Human love by Andrei Makine

Andrei Makine is a russian born  writer currently living in exile in France ,he also now write in french ,as well as poems in Russia ,He has written numerous novels ,he has been supported by Alain Maisse who is a fan of Makines work .The book centres on Elias Almeida a man born in Angola in the 60’s as a child he sees some horrors ,he grows to be a solider and gets caught up in the political turbulence that engulf southern africa ,with influences from russia and cuba ,he becomes indoctrinated in communism and marxist ideals ,meets an attractive white women ,the book sees his struggles and the struggles of his homeland Angola and the other countries  like Zaire around Angola as he starts to fight  ,this also take him top russia where he first meets anne a student at the time .they fall in love but he has to return to Africa

A revolution , the instructors used to say ,is not just the matter of explosives .It takes long and meticulous preparation .Initially the “popular masses” must be worked on in depth creating both networks of fighting men and looser ones of “fellow travellers ” and “sympathizers ” essential to success of the uprising

Elias remembering being taught about revolutions .

This book is about many things race ,love ,communism Makine has tried to tackle russia’s involvement in Africa through one man’s tale .His style is highly readable Elias comes across as a man trapped by who he is and where he is from ,he glimpse different life at times and becomes disillusioned with the doctrines he has been taught when he sees the suffering that it can cause ,as he shes what he calls fat cat Africans on the circuit talking about what he is putting in to place through fighting in the wars. He has he struggles with this concept .Makine as ever is translated by Geoffrey Strachan who has translated all his books .If you want an inside tract to African politics through a soldiers eyes this book is ideal .the book made me think and remind me of the news images in the early 80’s from Angola ,Nambia and Zaire as war’s raged  on but the general population was forgotten at times .

August 2010


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