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At Night All Blood Is Black Reviews

At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop, Anna Moschovakis

At Night All Blood is Black

David Diop, Anna Moschovakis

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Pushkin Press
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication date: 5 Nov 2020
ISBN: 9781782275862

At Night All Blood is Black is a hypnotic, heartbreaking rendering of a mind hurtling towards madness.

4 stars out of 5
Nick Rennison
22 Nov 2020

"a remarkable piece of writing"

The First World War continues to attract historical novelists, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find new stories to tell about its horrors. Yet David Diop has created a work that, although less than 150 pages in length, is powerfully original...

Unflinching in its exploration of the madness war can induce, Diop’s novella is a remarkable piece of writing.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Suzi Feay
21 Nov 2020

"The appalling slaughter of the Great War turns an innocent Senagalese boy into a sadistic serial killer in this short, powerful novel"

Alfa’s account of his upbringing in Senegal, brief and powerful as anything else in the novel, makes clear that he was a much- loved child in an ordered society bound by ties of honour and respect. It is this war of the European powers that twists him into a monster. ‘Only obeying orders’ always sounds like a cop-out, but the punishment meted out to those who defy the captain is as brutal as any of Alfa’s crimes.

With elegant brevity, Diop presents a world with no firm dividing line between courage and madness, murder and warfare; the most dedicated killers are awarded the Croix de Guerre. Alfa’s final transformation, as he attempts to atone for his guilt over the death of his friend, is unexpected, poetic — and chilling.