Man of Bees

A TOUCHING AFRICAN STORYOliver Stuart York’s Man of Bees is a cracking good read: an African thriller that proves that few people are truly bad-or good. Not since Wild Geese has a writer from Zimbabwe produced an edge of the seat tale that keeps you turning the pages late into the night-and it has the added advantage of being an apparently true story.Book one is the best-balanced account of the bush war I have read. I particularly liked the bit when African bushcraft outwits Western military might. And the account of a Zanla camp that might have been Chimoio will have greybeards of both colours shaking their heads.York has a remarkable understanding of what it was like to be a guerrilla, living in the bush like a wild animal and how young Rhodesian men felt being called up to fight a war in which the numbers were stacked against them.Dhina, the Man of Bees, is a heartwarming character. He survived losing his job, his family and then the civil war with enviable equanimity and it is his genuine warmth, which reaches out to help strangers, that makes him endearing.

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