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SELECTED FOR BARACK OBAMAS SUMMER READING LIST
WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE 2021
A GUARDIAN and THE TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
Alfa and Mademba are two of the many Senegalese soldiers fighting in the Great War. Together they climb dutifully out of their trenches to attack France. German enemies whenever the whistle blows, until Mademba is wounded, and dies in a shell hole with his belly torn open.
Without his more-than-brother, Alfa is alone and lost amidst the savagery of the conflict. He devotes himself to the war, to violence and death, but soon begins to frighten even his own comrades in arms. How far will Alfa go to make amends to his dead friend?
At Night All Blood is Black is a hypnotic, heartbreaking rendering of a mind hurtling towards madness.
This slight book is an extraordinarily powerful exploration of what happens to the souls of men sent to kill and be killed.
-- The Times, Historical Fiction Books of the Year
Extraordinary... full of sadness, rage and beauty.
-- Sarah Waters
What listeners say about At Night All Blood Is BlackAverage Customer Ratings
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- nancy wang
Beginning was slow but Dion Graham is a treasure
I listened because this was on Obama's list, and I'm glad I did. This story is about what warfare does to the mind, told through the eyes of our protagonist. Dion gives an amazing heartfelt performance, but the writing of the story felt a little repetitive. It might just sound more repetitive because I chose to listen rather than read, but the story felt a little abstract too. I want to praise this book for the imagery and the story of war and the relationships, but I wasn't especially attached to our lead character's thought process.
Not for the feint hearted but very powerful
This book has been reviewed by professional reviewers all over the place who universally like it & I think they are right. However, one critique is that at the end it goes off the rails. I disagree, the descent into madness and the protagonists dissociation from reality conveyed in the writing is an apt resolution of the nightmare.