Set mainly in 1999/2000, Sirocco Express tells of a young Nigerian student's experiences on a journey from Lagos to London. But Adebayo is no backpacker on a gap year jaunt. He pays people smugglers to take him across the Sahara, and soon becomes immersed in a hidden world of illicit travel and savage exploitation. The people smuggling process, its victims and the motives of those who profit from it are described with stark realism. Adebayo's determination to retain his humanity, in spite of his increasing horror at the callousness of the traffickers, soon brings him into conflict with them. It almost costs him his life. And death is always close at hand: in the desert, on the Mediterranean in small, overcrowded boats, jumping onto moving trains. Although Adebayo's plight may be unfamiliar to many in the Western world, his quixotic stance in the face of his many misadventures has a universal appeal. He emerges not as a passive victim of his choices, but as a resourceful pimpernel, who evades his persecutors and ultimately completes the journey on his own terms.--This text refers to an alternate
About the Author
Tony Judge is a freelance writer from Worcestershire, England. He writes novels, short stories, satire and poetry. His first novel, Sirocco Express (2006), describes the experiences of a young Nigerian student at the hands of people smugglers while travelling from Lagos to London, and has received many excellent reviews. In his second novel, The Whole Rotten Edifice (2010), a historical fiction set during the desperate defence of Moscow in 1941/2, a father and daughter fight for the Red Army: he as a general, she as a sniper. Many of Tony's satires have been broadcast by radiowildfire.com. He is the author of several non-fiction books, published by BWCS and ARCchart, and is a member of the UK Society of Authors.--This text refers to an alternate
Young Africans like Adebayo face dismal futures in a land where education is sparse, incomes low, corruption rampant, and life itself is precarious. Yet it takes courage to walk away from the place one calls home.
Adebayo decides he has a better chance in England to find a future if only he can get there. He drops out of college and works to save his money. When he has enough, he sets off with a group of unknowns in the back of a truck they come to call the Sirocco Express.
The trip is rough and the passengers find themselves at the mercy of the drivers who turn out to be as brutal as the land they must cross. Adebayo is left for dead at one place but survives.
There are unpleasant realities to be found in the reading of this bleak tale, but it makes the reader pay attention to life in another part of the world. You'll like Adebayo and many of the people you'll meet in these pages.
A tale worth reading for anyone who likes stories about people and their struggles to survive. Adebayo could be said to represent an entire generation on a continent that hasn't yet learned where its going.
Recommended as a read that will open your eyes and have you asking youself "Why"? Yet, the ending gives us hope. Talented author Tony Judge opens a door to a world we don't know or understand with his clear inner vision. Enjoy. I did.
Traveling to foreign countries is not a pleasure I've ever experienced myself, but I have always enjoyed reading about it. Christopher Isherwood and his writings about many trips to a war torn Germany remain at the top of the list of some of my favorite books. I can now add author Tony Judge to that list. When I began reading Tony's book, Sirocco Express, I was immediately captivated by the author's use of description. Here's the very first line of the book:
"The house lay so still and quiet that it seemed to be filled with cotton wool."
Lines like that in writing these days are very hard to come by. We write what we know, because that's what we've been told to do, and we know so little. Authors like William Faulkner and poet Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost had a true craft for writing those descriptive, yet simple, images that stay with you long after you've finished reading. Judge indeed has that craft.
In the beginning, the reader is introduced to a young Nigerian boy named Adebayo who is perusing a copy of Treasure Island while waiting for the Reverend to arrive to tend to his ailing mother. I immediately became intrigued with the story because it has a sense of mystery to it. The young boy is dismissed from the room while the Reverend tends to his mother with prayer. The first chapter ends with a strange feeling to it as if something odd has happened between Adebayo's father and the Reverend after reviving his mother. The author has done an excellent job of keeping you interested and wanting to know more.
The second chapter focuses on Adebayo being concerned about an article saying he shouldn't read Conrad because of the way he depicts non-European characters.Read more ›
I picked this novel up and didn't set it down until finished. Tony Judges' writing is unintrusive and pitched to perfection. His storytelling abilities are superb. This book was suggested to me by friends on Facebook. Just the way they spoke about it, with a sense of awe, piqued my curiosity. Once read, I understood why. This novel is about a remarkable journey from Africa to England, but also about hope, adventure, and self-discovery. The greatest compliment I can give it is that it left an indelible mark; I shall never forget it. Unfortunately, I've looked for other novels by Judge and can't find any. Hopefully there are more to come. This is an author with impact!
Tony Judge writes with conviction and compassion. This is beautiful, mature writing. His knack for wonderful and often unusual turns of phrase make it almost effortless reading, and extremely compelling.
He deploys imagery with skill and flair, always knowing exactly when and where to place a metaphor for optimum impact. The reader gets a genuine sense of the scale and grandeur of the enterprise.
The story is told with unsentimentally but with pathos aplenty, and it stays with the reader long after the book is closed.