Thursday, August 04, 2005

An Ice Cream War...


William Boyd got labeled serio-comic with "A Good Man in Africa." Why does each subsequent novel bear that label? "An Ice Cream War" is much more serio than comic I'm afraid. It is beautifully written and quite effective in branding WWI the nightmare that it was, and in pointing out the futility of colonial extensions of war. German and English colonists getting caught up in a poorly run, outstandingly heinous and barbaric slaughter are joined by Britons and American caught in African locales with African peoples and random human flotsam and jetsom whose lives become entwined, and ultimately end in sadness and agony. I took the book traveling, thinking it would provide comic relief, knowing it would be ironic, but not prepared for the wrenching sadness which is the main feeling of the book.

For serious reading, not comic, though irony plays a part, it is the cruelest irony possible.

Extraneous note: Back from North Carolina, back to summer in New England. Why is it so hot this year?

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