb book, done in fluent translation, should focus much-deserved attention on an author who is virtually unknown in the United States.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Henri Lopes; Gerald Moore
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