Mimi and Totou’s Big Adventure – 10/10

My favorite book this summer was “Mimi and Totou’s Big Adventure” by Giles Foden. Normally my favorite books are first person throughout the entire book, switching characters but never the view. That is why history books aren’t always my cup of tea (British pun). The omnipresent story line, combined with an end I always know, makes the book more of a job to slug through. This book meets the two styles in the middle, combining vivid storytelling that could stand by itself, with excerpts in a first person view that make the characters alive. While dialogue is rarely exchanged, the book builds relationships between characters, negative or positive, that are deeper than most books. If you like history, but hate history books, then try reading this. The book starts in World War 1 with what should rightfully be the main character. He is a Han Solo type character, who in the first chapter is hunting wild elephant when he spots a German steamer patrolling lake Tanganyika. Lake Tanganyika is a huge lake that is being disputed between the Germans and the Belgiums. The Germans only hold the lake due to the huge steamers that John Lee (Han Solo) had just spotted. Being a British man, Lee creates a plan to transport 2 ships to Africa, get them to the lake, and take down the German steamers. While the Lee doesn’t turn out to be the man who executes this plan, the story is great, and fully true, surprising me at how interesting history can be. Thus starts the journey to uphold the British tradition of having naval supremacy in any body of water, larger than a bathtub.


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