Unlike many novels, this book is not written at the elementary school level.
It is intelligent, funny and thought-provoking, an interesting look into the British foreign service in Africa. The life of the protagonist is the subject of the book, and you both care about him and just have to shake your head! Very entertaining reading.
A well-written, witty novel with a dark, antihero protagonist.
William Boyd, a terrific writer who knows Africa quite well (..he was brought up there), really cuts loose with 'A Good Man in Africa'. He completely deconstructs the psyche of the pompous, self-righteous and arrogant British colonial rulers (diplomats) of Africa during the 1960s. However I think even the most right wing British will not be offended with this book since his leading characters are so over-the-top buffoons and prigs it is obvious the author is writing a purely fictious comic novel, in the Tom Sharpe-esque tradition (but better written), rather than intentionally being cruel.
The story is about the travails of a junior British diplomat who is stuck in a nowhere African country and, despite wanting to succeed in his job/life, completely makes an ass out of himself. This is made easier by having a nitwit boss, a local mistress with a social disease, and the knack of always putting his foot in his mouth. The book is often laugh-out-loud funny. And the author has done a marvellous job in structuring the book; it is well-paced and literate.
Bottom line: surely among William Boyd's best works.