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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

Une suite à Moroni Blues - Rémi Carayol, Soeuf Elbadawi, Kamal'Eddine Saindou Comoros. Ordered from Amazon.fr for cost + shipping of around $28, beating out Amazon.co.uk and Abebooks handily. A better book for Comoros, though "better" is relative as I haven't had to read long passages in French since 1974. Fortunately, I'm easily entertained. ***2013: Now reading. I expect it to take 1-2 months.***The award-winning short, poetic essay, "Moroni de mes enfances perdues" (6 pages) was originally published as "Moroni Blues/Chap II." It caused a furor occasioned, as well as I can manage the French, less by its non-traditional style than by its content, which apparently threatened the status quo in Comoros by raising questions about insularity, the relationship between parts of Comoros and the archipelago as a whole, and xenophobia/racism.This volume collects the piece itself and several commentaries. It's a little confusing because the essay was published on its own, and there is also a theatrical piece, "Moroni Blues/une rêverie à quatre," which appears to be built on this initial essay and was published as a volume of script and photos. The reviews show that the theatrical piece is multi-media; it appears to focus on longing for the Moroni that existed mytho-historically but isn't enacted now. It is told as "une réflexion de quatre personnages sur le repli communautaire, le rejet et la peur de l'autre" (Fathate Karine Hassan in her review in Nouvelles Études Francophones, 25(2)). Some reviewers see it as comedic. I would assume that the aspect that rankles is its criticism of France's occupation of Mayotte, content that has caused the author to be censored at times. This appears to be a program for "Moroni Blues/une rêverie à quatre": http://www.wip-villette.com/IMG/pdf/Moroni_Blues_2_.pdf . A video conversation with the author, which I don't have the spoken French to understand): http://www.theatre-contemporain.net/spectacles/Moroni-Blues/videos/ .***Here's a sample to illustrate the rhythm and the translation amusements. This is part of a mytho-historical section, describing Moroni's past. Karthala is an active volcano on Comoros:Le Karthala en rut, pour dire les choses autrement. Un volcan si proche, mille fois maudit par nos saints en prière sur l'étendue du Bandari. Moroni sentait bon le conformisme à l'époque. Mais c'était aussi un temps exquis où l'insouciance se conjuguait paradoxalement avec la loi du plus fort. Le colon veillait dans son bel uniforme étoilé, même si ce chef-lieu du pays pouvait bruire de toutes ses lumières sans que la chicotte ne vienne semer une once de trouble dans les consciences. Moroni pouvait rire et danser, tout en se sachant sous cage pour longtemps (p. 13).***The ending rally: "L'heure est sans doute venue de déconstruire les héritages pesants et de redessiner l'imaginaire d'une cité au regard toujours porté sur le large" (p. 16). I construe he's talking about the community's philosophy, and not about urban renewal.***The piece itself is followed by several essays, which, as best my French permits me to say, address the piece primarily in terms of poetical essay harangues about the elite's stupidity, from a Marxist perspective.