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The Flour Convoy [Kindle Edition]

Chaitram Singh
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

%Army Captain Alan Moore and his wife, Jeanene, are seeking to emigrate to the United States. Conditions of life in the land of their birth have deteriorated immensely, and the Moore family has fallen out of favor with the ruling dictator. The Moores are waiting for the letter from the U.S. Embassy notifying them of their final interview.

While carrying out his duties as Commander of F-Company, Alan objects to the corrupt practices he observes, including ballot-box tampering during the national election. This further isolates him from his military superiors and, when he stumbles onto a smuggling operation, he is falsely accused and incarcerated.

Will the dictator succeed in humiliating Alan and his family, or will his wife and his friends succeed in freeing him?

“The Flour Convoy follows in the grand tradition of Chinua Achebe’s Anthills in the Savannah and V.S.Naipaul’s A Bend in the River, but moves beyond those important works with an insider’s view of the military’s role in buttressing the authoritarian regime it chronicles. . . An informative and compelling read.”
-Scott Douglas Gerber, author of The Ivory Tower and The Law Clerk
“A writer of great creativity and wit, Chaitram Singh brings an intellectual’s insight to bear on the light and dark sides of humanity in a situation that speaks of universal struggles, tragedies, and triumphs. . .A compelling story that keeps the reader turning pages.”
-Bruce Conn, author of The Curse of Durgan’s Reef
“A view of authoritarianism from a very close range . . .The Flour Convoy makes the reader an eyewitness to the corruptive forces so common in post-colonial regimes. A wonderfully crafted plot, presented with a crispness the title conveys.”
-Nala Singham, Editor and Publisher, The Caribbean New Yorker

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chaitram Singh is the author of The February 23rd Coup. A West Point graduate and a former officer in the Guyana Defense Force, he lives in Rome, Georgia, and teaches international affairs at Berry College.

Product Details

  • File Size: 980 KB
  • Print Length: 311 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: iUniverse (November 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0064KDPES
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,371,086 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons for Guyanese from "The Flour Convoy." February 2, 2006
I AM writing to share some comments on the novel, The Flour Convoy, a novel by Chaitram Singh, published by the University Press of the South. This is Chaitram Singh's first fictional work. (His earlier work was "Guyana: Politics in a Plantation Society.")

Set in the early 1980s and deriving its name from the illicit practice of the smuggling of contraband flour across the Corentyne River from neighbouring Suriname, at a time when the regime of President Forbes Burnham was banning almost all imported food in its short-sighted drive to replace them with local substitutes, the book reveals an incredible pattern of fraud, corruption and murder, and the lengths to which the regime resorted in order to cling to power.

Unique is the author's bold application of the local Georgetown lingo in the dialogue coursing throughout the book - a feature that augurs well for authenticity. But he did not do this at the expense of good prose, which he also exhibits in the narrative portions of the novel. And complementing it all is subtle injection of humour, interspiced with references to elements of Guyanese diet such as metagee, chicken curry, rice bake, and mauby.

The book gives some insight regarding the modus operandi of the 'Comrade President' and his party in the conduct of general elections; how, at a time of rampant starvation among the populace due to the banning of food items and myriad other short-sighted economic policies, when there was nation-wide clamour against the 'elected' government, the party was 're-elected' by a landslide majority; how ballot boxes from PPP (the opposition party) strongholds would mysteriously disappear before eventually 'reaching' the party-designated counting centre.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece in Post-Colonial Literature February 4, 2006
"The Flour Convoy" is a masterful weave by a writer skilled in his craft, and the reader is at once captivated and repelled by the tapestry of corruption, brutality, greed, and lack of concern for common people.

A must read for anyone interested in post-colonial literature and Caribbean literature in particular.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The People's Army and The Flour Convoy January 29, 2006
I just finished reading an excellent novel, The Flour Convoy, by Chaitram Singh. The novel is published by the University of the South Press and is also available at This entertaining and exciting novel gives an insider's view of events in the Guyana Defence Force during the period when people, including officers of "The People's Army" were getting increasingly disillusioned of the dictatorship in Guyana.

Among other things, Singh captures the abuse of power, discontent of the people in general and of army officers in particular, and the efforts of the oppressed citizens to leave Guyana for countries (primarily America, Canada and England) where they could raise their families in safety.

The novel captures the language used by members of the Guyana Defence Force (G.D.F.) and citizens, and the pithy sayings will be recognized by almost any Guyanese over the age of five. When General Agrippa is suspected of murdering a Cuban doctor who was "giving him blows" Cummings, the Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs tells him, "This koker dam could break down any time." The government banned flour in a country where people were raised eating roti and bread. Who would blame the protesters for marching in the streets, chanting and waving their placards which pleaded, "GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD?"

Although the events in The Flour Convoy are fictional, the political and social background on which it is based is a fact. It is therefore a "must read" for anyone who wants to get an insider's view of the role played by the People's Army in the re-election of the Party. Singh also captures the suffering, desperation and ingenuity of the people as they struggle to survive. The novel alerts the discerning reader to the fact that this period marks the beginning of the end of the dictatorship in Guyana.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flour Convoy - A telling exposition and a "Must Read" January 31, 2007
Dr. Singh's "Flour Convoy," as fictionalized as it supposedly is, provides the civilian reader like me an excellent insight into the complexities of military life during a political era in Guyana notorious for its turbulence and foreboding.

Reflecting on that period, it was a time of indescribable trials - a time when many of us civilians collectively yearned for that fabled "Knight in Shining Armor." Many of us kept hoping that the army's intrepid, brilliant, and selfless would rise up as the "force majeure" to bring salvation to the masses. But that was not to be. The "Flour Convoy" tells us why - among themselves, they were facing the very same demons as their civilian counterparts - widespread corruption, raging distrust, issues of self preservation, patriotic turmoil, occupational threats, public pressure, and, most of all, an insidious culture of fear. In essence, they were in search of their own "Knight in Shining Armor." Metaphorically speaking, try as he did, even the principled Moore could not conquer the diabolical beast.

Dr. Singh does an excellent job of capturing the vast injustices of the convoluted time. As well, his gift for weaving our rich culture - its ethnic and geographical diversity, distinctive norms, characteristic colloquialisms, and, more so, our human frailties into a story so fundamentally affective is laudable. His wit is especially entertaining - so much so that beyond the realm of the subject matter, it evidences a yearning for a somewhat treasured past - a yearning shared by many of us who experienced the Guiana of better times - colonialism and all! Without a modicum of doubt, the "Flour Convoy" aside from being a telling exposition, is a "must read." At a minimum it will underscore reasons why we should ensure that the past is not repeated on our people.

Gretna Victoria Canterbury
Canton, GA, USA
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner.
It is the tendency of despots to surround themselves with minions whose forte are impregnable pliancy and a vacant conscience. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Tulsi Dyal Singh
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read
This book takes the reader onto a journey back in time. To a time of turbulence, corruption, fixed elections, philandering top officials and a country of people willing to stand up... Read more
Published on February 18, 2012 by Shaeeza Haniff
4.0 out of 5 stars Expertly drawn and entertainingly written
Chaitram Singh's The Flour Convoy accurately conveys a country on the brink of revolution while a corrupt government increasingly plays dirty tricks to stay in power. Read more
Published on December 12, 2006 by Laurence W. Marvin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Flour Convoy -- A "Must Read".
Reading the novel, "The Flour Convoy", recently provided me with a rare and nostalgic experience of epic proportions. Read more
Published on December 8, 2006 by Malcolm G. Williams
I am writing these comments on The Flour Convoy,not as a literary critic,but as someone who is well acquainted with the historical contex of the novel and one who greatly... Read more
Published on October 26, 2006 by Dyal S. Panday
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling piece of post-colonial literature.
As a librarian, one of the books it has been my pleasure to have cataloged and to read is the novel, The Flour Convoy. Read more
Published on September 29, 2006 by Maureen K. Morgan
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