Africa,  Book Reviews,  FICTION,  Memoir/Biography

The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden *** (of 4)

I didn’t see the movie, but listened to a recorded book expertly narrated by Mirron Willis. The reason to read this is for Foden’s probing insight into the mind of one of the original African megalomaniacs. Amin’s charisma is alive on the page (or at least in the voice of narrator Mirron Willis.) Violence and gore hover in the background as it must have in the lives of many Ugandans, yet rarely appears in the book, except when necessary for the plot. My complaints are comparatively trivial: loose ends tie up a little too neatly and the doctor central to telling the story, Nicholas Garrigan, never quite satisfies me when he stays on in Uganda long after he should have gotten out. Nevertheless, the author’s attention to the small details and the big picture, his story telling and thorough research, make it a worthwhile read. July 2007.