I have to start with a disclaimer. Not only was I given a free copy of this book to read and review, it was also signed by the author and I even get a mention on the acknowledgements page. I’ve known the author, Rob Baker, since he was a short term missionary in Ivory Coast, twenty years ago.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take my review seriously, because this is genuinely a good book. Adventures in Music and Culture is written with a vivacity and an eye for detail which bring scenes to life in technicolour. Anyone who knows West Africa will immediately find themselves transported back to familiar situations and those who don’t know that part of the world will be enchanted anyway.
If you want to know what it’s like driving through the West African bush, staying in bush hotels or getting groups together to write and record songs, this book is for you. If you’d really just like an interesting and amusing travelogue – it fits the bill too. Rob’s irrepressable good humour shines throughout, bringing lots of smiles and one or two laugh out loud moments.
The only thing I would complain about is the quality of the publication. In my copy the inner margin was so close to the book binding that it was difficult to open it far enough to see the last couple of letters on each line. This didn’t stop me enjoying the book, but it was a little frustrating. It would also be good to see this published for the Kindle. It’s an ideal book for holiday reading on the beach – but who carries paperbacks to the beach these days!