Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
On with the show.
I don't remember how old I was when I first read Born Free, but I know that it kindled within me a burning desire to become a game warden in the Serengeti. Unlike working with Jacques Cousteau, an equally strong desire, but one based in the thrill of exploring the unknown, reading about life in
Alexandra Fuller grew up in
Now, that sounded as if I'm telling you not to get the book to prevent you from sinking into a deep vicarious depression, but not at all. On the contrary, I'm giving this a high recommendation and not just for those of us who believe we spent a previous life in
Ihad no idea that
To read a book written in a way that makes you feel you are there with Alexandra and her family, to get sucked into life on an African farm, battling flies, worms, cobras in the kitchen, waiting for rain, mourning loss, celebrating life was an incredible experience. What made it even better I was when I realized that while visiting the pages of this book, I had come to absorb this way of life and not just life in Africa, but the way of thinking as normal, no longer instinctively wincing at a casual, racist reference (which is quite something, for someone who used to work in the human rights field). I think listening to the audio book drew me in further - the book is narrated by, who does a wonderful job, getting most of the accents and inflections just right, making it easier to feel as if I were there. One of the attendants who comes to help me out is from Zimbabwe and I spoke to her about the war, about the women and children being held in camps so they wouldn't cook for the rebels, the danger before the war ended and after, when Mugabe took over and never left, having as tight a grip on the country and its people as the British did.
Don't Let's Go down to the Dogs Tonight is a terrific book. It's a book that entertained and astonished, made me feel, outrage blending with understanding, sadness with laughter. It taught me things and led me to explore ideas and history, gave me an opportunity to hear more from the other side. That’s a gift. I want to read more by Alexandra Fuller.