Congo Crew

William Goodlett, Author Path Press $15.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-910671-05-7
Set in 1961, as a U.S. ship under United Nations command ferries Indian and Malayan troops to the Congo to put down post-colonialist violence, this audacious, often overwritten saga follows three hip-talking black American sailors on a journey into the heart of darkness. For Rinco Styles, born in Africa to a Liberian father and an American mother, the voyage will be a search for roots. His shipmate Sonny Collins (``Big Shot''), mainly interested in chasing women, seems never to have gotten over his discovery that his wife Pam worked in porno flicks. As the crowded, overheated ship docks in Bombay, then in Capetown, multiple racial animosities divide black Americans, Asians, ``coloreds'' (of mixed descent), black Africans and whites. Homesick Wilbur Kane (``Chitown''), the third of the trio, is attacked by a gang of knife-wielding racist thugs in South Africa, where he ends up posing as a native, carrying a hated passbook and glimpsing brutal apartheid firsthand. A first novel burdened with excessive sentimentality. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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