• Publish Date: 2004-03-16
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Moses Isegawa
Regular price $33.45 Sale price $15.03

From the author of Abyssinian Chronicles (one of the most impressive works of fiction to have ever come out of AfricaKirkus Reviews), a powerful new novel set in Uganda in the 1970sa dark picaresque that brilliantly depicts the life and death of a nation run by men gorged on power and paranoia.
Bat Katanga is a Ugandan just returned to his homeland after two years in Britain. While he completed a postgraduate degree at Cambridge, he watched from afar as flag independence [gave] way to economic independence in Uganda, his chances to make a fortune there increasing with each reform imposed by Idi Amin. Now, when Bat lands a job as Bureaucrat Two in the Ministry of Power and Communications, he feels himself entering the top echelons of government, his sense of honor and honesty firmly intact: Everything seemed to have been building to this moment, his triumphant entry into the bastions of power. But when he is threatened into taking a bribe from a Saudi prince, he unwittingly begins a journeyboth psychological and physicalinto the darkest and most dangerous precincts of the madness that was Amins Uganda.

As Bats life begins to unravel, we see the men and women whose lives intersect his: General Bazooka, his superior at the ministrya creature of peoples fears and prejudicesa man slowly losing Amins approval, and with it any sense of safety or sanity; Victoria, who bears both Bats child and a deadly grudge against him; Bats family and friends, coping with the advantages and disadvantages of connection to someone in high places; Bats wife, Babit, who pays the ultimate price for his mistakes; Robert Ashes, the mercenary Englishman who insinuates himself into Amins trustand who will be the only one left standing after Amins downfall.

Snakepit is an extraordinarily revealing, deeply humanizing exploration of the experience of virulent corruption. It is a fiercely compelling novel.

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