"[A] powerful memoir. . . . By skillfully interleaving personal history, politics, and Amhara fables. . . . [Mezlekia] has produced the most riveting book about Ethiopia since Ryszard Kapuscinski's literary allegory The Emperor and the most distinguished African literary memoir since Soyinka's Ake appeared 20 years ago."--Rob Nixon, The New York Times Book Review
"Topical, moving, and fascinating. Nega Mezlekia concentrates his mind on his nation's history as he tells his own tale in prose imbued with a sense of commitment to turth. It is the best memoir by an Ethiopian that I've ever read."--Nuruddin Farah, author of Maps and Secrets.
"A glimpse into Hell. By some feat of alchemy, Mezlekia has transformed the nightmare that was his life in Ethiopia into a gripping story. Mandatory reading for anyone trying to understand Africa today."--Eric McCormack, author of First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women
"A masterful narrative that steeps the reader in Ethiopian folklore, myth, theology, and philosophy, blurring the boundaries between the spiritual and material worlds. Rich in wisdom, humor, and poetry, this is not simply the story of a boy coming of age, it is a portrait of a nation and its people."--George Makana Clark, author of The Small Bees' Honey
"Magical . . . What makes Nega Mezlekia's memoir such a delight is the wonderment, at crazy life and crazier fate, that informs every page."--Charles Foran, author of The Story of My Life (So Far)
"Mezlekia has a born storyteller's knack for pacing, and in his musical voice he manages to convey the helter-skelter of his existence . . . A story of high drama told with aplomb."--Kirkus Reviews