THE WHITE PUMPKIN by Denis Hills

THE WHITE PUMPKIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

At the last minute, Hills obtained a reprieve from Ugandan ruler Idi Amin for his death sentence last spring on a farcical charge of treason for having written about rotting corpses in the capital and related matters. The book, however, is anything but a scorching exposÉ of the already much-exposed Amin, who even receives condescending tribute to his earthiness and toughness. Hills' attention centers rather on his own exploration of central Europe, the Near East, and East Africa over the years. Indeed, he presents himself as a travel writer admired by Fleet Street's old guard except for his preoccupation with the sexual and excremental habits of the natives, evident here. Hills' juxtaposition of 1930s Germany and 1970s Uganda expresses his own experience--as a muscular, composed Briton--in always finding static refuges and having them disrupted. His Africa is an updated Evelyn Waugh world of skin-bleached whores, military thugs in battered Mercedes, obtuse white expatriates--with the ""natural sloth"" of the blacks and their supposed penchant for leader-worship at the fore. Extracting from other white and black observers, Hills describes both nose-to-nose conflict and backwater tradition, and the news kicker will draw extra readers.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1976
Publisher: Grove Press--dist. by Random House