Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: White Man's Grave
Amazon Vehicles Editors' Picks Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Happy Belly Snacks Totes Summer-Event-Garden Amazon Cash Back Offer TheKicks TheKicks TheKicks  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Celine Dion Shop Now

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
27
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on March 5, 1997
Richard Dooling wrote White Man's Grave, and effectively threw the gantlet down at the Michael Crieghtons and Tom Clancys of the literary world.
The novel is an in your face look at the contradiction that is the modern American society. Dooling puts the typical young American (Boone) in the topsy-turvy world of Sierra-Leone, and creates a modern version of Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The great part is that he didn't have to revert to talking talking rabbits to do it.
White Man's Grave moves quickly. I know I found myself paging through it one day (over a year since I had read it) and before I knew it I was on the 20th page.
This kind of book stares Hollywood in the face and says,"Go ahead, try to make me into a movie. I dare you." I very seriously doubt this book will ever be crafted into a Spielberg blockbuster, and it's just as well. It's a great book, and deserves to be recognized as just that
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 1, 2002
This book is so engaging, I took the time to write a review--a first for me. This is without a doubt one of the best books I have read this year. It is by turns scaldingly satiric and ironic, descriptive and informative, and just ambiguous enough to leave the reader intellectually juiced up at the end! This tale invites the imagination to soar, and the soul to search. Highest recommendation.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 22, 1998
I read the author's "Critical Care" and liked his humor and his apparent medical knowledge or research, so I read this novel. I had visited Africa for two days during two cruise ship stops. What I read was mind boggling over what I saw with my eyes. I certainly know more about Africa than I ever knew before, and unlike college, smiled my way through Africa 101 with the author as Tutor.Loved his humor. A good read. I am hooked for his future works.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 12, 1997
"White Man's Grave" is one of those novels that continue to have an effect on you long after you've read it. It's a funny, unflinching look at greed in America and how oblivious we are to it. This is one of the best books I've read for a while and I've recommended it to friends many times. Read it - you won't be sorry!
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 30, 1999
White Man's Grave is reminiscent of Conrad's Heart of Darkness in its descriptions of a westerner becoming increasingly entangled in the ominous world of an alien jungle. Behind the obvious irony of contrasting life of a lawyer with life in the bush (which he does with some really apt metaphors), Dooling forces us to ask: What is civilization? To what extent is any culture just a comfortable reality built upon an agreed-upon set of beliefs? Describing "magic" in matter-of-fact terms, Dooling offers no explanation of its source, demanding that the reader take on the impossible task of reconciling magic with "western" "reality."
The character of Boone is far too simplistic. As a student of the humanities, in the western world (sleeping in a cemetary in Paris), Boone is sympathetic to the possibilities of thought and metaphor. But once he reaches Africa, he more and more resembles Lewis in his intolerance. Perhaps this highlights the limitations of western liberal studies; but the Lewis/Boone vs. Sisay/Killigan polarization became cartoonish by the end and detracted from the pure description of the world of the Mende.
The end is far too abrupt. After so many warnings about the dangers of the bush and of the baboon people, when Boone finally enters that world, it is anticlimactic. Once Killigan shows up, the story becomes a western spy story; Dooling passes up an opportunity to reveal the complexities of politics and culture of Sierra Leone in even more vivid and challenging detail.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 29, 1999
Rick Dooling is a man who knows what to love and what to hate. He manages to create a world that looks a lot like ours, with characters just a little bit bigger than reality but close enough that they seem to be people we recognize, and as such, vivid, juicy, and alive. He skewers crisply but fairly--life in this book is very complicated. And the smug--including most of Western culture--are forced to rethink just what they believe about how the world is assembled. Not malicious, not whiny, not grumpy--just excellent satire. I wish it had been a bit longer--the ending feels jumbled upon itself, but funny, sharp, taut, and clever. Buy it!
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 14, 2005
first our erstwhile anti-hero expects a few terse words in the right places will solve everything but not so in fact words are of almost no use when other means of communication are in process. READ THIS BOOK. Particularly if you are from or still residing in the Midwest, if you want to find a person or a memory but, and most particularly, if you want to read an incredible serious realistic and fun to read book that is an education into american litigation as well as a very decent introduction to Sierra Leone culture. Not to mention the ending which rivals stephen king and alfred hitchcock, very good stuff.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 13, 2014
To me, Richard Dooling is the king of satiric fiction. He's imaginative, witty, extremely intelligent, and knows how to weave an intricate and fascinating piece of fiction. I first read "White Man's Grave" in print and loved it.Then I listened to it as an audio book on cassette tapes borrowed from my local library. That audio version was an even more fantastic experience than my reading of the book in print. Fortunately, though, the reader on those old cassettes was George Guidall, who knew how to orally imbue the reading with the life, vitality, and humor that is found on every page of "White Man's Grave." Accents are spot on and each character has his or her own voice and personality when read by Mr. Guidall. This reading of "White Man's Grave" read with the same vitality as reading the classified ads in a newspaper. Dooling's intensity is completely lost in this narrative. The fact that many were able to enjoy this audio book speaks to the power of the writing, not what the audio book could inspire. If you have a chance, look for the old George Guidall version of the audiobook. Then you will be in for the laugh out loud treat that I think Dooling intended.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 2, 1997
A spoiled, rich, caucasion joins the Peace Corps and travels to Sierra Leone to "help out." He is co-opted by the Tribe and eventually lost to his family. While his father frets and goes neurotic, a high school chum heads to Africa to "help out." Dooling manages to skewer everyone. The story is worthy but I think the characters are stronger. This is a seriously good novel
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 2, 1999
This was a great satire of western society in general and lawyers (I am one) in particular. The African parts were fascinating and haunting. I agree with those here who were critical of the ending. It all got wrapped up too fast and left me feeling a little cheated after barrelling through the rest of the book. A good effort all in all.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse