“I really don’t want you to be an ordinary man.” With such a singular
instruction from his eccentric mother and the novelty of being plucked from
boarding school to run wild and untutored on the island of Zanzibar, the
author’s boyhood notions of conforming were swept away by the ravishing
Land of Zinj.
But through this idyll of his youth runs a darker thread and the volatile
adolescent’s inner turmoil is echoed in the disintegration of his island paradise
through revolution and betrayal.
Without the least hint of sentiment, nostalgia or regret, Painted Devils is a
lyrical and moving homage to both love and place, tempered by a wise man’s wit
and wry acceptance that all our gods are fallible and love, like ‘Sinbad’s golden
thread’, is fragile.
Marguerite Poland | Author of Shades