Franz L Kessler
… Recommended … 4 stars
Book is written in three distinct
First Book Journeys to the Congo
It is August 1994 and oiler Raoul Stern is writing a letter to
his wife Aliye. His business trip aboard a Boeing 737 is much
as any other, a brief landing in Libreville and back to sleep
before the plane lands and he is told his visa is not valid and
he must leave his passport. Mr Lamira of Lowland Oil drives Raoul
to his hotel and it is not long before Raoul meets his boss Tony.
The visa is no big deal, just pay a bribe and all will be well.
A letter from home, a visit to a meditation bar, Raoul's job
assisting Tony with the American Co Califoil, prostitutes, and
the knowledge that his wife is unfaithful all leave their mark
Second book Mission Raoul writes
letters, keeps a diary, experiences many problems including running
low on food, bad moods and malaria.
Book three, Love and Lost Illusions,
the Zamba hotel, meeting and letters to a girl named Rosa, and
wife Aliye surfaces to offer a chance to rekindle their relationship.
It is get rid of Rosa or divorce. Raoul chooses divorce, a dowry
basket and marriage to Rosa. Their child Carl is born and while
Raoul and his family are in Holland Rosa's brother writes telling
of terrible problems at home the family is torn apart, some are
missing, dogs feed on corspes of the dead, and the dry season
returns to Congo. Raoul's life is turned upside down, but he
has a plan.
Long time oil man turned writer
Kessler draws on his long experience in the oil industry and
his knowledge of Africa to produce a compelling slice of life
read. A satisfactory exploit, writer Kessler has shrewdly blended
fiction, passion, enigma, machination and jeopardy in this narrative
of dying, corruption and devotion. Major Characters presented
are full of life and determination, a supporting cast of players
round out the book so that the reader will want to read it more
A unusual novel, "Jungle
Fever", offers the reader a peek into the turmoil and turmoil
rampant on the African continent all through the 1990s. The scalding
chemistry depicted between various players make this book a must
read. The work deals with serious issues such as those surrounding
the unrest rampant in Africa as well as presenting light hearted
moments all set against a backdrop of glimpses, resonance and
fragrance of a mysterious continent most of us know only from
reading, movies or television.
Well done, happy to recommend.