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Tick Bite Fever by David Bennun

Tick Bite Fever (2003)

by David Bennun

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I'm a sucker for hilarious books, and this one made me laugh out loud. Of course, I enjoyed reading about Kenya in the 70's, but what really makes this book a gem is the author's way with a clever turn of phrase and his self-deprecating humor. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
Other reviewers here have reached quite different conclusions. For one, Bennun is irritating and self satisfied, and yet another concludes his work is touching and affectionate. The explanation is simply that his account of his early childhood is intensely irritating and artificial in tone, but he finds his voice as he starts to recount his adolescence about half way through the book. For the sake of the second half - which is very good indeed - I'd forgive the first half. However readers coming fresh to this book might do well to pick some point half way through and start there. Better to do that than give up (as the more critical reviewer admits to doing) while still ploughing through the much less satisfying first half. Highly recommended to those who are already interested in everything to do with East Africa and the European presence in Africa. If you were looking for an introduction to stories of European childhoods in Africa I'd start elsewhere though - perhaps with Peter Goodwin's 'Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa', before tackling this. ( )
  nandadevi | Jun 6, 2013 |
The author is so self-satisfied that, even though his anecdotes deserved attention, he didn't get mine. Someone less pleased with himself could have made this an enthralling book. As it was, it was too irritating even to bother finishing. ( )
  AriadneAranea | Mar 11, 2012 |
Witty, touching and affectionate ( )
  AerialArmadillo | Nov 20, 2008 |
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Africa-bound from Heathrow Airport, at 30 000 feet over the Mediterranean Sea, I politely announced that this had all been very nice, but I'd like to get out now.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0091897432, Paperback)

Tick Bite Fever is the unconventional memoir of a very unconventional childhood. In the early Seventies, Dave Bennun's family transplanted themselves from Swindon to the wilds of Kenya. His father had lived in Africa before, but for Dave, Kenya was bemusingly new. It would be his home for the next 16 years, with things sometimes seeming a bit surreal. On the way home from school—closed early because a pair of lions were padding around the playground—Dave was mugged by baboons. Some Sunday afternoons saw Dave and his father being chased by a herd of elephants. Enchantingly funny, Tick Bite Fever is a tale of the fading innocence of childhood that is miles ahead of the competition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Africa has a rich history of heroes and trailblazers. David Bennun is neither. He belongs to the dark continent's less celebrated tradition of accidental adventures. Throughout his 1970s African childhood, and despite the best efforts of his long-suffering family, David manages to get himself in more trouble than one person has any right to survive. Here is the story of how a bemused and clumsy small boy discovered Africa. A day rarely passes when he doesn't run the risk of getting eaten, crushed, poisoned, drowned, trampled, shot or impaled. Even his dog, Achilles, seems to have a death wish. David Bennun's writing is evocative, touching and so funny that you will find it hard not to laugh out loud.… (more)

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