In Niger, where access to rail and air travel requires overcoming many obstacles, roads are the nation’s lifeline. For a year in the early 1990s, Peter Chilson traveled this desert country by automobile to experience West African road culture. He crisscrossed the same roads again and again with bush taxi driver Issoufou Garba in order to learn one driver's story inside andIn Niger, where access to rail and air travel requires overcoming many obstacles, roads are the nation’s lifeline. For a year in the early 1990s, Peter Chilson traveled this desert country by automobile to experience West African road culture. He crisscrossed the same roads again and again with bush taxi driver Issoufou Garba in order to learn one driver's story inside and out. He hitchhiked, riding in cotton trucks, and traveled with other bush taxi drivers, truckers, road engineers, an anthropologist, Niger's only licensed woman commercial driver, and a customs officer. The road in Africa, says Chilson, is more than a direction or a path to take. Once you've booked passage and taken your seat, the road becomes the center of your life. Hurtling along at eighty miles an hour in a bush taxi equipped with bald tires, no windows, and sometimes no doors, travelers realize that they've surrendered everything. Chilson uses the road not to reinforce Africa's worn image of decay and corruption but to reveal how people endure political and economic chaos, poverty, and disease. The road has reflected the struggle for survival in Niger since the first automobile arrived there, and it remains a useful metaphor for the fight for stability and prosperity across Africa....
|Title||:||Riding the Demon: On the Road in West Africa|
|Number of Pages||:||216 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Riding the Demon: On the Road in West Africa Reviews
Note to self: Never, ever, ride in a bush taxi in Niger.
I'm giving this 5 stars simply because the author DID THIS, if for no other reason. Riding the roads in Niger is something you might need to do. If that's the case, then I wish you a safe road.But you have to understand -- this guy went back to Niger on purpose to do this. He knew exactly what he was doing, and he did it anyway.This isn't what I would call a travelogue. It's an ostensibly scholarly study that he's doing, and this is the anecdotal account of the stuff that happened while doing it. Yeah, it bounces around some, but I'm just going to call that a metaphor.I don't know whether to say that this book should be required reading, or whether it should be banned, for prople headed to rural West Africa for significant amounts of public transiting. The guy did an unnecessary thing that was probably as dangerous as climbing Everest a couple of times. So if you ever liked a book about some kind of crazy mountain climber, then you'll probably like this too. If you plan to ride the roads of Niger very much, maybe you should read this after you are done.I don't recall any typos.Sid
Chilson seemed unable to maintain a consistent tone in this travelogue. At times it's a personal account with one man's travels across Niger by bush taxi; then, it's a historical account of a country's struggle post-colonization; next, it's a research paper on road transportation in Niger. It could work, but it doesn't, because Chilson just doesn't seem that interesting or integrated an observer. Worst, his writing style at times recalls his Fulbright research--a great way to anesthetize your reader. Overall, the book lacked heft or momentum--ironic, considering the title.
An OK book about Niger; but more about transportation in West Africa. Given how little is written about Niger, I think the author should have tried to paint a picture of the overall culture and people more, rather than trying to make it all about the road. It was an OK read, but ultimately unsatisfying.
Interesting book about a bush taxi driver in Niger where I was a Peace Corps volunteer almost 30 years ago. It filled in a lot of details I didn't know about Niger and what Niger went through in the early 90s just after I left. I appreciated the details which brought back many memories.
it's about road travel in niger, written by a former peace corps volunteer - havent totally gotten into it, but it's about where sylvan is... pretty scary and an interesting cultural depiction...