Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

  • by Alexandra Fuller
  • Narrated by Lisette Lecat
  • 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Alexandra Fuller tells the idiosyncratic story of her life growing up white in rural Rhodesia as it was becoming Zimbabwe. The daughter of hardworking, yet strikingly unconventional English-bred immigrants, Alexandra arrives in Africa at the tender age of two. She moves through life with a hardy resilience, even as a bloody war approaches. Narrator Lisette Lecat reads this remarkable memoir of a family clinging to a harsh landscape and the dying tenets of colonialism.

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What the Critics Say



Book Sense Book of the Year Award Winner, Adult Non-Fiction, 2003
"A classic is born in this tender, intensely moving and even delightful journey through a white African girl's childhood." (Publishers Weekly)
"This was no ordinary childhood, and it makes a riveting story thanks to an extraordinary telling." (School Library Journal)
"In this powerful debut, Fuller fully succeeds in memorializing the beauty of each desert puddle and each African summer night sky while also recognizing that beauty can lie hidden in the faces of those who have crossed her path. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"An honest, moving portrait of one family struggling to survive tumultuous times." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Moving echos from history

This is a wonderful book. Touching and tragic covering a pivotal point in Rhodesia?s history. It tracks the life of a white family trying to cling on in Africa. They defended themselves from armed insurgents (terrorists or freedom fighters depending on your viewpoint) in a typically British way.

What gives it its power is that it is viewed through the eyes of a young girl with one foot in the colonial past and one in the future, whatever that was to become. Her powerlessness to control events but being forced to watch sums up much of the fate of Southern Africa and it?s people. There are also plenty of poignant moments where her life reaches out across the racial divide showing that everyone involved in those turbulent times were just human beings trying to survive.

Having been born in Rhodesia I am emotionally involved but nevertheless would recommend this title for its honest portrayal of a small part of this now forgotten conflict.
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- Mark

An African Childhood of Harrowing Proportions

This story of English ex-patriots living in a variety of countries in southern Africa with their children is amazing, bizarre, gruesome, violent and filled with disease. Most surprising to me was the fact that even one of them survived. At times, the details of the food and living conditions are so nauseating and disastrous that the title of the book--Go To The Dogs--seemed redundant. By this, I mean that it would be difficult for life to deteriorate further than the story presents. One war torn, drought ridden, broken down and hungry farm after another.

Through all this runs the strong and endearing voice of the author as the child "Bo-bo". Fuller's writing pulls all the loose ends, pain and disaster together and weaves a story of growing up in Africa. This story embodies her deep and visceral love for the place, the smells, the people and the creatures that inhabit that world. At one point in the writing she refers to her life as a child as a "terrifying unhinged blur". Believe me--she captured it in this book.

The narration was fantastic. It continually drove me forward--never allowing me to even consider giving up. This was my first book narrated by Lecat--but it won't be my last. Excellent reading--that added immensely to the whole experience.

Listening prompted me to do research about this time period in Africa's history. I read about each of the countries where the family lived--trying to make some sense of the choices and the reasons behind the decisions they made. It was not until the last hour or two of listening that I understood that all this didn't matter. It wasn't a book of African history--but rather a book of a family's history.
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- Sara

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-25-2003
  • Publisher: Recorded Books