AFRICAN SAMSON by Humphrey Harman
Kirkus Star


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Time is plentiful and free as air in Africa. It is boorish not to use it. Opio had all the courtesy of his people and his gentle conversation went round and round..."" His story does circle about aspects and incidents of his tribe, but never meanders so much that the reader can get lost. His people were the quiet Joluo who lived in the valley of Kano by Lake Victoria in East Africa. Their peace was interrupted by the warring Nandi who would steal their cattle. Opio's uncle Magere was the young man capable of organizing his tribe into a successful counter-attack, and for many years he and his people were in the ascendancy, the Nandi badly weakened. But then, in his later years, Magere married a strikingly beautiful Nandi woman, began to lose interest in his leadership, and finally revealed to her the magic reason for his complete invulnerability, which she betrayed. In his epilogue the author stresses the similarity between this African legend and the story of Samson--he could probably have made other parallels and, as shown here, it has universal appeal. Part of the attraction of this book are the many minor stories--fact and/or fantasy--and indications of tribal customs and attitudes which have been worked into the period when Magere was powerful. And Harman has acquired the talent he ascribes to Africans ""for finding the sixpence in the corner when it comes to words.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1966
Publisher: Viking