Loved it Because: Well it's hard to say that you 'love' a book about child soldiers but Kourouma has crafted a first person narrative that is brutal, funny, and which mentions your 'father's cock' (i.e., faforo) about a hundred times. Allah is Not Obliged is the tale of a young Ivorian boy named Birahima who becomes a child soldier of misfortune--killing and pontificating his way across West Africa.
The author is from Cote d'Ivoire but the narrative skips across the porous borders of its neighbors. This is a decidedly West African novel...less about a country and more about a phenomenon--the rise of the child soldier. The best portions of the novel are the quasi histories of the different countries--Kourouma boils down the essential tenets of the political and warfield battles in an easy to read and digestible manner. Take his summary of Sierra Leone:
*One of my Reading Around the Continent books--the full list is here.
Links for Further Reading:
NPR: A Chatty, Pensive, 'Rude As A Goat's Beard' Child Soldier
Words Without Borders Book Review
The Guardian's Book Review: Welcome to the Jungle