A Los Angeles Times Book Review Favorite Book of the Year
Johnny Mad Dog, age sixteen, is a member of a rebel faction bent on seizing control of war-torn Congo. Laokolé, at the same age, simply wants to finish high school. Together, they narrate a crossing of paths that has explosive results. Set amid the chaos of West Africa's civil wars, and acclaimed by such writers as Philip Roth and Chinua Achebe, Emmanuel Dongala's powerful, exuberant, and terrifying new work is a coming-of-age story like no other.
General Giap proclaimed a period of looting that was to last forty-eight hours.
Instantly I switched off the radio. I took the hurricane lamp and ran toward our little storage shed, to make sure the wheelbarrow was...
Praise for Johnny Mad Dog
“Terrifying . . . Emmanuel Dongala grabs us from the start with a language that is rude and raw (Mad Dog's) and lyrical (Laokolé's). . . . He continues to vividly re-create his burning piece of earth.” —The New York Times Book Review
“The manner in which Dongala juxtaposes these two characters' experiences explains more about these wars than most news stories ever could . . . Dongala's fast-paced, irreverent style makes the novel a memorable, thoroughly enjoyable read.” —The Boston Globe
“Not only does [Dongala] show the terror, he shows the absurdity, the banality, even the cruel humor, [and] takes swipes at Western relief workers, UN troops, the international media, and 'political experts' who continue to recycle the same story from Africa's war zones.” —Anderson Tepper, The Washington Post Book World
“Stark, blackly comic . . . In Laokolé and Mad Dog, Emmanuel Dongala gives us two equally extraordinary portraits of [his characters' brains].” —Associated Press