Horn of Africa
“Reminiscent in its passionate style and moral intensity of the best of Joseph Conrad.” —Newsday
When Vietnam veteran and foreign correspondent Charlie Gage is recruited by the shadowy Thomas Colfax to assist with something called Operation Atropos, he has no idea he is about to be enlisted for guerilla warfare in northeast Africa. Once he realizes he’s a mercenary, however, he is not at all concerned. Ever since his young secretary was killed by a grenade at their bureau office in Beirut a couple of years before, he has lost all volition. Which is why he so readily capitulates not only to Colfax, but also, and more dangerously so, to every command of Jeremy Nordstrand, the mystical megalomaniac determined to achieve greatness on their seemingly suicidal mission. Set in the forsaken yet exotic deserts of Ethiopia, Horn of Africa is a vividly detailed and masterfully plotted novel chronicling a broken man’s struggle for salvation and inner freedom in the midst of a broken nation’s fight for stability and peace.
From Library Journal
Caputo here presents protagonist Charlie Gage, a journalist who is recruited for a mysterious job that essentially turns out to be serving as a mercenary in a mythical country in northeast Africa. His tour in Vietnam and his additional combat experiences as a correspondent, however, have left Gage with little stomach for fighting. There are many battle sequences, but the book also delves into the nature of evil and morality. This 1980 title remains “a notable and engrossing first novel.”
“A real novel stuffed with excitement and filled with sharply drawn characters.” —The New York Times
“An extraordinarily powerful novelist who works in one of the grand traditions of literature: the fiction of nightmare against the background of war and espionage.” —The Dallas Morning News
“Does not suffer in comparison with Graham Greene or Joseph Conrad. . . . An awesomely evil tale–enthralling, disgusting, utterly first-rate.” —Jim Harrison