Bonjour Blanc: Journey Through Haiti

 
9780140175004: Bonjour Blanc: Journey Through Haiti

Haiti is associated with voodoo, Papa Doc and the Tonton Macoutes; of political violence and desperate poverty. In this book, the author is initiated into the feared Bizango religion, an African animalist cult, whose associates venerate coffins and human skulls and talks to zombis, members of the walking dead. The book is part history and part personal travelogue and introduces the reader to a gallery of eccentrics from present day Haiti, as well as from the nation's rich past.

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Review:

"Outstandingly the best account in recent years of life in the weirdest of all tropical islands" -- Norman Lewis "Simply the best book I've read on Haiti... Bonjour Blanc is more than a travel book - his meticulous historical research and his courage to experience the most daunting adventures firsthand elevate him above the scoundrel-category of travel writer. He is a formidable historian and a first-class journalist" -- Andy Kershaw Literary review "A splendid, exceptionally detailed odyssey through the distressingly unregenerate republic of Haiti... Even by the standards of Latin America, it's a haven of fantastical stories, and Ian Thomson - who has the makings of a major stylist - milks the country's terrors and bizarreries to full measure" Observer "In Ian Thomson Haiti has acquired a new British chronicler of formidable power... This excellent book is distinguished by knowledge of the Creole language, the history and the impossible geography of this impossible country, and distinguished again by an understanding of the people" Guardian "A lively account of life in Haiti that alternately stimulates sympathy, humour and despair... Bonjour Blanc is the fruit of no little courage and long research...a colourful, vital book of important insight" Financial Times "A trip through Haiti with Ian Thomson is an adventure... He is admirably curious as well as tenacious in following up his interests [and] writes well" -- Amy Wilentz Times Literary Supplement "The best praise I can give to this superb and pulse-stopping book is to say that I read every page expecting it to end abruptly in mid-paragraph" -- J. G. Ballard Daily Telegraph "This book is a remarkable achievement giving wonderful vignettes from Haitian culture and history. It offers a picture of Haiti beyond CNN's reach, in valleys and villages remote from the world of palace politics... Glorious" The Tablet "As I closed this book, I felt the satisfaction of having consumed a full meal, not always appetizing but with plenty of nourishment. In the end, Ian Thomson not only made me want to go to Haiti (well, not right now); he also made me feel I had actually been there" -- William Weaver New York Times "Excellent. Mr Thomson has a good sense of humour and on several occasions I laughed out loud. He is also intrepid... His persistence in gaining entry to both the National Palace and the National Penitentiary is above praise, and illustrates his deep engagement with the country... Bonjour Blanc is as good a substitute as a travel book can be for going to a country" -- Anthony Daniels Spectator "Bonjour Blanc comes the nearest I've seen in rationalising the dubious attractions of Haiti's time-warps, suffering and sorcery. Not many would walk straight towards the Voodoo drums in the middle of the night, but Ian Thomson does. He doesn't stroke me as being particularly extrovert, but he does seem absolutely driven by curiosity... Far from being over-awed by the land of Voodoo, Thomson takes it by the throat and shakes it" -- Roger Clarke Sunday Times "Ian Thomson brings Haiti magnificently to life, stink and all" The Economist

Book Description:

'Hair-raising but hugely entertaining' J. G. Ballard, Daily Telegraph

Now updated and with a new foreword by the author for the post-earthquake edition.

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Thomson, Ian
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Thomson, Ian
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