Allah Is Not Obliged
Birahima is ten years old. He lives in the Ivory Coast. He is a soldier.In Ahmadou Kourouma's extraordinary novel, Birahima tells his story. At the age of ten his mother dies, and Birahima leaves his native village, accompanied by the sorcerer/crook Yacouba, to search for his aunt Mahan. Crossing the border into Liberia, they are seized by a rebel force and press-ganged into military service. Birahima is given a Kalashnikov, minimal rations of food, a small supply of dope and a tiny wage. Fighting in a totally chaotic civil war, and alongside many other boys, some no older than he, Birahima sees death, torture, amputation and madness, but somehow manages to retain his own sanity...Ahmadou Kourouma's masterpiece is powerful, terrible and frequently bitterly and blackly funny.