” David Diop’s All Blood is Black at Night is an unrelenting take on war, race, masculinity, and colonialism. Most of all, Diop’s short, sharp, and serrated novel is a visceral dramatization of how our humanity and inhumanity are forever intertwined.”


ust finished At Night all Blood is Black by David Diop. Audio version. This book, currently short listed for the Booker International Prize is a story about how war can drive you to madness.
Narrated by the lead character Alfa Ndiaye, a Senegalese who goes off to war in World War 1 to help fight for France. He goes with his best friend Mademba. During a battle Madempa is mortally wounded. It is a fatal wound and he begs his friend Alfa to finish him off, but Alfa is unable to do this.

Upon the death of Mademba, a change comes over Alfa, who makes it is prime mission to have revenge upon the German soldiers who killed Madempa. Every night Alfa crawls out on his own, to exact revenge and bring back souvenirs of his killings. Thus begins the slow descent into madness that Alfa speaks to the reader about, telling of his adventures, his feelings, his life before the war.

Brilliantly read by Dion Graham who makes Alfa’s feelings so believable, the book is a Tour De Force when it comes to psychological stories of how man has to deal with the horror of war.
Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 14th July 2021

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Richard Franco