Imagine a three dimensional story. Euro-expats, Tanzania. Told from the inside out and the outside in. What you have is Jakob Ejersbo’s “Africa Trilogy.” Sadly, Ejersbo died young. Luckily, he left us with several solid books that reveal his talent. The series begins with Exile, middles with Revolution and ends with Liberty.
Corruption, sex, infidelity, drugs, classism, racism, greed and the cracked reality of life in the developing world. And when I say “developing” I’m referring as much to the first world as I am the third. It’s all broken, from top to bottom. Swedish engineers, Danish industrialists and a random assortment of those who dabble in the brilliant, alluring instability of East Africa.
The final chapter of book one launches this series into the stratosphere while leaving a vile taste in one’s mouth. The middle book, Revolution, reestablishes the foundation of many of the characters while ratcheting up the intensity. (Some shocking moments in this baby.) The final book both tortures and delivers as you begin to feel just how connected yet uncertain life actually is. A slow-motion wreck you knew was coming but can’t stop watching.
The Africa Trilogy makes the reader question everything. Right and wrong, the perfect, manicured splendor of the modern world versus the flaking decay of post colonial reaches. Wildly enjoyed these books and I think you will too, but don’t read them if you are easily offended or think the world is fair. The end of the second book and the last half of the third book saw me uttering “Whoa,” as I read those pages. Not for the easily offended. Get them, read them.