Authors & Events
Gifts & Deals
Oct 26, 1999
| ISBN 9780375703317
Nov 02, 2011
| ISBN 9780307808547
Also available from:
Oct 26, 1999 | ISBN 9780375703317
Nov 02, 2011 | ISBN 9780307808547
Shortly after his arrival in Uganda, Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan is called to the scene of a bizarre accident: Idi Amin, careening down a dirt road in his red Maserati, has run over a cow. When Garrigan tends to Amin, the dictator, in his obsession for all things Scottish, appoints him as his personal physician. And so begins a fateful dalliance with the central African leader whose Emperor Jones-style autocracy would transform into a reign of terror.In The Last King of Scotland Foden’s Amin is as ridiculous as he is abhorrent: a grown man who must be burped like an infant, a self-proclaimed cannibalist who, at the end of his 8 years in power, would be responsible for 300,000 deaths. And as Garrigan awakens to his patient’s baroque barbarism–and his own complicity in it–we enter a venturesome meditation on conscience, charisma, and the slow corruption of the human heart. Brilliantly written, comic and profound, The Last King of Scotland announces a major new talent.
Nicholas Garrigan has fled his native Scotland, and his parents’ expectations, to take a position as a doctor in a remote rural outpost of Central Africa. Shortly after his arrival in Uganda, he is called to the scene of a bizarre car accident: Idi Amin, manically driving his red Maserati down the dirt tracks of Garrigan’s small village, has run over a cow. Garrigan binds Amin’s sprained wrist and puts the incident behind him, until a letter arrives from the Minister of Health informing him that Amin–in his obsession with all things Scottish–has ap-pointed Garrigan his personal physician. Garrigan is instructed to settle into State House, on the grounds of Amin’s residence, immediately. Later, Garrigan will reflect that had he known what awaited him, had he foreseen the terrifying concatenation of events this decision would set in motion, he would have boarded the first plane back to Scotland. He will wonder why it never occurred to him to simply say no. But–flattered, disarmed, and intrigued, if uneasily, by the pros-pect of entering Amin’s inner circle–he steps into the role of caring for the man who will turn out to be one of the most brutal dictators of all time. So begins Nick Garrigan’s journey into a Con-radian heart of darkness, as his own moral centerbattles weakly against, and then succumbs to, the dark and irresistible seductions of Idi Amin Dada, whose cruelty and cunning are masked by brilliant rhetoric, hilarious wit, and electrifying personal magnetism. When at last Nick awakens to the horrors of Amin’s regime, he must awaken also to his own complicity in it–he cared for Amin, as a doctor and as a friend–and to the knowledge that he is both a traitor to his own country and a prisoner in his new one. By turns comic and chilling, Giles Foden’s The Last King of Scotland is a masterful debut from a remarkable talent–a riveting history of "blood, misery and foolishness" that lingers in the mind long after the last page is turned, and a profound meditation on conscience, charisma, and the slow corruption of the human heart.
Giles Foden was born in 1967 in England and spent his youth in Africa. Between 1990 and 2006 he worked as an editor at The Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian. In 1998 he published The Last King of Scotland,… More about Giles Foden
"Genuinely beautiful and disturbing." —The Village Voice"This decidedly quirky yet absorbing first novel–that brings to mind the diabolical Evelyn Waugh." —Los Angeles Times Book Review
Whitbread First Novel Award
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