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Brazzaville Beach

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To give the book some more depth (hope and faith may not be enough), Boyd throws in a lot of mathematical theory. She is uninterested in working after getting her PhD until her former Professor forces her to take on the hedgerow mapping project. Got me reading about Jane Goodall so that's a plus and also got me to appreciate female scientists who fought tooth and nail with patriarchy to change the system. i didn't really enjoy reading this book, but I won't deny that it was well-written and worth reading if you don't mind traveling on the darker side of both human and animal natures. Complicating matters is the fact that guerrilla warfare is going on in the country at the time, making movement dangerous.

He is the world’s leading authority on chimpanzee behaviour, his reputation resting on a 1962 book which describes chimps living in peaceful and cooperative societies. Her husband was a mathematician, trying to develop a formula or algorithm around turbulence, all of which is difficult for Hope to understand. And that's a good thing, because it makes this a novel that will stay with you even after you close the cover. Hope is a fully realized character that I admired both as a strong woman hero and as a very human scientist.There was one section that jarred - getting caught up in a civil war conflict - which for me didn't feel necessary to the plot (let's-add-action!

Young, alone, and far from her family in Britain, Hope Clearwater contemplates the extraordinary events that left her washed up like driftwood on Brazzaville Beach. Greek philosopher Epicurus warned his followers of the great dangers when one's identity becomes closely entwined with fame and reputation, a need that is neither natural nor necessary. Not always a pleasant listen -- some gruesome details of chimp violence, a singularly detail-oriented and rather judgmental protagonist (who gets wearying) -- but it was definitely different, and though it took me a looong time to listen through the whole thing, I am glad I persevered. Hope Clearwater is the feisty heroine, a young PhD in plant and animal ethology who was married to an obsessive mathematician, until she wasn't.S. Byatt’s Possession, though I certainly wasn’t one, and they shouldn’t be skipped because this is primarily where Boyd develops his thread regarding Hope’s current life on Brazzaville Beach. The structure of the book, broken into long-ago past, more recent past, and present also helps to build suspense and intrigue to keep the book moving forward at a steady clip.

Like his 2012 book, WAITING FOR SUNRISE, Boyd employed a complex structure in this 1990 novel about science and discord, both marital and professional.D. in ethology) coupled with shifts of third-person objective narration and Hope's first-person voice. Admittedly, I haven't unraveled every thread of this book sufficiently to articulate a review with any authority. Although this is a fairly small part of the overall story, it's one of the most powerful – Boyd gives a compelling picture of the chaos of this kind of indeterminate warfare which is so commonplace on the African continent. He’s obsessed by seeing things in different ways and interprets things with numbers and visual patterns. In tandem with the other two narratives are Hope's recollections of her affair with Usman Shoukry, an Egyptian mercenary airforce pilot flying sorties in a MiG-15 against rebel army groups.

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