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Child Soldier: A Novel Paperback – October 26, 2015
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About the Author
Herman F. Bosman grew up in an Afrikaans family during South Africa's Apartheid years and did his compulsory national military service in the late 1980's. He was trained as a combat medic and later in VIP security where he became the driver and bodyguard to the Surgeon General. In early 2000, the author hitched boats up the Amazon river on a 3700 mile spiritual journey, searching for the answers to life and everything else. He stayed with a shaman for a number of days in some of the most remote parts of the rain forest and took part in various deeply spiritual rituals which included strange indigenous customs and potions. These experiences influenced his views on life & war forever.
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Top customer reviews
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I would have rated the book more highly, and if you are not as nitpicky as me, you probably will, but there were a few things that grated on me - for instance, numerous spelling mistakes in the context - "waiving" instead of "waving", "calve" instead of "calf", use of the same adjectives two sentences in a row, ayahuasca (a South American hallucinogen) in a Kampala shantytown, "DaD" just such a strange name to be repeating all over the book, a South African soldier captured all by himself in the DRC. It also seemed unlikely to me that soldiers in remote DRC camps would eat slices of bread. I didn't understand the relevance of the poem - "The Muse" - to the story - it was included at the end of the book, but was nice to see background about the author included.
It would have also been great to include at the end of the book some relevant non-fiction information on child soldiers in DRC/Uganda and the presence of South African/French Foreign Legion/UN troops in the region or a list of reference materials for readers to do their own research. As it was, the author had me interested enough that I looked this up on the internet.
The story lets you experience the sad reality as seen by someone living it. It is not written as an outsider looking in, you feel as if you are there. The emotions which are felt by the subject in the book are far from what one growing up in a civilized world would expect to feel in the same situation. You live in the book as if that world is all you have known.