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The Jive Talker: Or, How to Get a British…

The Jive Talker: Or, How to Get a British Passport

by Samson Kambalu

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192537,190 (3.33)2



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"I already knew enough jive to invent myy own religion in time for my twelfth birthday"
By sally tarbox on 7 June 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Malawi-born artist Kambalu tells of his early life in Africa. Gifted son of a medical officer (despite his title, the family struggled financially for much of the time), this is a melange of African life - the animals, the diseases, the customs, the corrupt regime - and a very European-style adolescence. The author got a scholarship to the Malawian version of Eton, and learning Greek and Etiquette go alongside his developing interest in popular music, conceptual art and girls. And his strange thoughts on religion: tearing up his Bible to cover a football in its pages in a rather incomprehensible belief about 'Exercise and Exorcise.'
I was irritated by Kambalu's tendency to insert 'lists' into his writing - several pages detail every comment left in the visitors' book for his first exhibition; an entire list of teaching staff at his school - and numerous others, which the reader just turns over!

Mildly entertaining and a look at a little-known country. ( )
  starbox | Jun 7, 2017 |
non-fiction, memoir, other lives
  IHCCPageturner | May 28, 2014 |
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My father wore three-piece suits that he had ordered from London in the sixties and seventies when he could still afford them.
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What do you do when it looks like the odds were stacked against you before you were even born, when you're having trouble feeding a family that just keeps growing, when you've got a little too much of an affection for Carlsberg Brown and when the life president of your country, Malawi, keeps shuffling around the public health system that employs you, forcing you and your family into perpetual nomadism? You catch up on your reading, adding I'm OK, You're OK and Nietzsche to the bathroom library. Holding on to your dignity, you keep dressing up in threadbare three-piece suits you ordered from London back when you could afford them. You raise your head high like a giraffe and call yourself a philosopher, not a civil servant. With a bottle of beer in hand you philosophize before your mystified kids at night -- on anything from football to Shakespeare -- and you look to the future with boundless optimism. In short, and most important, you talk jive. --From publisher description.… (more)

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