White Man's Grave: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, Mar 15, 1995 - Fiction - 400 pages
25 Reviews
Michael Killigan, a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa, is missing. The search for him is launched separately by his father, Randall, a master-of-the-universe and warlord of the Indianapolis bankruptcy courts. and Michael's best friend, Boone Westfall. Once in Freetown, Boone falls in with Sam Lewis, an unscrupulous Volunteer who's fed up with Sierra Leone, a country which in 1992 earned the distinction of being the world's worst place to live, according to the United Nations. Lewis leads Boone into the bush and turns him over to Aruna Sisay, "the white Mende man, " a fallen anthropologist who's sworn off the rigors of fieldwork and succumbed to the charms of ruling hell. Back in America, Randall receives an ominous bundle of black rags from Sierra Leone and starts to experience terrifying sleep disorders. A raving hypochondriac, he bankrolls a search for his son, while seeking a medical explanation for his nocturnal hallucinations. Meanwhile. Liberian rebels are crossing the border in the south of Sierra Leone, elections are erupting into riots, and the countryside is ruled by warring secret societies of leopard and baboon men which still practice witchcraft and human sacrifice to win political - even supernatural - power. But where's Michael? To find Killigan. Boone must negotiate witches and witch-finders, disgruntled ancestors and bush devils, bad medicine and "shapeshifters" who roam about in the guise of animals. And Randall learns that the bundle of rags may have transformed itself into a spirit and "entered" him, causing supernatural disturbances. Both begin by wondering if witchcraft is "true" and conclude that if it "works, " it may as well be. An exuberantly funny satire inwhich litigation, modern medicine, and the insurance business begin to look a lot like primitive magic. White Man's Grave pillories our deepest fears, forcing us to consider the ultimate nature of evil.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
13
4 stars
7
3 stars
3
2 stars
0
1 star
2

Review: White Man's Grave

User Review  - Rashel - Goodreads

Amazing. I love insight into other cultures. Read full review

Review: White Man's Grave

User Review  - Suzanne - Goodreads

Wickedly funny, ugly American satire of cultural clash between classic greedy Westerners and a superstitious, primitive West African society. When Randall Killigan's Peace Corp son goes missing in ... Read full review

Contents

I
3
II
23
III
46
IV
65
V
85
VI
109
VII
125
VIII
140
XIII
247
XIV
255
XV
279
XVI
291
XVII
305
XVIII
312
XIX
333
XX
350

IX
166
X
186
XI
198
XII
227
XXI
367
XXII
375
XXIII
381
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

In Sierra Leone
Michael Jackson
Limited preview - 2004
All Book Search results »

About the author (1995)

Richard Dooling's first novel was Critical Care. His short fiction has been published by The New Yorker. He is an attorney who lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with his wife and three children.

Bibliographic information