Toundi Ondoua, The Rural African Protagonist Of Houseboy, Encounters A World Of Prisms That Cast Beautiful But Unobtainable Glimmers, Especially For A Black Youth In Colonial Cameroon Houseboy, Written In The Form Of Toundi S Captivating Diary And Translated From The Original French, Discloses His Awe Of The White World And A Web Of Unpredictable Experiences Early On, He Escapes His Father S Angry Blows By Seeking Asylum With His Benefactor, The Local European Priest Who Meets An Untimely Death Toundi Then Becomes The Chief European S Boy The Dog Of The King Toundi S Attempt To Fulfill A Dream Of Advancement And Improvement Opens His Eyes To Troubling Realities Gradually, Preconceptions Of The Europeans Come Crashing Down On Him As He Struggles With His Identity, His Place In Society, And The Changing Culture


10 thoughts on “Une vie de boy

  1. says:

    J ai aim ce livre plus que mon dernier livre d Afrique subsaharienne, mais je n ai toujours pas aim ce livre Cela m a rappel trop de Things Fall Apart de Chinua Achebe et de Heart of Darkness de Joseph Conrad, qui taient des livres que je n aimais pas Je pr f re lire sur les soci t s, les vies et les cultures africaines que sur les hommes blancs diaboliques Le livre a attir mon attention au d but, mais a ensuite perdu mon attention mi parcours Traduit en anglais I liked this book than my last sub Saharan African book, but I still didn t enjoy this book It reminded me too much of Chinua Achebe s Things Fall Apart and Joseph Conrad s Heart of Darkness , which were books that I didn t like I d prefer to read about the African societies, lives, and cultures than about evil white men The book captured my attention in the beginning, but then lost my attention midway.


  2. says:

    I feel as if I ve been in the presence of an underrated African classic Cameroonian novelist and diplomat, Oyono, was visiting Guinea during the time it was the colony Spanish Guinea , when he came across one of his countrymen Later, he would be given the diary or exercise book of Toundi, a houseboy on the run He translated the book from its original language, Ewondo, stating that he tried to keep the richness of the original language without letting it get in the way of the story itself I enjoyed reading this book written in diary form because of the guileless storytelling the book gives you such breathtaking story without trying to evoke a certain feeling from you, the reader Although it is such a short read, there was so much descriptive language within the dialogue and narrative from Toundi, that you end up knowing so much in just a few pages Each of the many characters have specific roles to play.It is a tragic story about love, betrayal, and social injustice.


  3. says:

    This novel, which was written decades ago is haunting and very powerful, evoking the colonial situation in black Africa in the past It is very funny and very sombre and sad at the same time The protagonist, the main narrator is na ve and fascinated by the gleam of white life and privilege to use a word gleam beloved by the great Ayi Kwei Armah Toundi believes great vistas are opening up for him by being the houseboy of one of the white colonial administrators The author brilliantly explores the whole scenario, evoking the raw basic humanity in people across colours and race Here we have discrimination, prejudice, lust and infidelity and the cruelty personified by the police and penal system The protagonist actually witnesses a horrific beating up torture by the penal agents that tragically presages his own demise As Toundi revels and in the white man s secrets, he seals his won doom in the process.For example Toundi is initially fascinated with the wife of his master of this later but soon realises that apart from being a mere human too despite her white colour, she is actually worthless and sleeps around extravagantly Being aware of such a secret is of course dangerous though the irony is that it is no secret at all When we see Toundi s white master implying that the boy smells badly, it mirrors the sentiment of the black girl lover of a whiteman who complains about the smell of her white boyfriend Being white of course the lover boy is not too anxious to let the world know about his black girlfriend and does not trust her fidelity at all In the end our narrator finds himself in an awkward situation though in no way culpable he is arrested by the system and viciously worked oversoon to die or less like a dog.There is a memorable passage in this work that reflects how much Toundi initially worshipped the whites when he first meets the wife of his master and she awkwardly shakes his hand Hear him I have held the hand of my queenfrom now on my hand is sacredmy hand belongs to my queen whose hair is the colour of ebony, whose skin is pink and white as ivory A shudder ran through me at the touch of her handher smile is refreshing as a spring of water Her look is as warm as a ray from the setting sun This passage is at the same time funny, serious and tragic It rather encapsulates Toundi as his life hurtles towards implacable disasterbohloko


  4. says:

    A beautifully written book that tells a story that moves from one point to the other effortlessly with deep contextualization of imperial Cameroon and the African condition mainly embedded in the dialogues It is an easy read that exposes the absurdities and brutalities of colonizers in Africa and the world Europeans created for themselves in Africa almost cocooned It also shows the progression of the main character from being in awe of the colonizers, and at times feeling different to or separate from other Africans, to his journey of eye opening and discovery through reflecting on the body language of his masters and the various incidents that occur that wake him up to the realities of how the African is really seen by the colonizeer


  5. says:

    I m having a bit of a hard time rating this one Toundi s story is troubling but engaging The things that Toundi accepts as just a part of life as a black boy in Cameroon during this time period is sad and frustrating The malice and pettiness that impacts Toundi s daily life from a young age made me want to grind my teeth just reading the descriptions The story is told well but the ending is pretty abrupt There is that I would have like to have gotten in order for the story to come full circle I kind of understand why it ended the way it did because Toundi was unable to continue the diary, but man I would like to have gotten the last leg of the journey for Toundi Yet, I am very glad to have read this story Full review to come.


  6. says:

    full review


  7. says:

    C est int ressant pour l aspect historique mais ca n a pas l impact maintenant que ca devait avoir dans le temps Aussi, la couverture avec la photo du petit gar on est ironique ou stupide parce que ce n est pas le sens de boy et ce n est pas une histoire d enfants.


  8. says:

    . , , ..


  9. says:

    Book 29 of the African Writer s Series depicts the despotic, cruel treatment of native Cameroonians in French Cameroun, the former League of Nations s mandate The perspective is that of Toundi The book is in the form of a diary although the reading is fluid like a novel is Toundi left home as soon as he could do so and a priest Father Gilbert sheltered him Eventually, the solitary Commandant hires him as his Houseboy The former is rough but eventually softens his attitude to Toundi and approves of him After a long while, the Commandant s beautiful wife arrives and settles in the house Initially unbeknown to the Commandant, her secret tryst becomes the beginning of the end for Toundi.