Seeing Double by Patrick Wilmot - review by Tim Souster

Tim Souster

Niagra Falls

Seeing Double


Jonathan Cape 405pp £10.99

The fictional African republic of Niagra is the unfortunate playground of a psychopathic despot called General Daudu, who presides over an orgy of corruption, poverty and torture in incomparably luxurious style. The wealth that he squanders comes from the sale of crude oil; and the backing he receives from America, and from the Burton Holly Corporation in particular, depends on its free flow. When the General is deposed in a bloodless coup the nation rejoices, and initially there seems no reason for international opinion to be alarmed. 

Until, that is, the emergence of the new regime’s plans to turn the village of Lidziam, the source of the oil, into a nature reserve. The regime is also set to demand compensation from Burton Holly for the environmental destruction and the deaths of 2,384 villagers that accompanied the extraction

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