A Little Bored in Madagascar

new globe Just realized this graphic says 2012 on it. Will have to get a new one for my around the world posts this year. Sorry!

I’m going to give one of my rare “eh” reviews on this one. I read this book because it was the Great African Reads A-Z Tour group read book for Madagascar. It didn’t live up to its billing, in my opinion. I have generally loved the group for helping me discover not only the places, but great, or at least very good, literature from countries I might otherwise overlook. Unfortunately, this book, which was about the author’s travels in Madagascar to collect traditional stories for her research, mostly left me pretty unimpressed. Odd, since the author is apparently a poet herself. Maybe prose just isn’t her best medium. If anyone knows a really great book about Madagascar, let me know, because I’d like to read it next year. I may actually try to track down the work of one poet mentioned in the book, Rado, whose work I did like, but I don’t know that it has been translated from Malagasy other than in the book. Ok, so here is what I said on Goodreads:

Over the Lip of the World: Among the Storytellers of MadagascarOver the Lip of the World: Among the Storytellers of Madagascar by Colleen J. McElroy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I went back and forth on this book as I was reading it. At times I was bored and was going to give it only 2 stars, and then I would get to a section that interested me a bit more and I would bump it back up to 3. The book was a combination travelogue and chronicle of Malagasy folktales that the author collected all over the country by talking to village storytellers and others. I found the writing lackluster compared to what I normally read, and most of the folktales didn’t do much for me. I did discover the poet Rado, whose more modern poetry I did really like, so I felt that the read was not a total loss. I also learned a lot more than I had known before about Madagascar’s history and geography (easy, since I knew almost nothing despite my fascination with the wildlife there). Because of these things, I kept pulling myself through the book, but it was definitely a matter of pulling myself, rather than enjoying the read.

View all my reviews

And here is the progress report:

Around the World (goal: 52 total including at least 6 in each of 6 different regions) 8
Asia/Mideast: 2 (Israel, China)
Africa: 1 (Madagascar)
Europe: 2 (England/UK, Monaco)
Caribbean/Central America/North America: 2 (US, Cuba)
South America:
Extra: 1 (Scotland)

Around the US (goal: 50 states, DC, and PR): 3 (CA, NY, RI)

1001 Books (goal 52): 4

A to Z challenge (must be completed in order–26 author last names A to Z then 26 titles A to Z–strategy is all!): 5
Authors: Auster, Beinart, Chandler, Donovan, Eugenides

About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
This entry was posted in Around the World 2013, Books and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Little Bored in Madagascar

  1. biblioglobal says:

    Too bad this one was a disappointment. I’m thinking that I might go with a book about natural history for Madagascar since they have such an interesting diversity of organisms.

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