Little Boys Come from the Stars by Emmanuel Boundzeki Dongala

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



The peculiar and moving story of a Congolese boy's coming-of-age amid the political strife of postcolonial Congo

"It is even said-but I admit that it's difficult to believe, even though I got this from my uncle-that when Papa was born, you couldn't follow the World Cup or the Olympics live and that Coca-Cola had yet to spread the selling of soft drinks to our village. Michael Jackson had yet to become famous . . . If all this was really true, I wonder how men managed to fill up the twenty-four hours of the day, three hundred sixty-five days a year."

His nickname is Matapari, which means "trouble." He is an African child of the '90s-brilliant, mischievous, postcolonial, postmodern-caught in the crossfire of a chaotically liberated African country. Matapari grows up in a world of talking drums, the Internet, and satellite TV, a world of dictators who remake themselves as democrats overnight. His uncle is a stooge for the dictator; his father is a scholarly recluse obsessed with proving that blacks played key roles in Western history. Matapari is a young man in the middle-but the shrewdness and wit with which he tells his often riotously funny story set him apart from his relatives and countrymen. Emmanuel Dongala uses the ingenious viewpoint of a child to show up the telltale world of adults-and to show how one preserves one's independence in a corrupt and violent society.


About Emmanuel Boundzeki Dongala

See more books from this Author
Emmanuel Dongala, a novelist and scientist, was a lifelong resident of Brazzaville, capital of the Congo Republic (formerly French Congo), until leaving the country during its civil war in 1997. He teaches at Simon's Rock of Bard College and lives in Western Massachusetts.
Published May 15, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 264 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Little Boys Come from the Stars

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

This unfailingly lively and charming tale, filled with boisterous comic episodes, deepens appreciably as it proceeds, when the machineries of "democratization" lead inexorably to violence in the streets, political imprisonment, persecution, and to Matapari's realization that the promises of disco...

| Read Full Review of Little Boys Come from the Stars

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

As far as the 14-year-old hero of this delightful, satirical African novel is concerned, his small Congolese town is the center of the universe. Precocious and mischievous Matapari--a nickname that me

Mar 01 2001 | Read Full Review of Little Boys Come from the Stars

Rate this book!

Add Review