Sunday, 4 November 2012

Boom Town by Kenneth Ryeland

Book Title:  Boom Town 
ISBN  9781458073549

Part of Series:  Tribal Gathering Coimpendium

Author:  Kenneth Ryeland

Available at:  Smashwords  Amazon UK,  Amazon US 
Price:  $0.99

Number of words (approximately):  21 322

Star Rating (of five):  4

Summary:  This eBook sets out the background to the Tribal Gathering Compendium.  Charlie Robinson is given the job to establish and run a business in an African country, but a civil war breaks out, and the business is lost.  Charlie sees the opportunity to walk away with the makings of a future fortune.


- The political situation in Nibana had wavered between bad and downright diabolical for many months, the main cause being the withholding of vital oil revenues from the Federal Military Government in Laguna by the military  governor of the Eastern Region. Naturally the head of state had been none too pleased with this act of piracy and, after many warnings, both private and public, he issued a decree that effectively sacked the regional military governor and demanded immediate payment of the revenues due.  The decree had no effect whatsoever, except perhaps to prompt the regional military governor into mobilising Obi troops up to the border with the Western Region at the Enube River. Incensed at such audacity, the head of state mobilised the Usmar and Yuba regiments of the Federal Army and ordered them to move towards the borders with the Eastern Region at the Enube River.

Though the two armies faced each other across the river, nothing happened for several weeks until one night in February 1968, when some drunken Federal soldiers on the west bank decided to direct rifle fire at an Obi patrol on the east bank. The patrol responded in kind and all hell was let loose. The incident sparked off a full-scale battle at the Enube Bridge: the one and only road bridge across the river along the whole length of the border between eastern and western Nibana. Mortars and field artillery were soon deployed and the engagement lasted until dawn with many casualties on both sides. Two days later the regional military governor declared secession from the Federation. Broadcasting to the whole of Nibana on television and radio, he declared that the Eastern Region of Nibana no longer existed. The area would now to be regarded as an independent, sovereign state called the Republic of Obiland in honour of the Obi tribe, whose people had dominated the area for centuries and of which the regional military governor was a prominent chief.

In retaliation for what it considered a gross act of treason, the Federal Military Government declared total war against the secessionist rebels and a long and painful civil war began which would last for three years and cause untold misery and death for the many thousands of innocent Nibanan and Obilander civilians caught up in the savagery of the conflict between the two armies.

Naturally the war had a devastating effect on the inhabitants of Warunda and Sapula too. Being in what was now Obiland and close to the border with Nibana, both towns were officially classified as being strategic by both sides because of the presence of valuable oil, coal and timber reserves. -

Reviewer’s Comments:

Structure:  The structure is good, the grammar, syntax and use of the language showing the authors comfort with the use of good English.

Content:  The story is written in an almost diary way, following the story line serially from the point of view of the main character.  It is set in a small African country, and gives a very realistic portrayal of the life of expats in the late Colonial days.  The characters are starkly delineated, as many of the people of Africa of that time were.

Reviewer’s Comments:  I have lived in Africa, and reading this book brought to mind many of the characters who played such a role in the development of the continent, and, in some places, still do.  It shows a good understanding of the foundations of the business society of Africa.  The action is generally credible, and the main character, a normal man who is virtually forced by circumstances to become a scoundrel, is easy to identify with.  This book left me with the desire to read more of the series. 
Karin B


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