Glancing through Guardian readers' recommendations for their "literary discoveries of the year" I was jolted out of my Saturday morning reverie when I came across Ahmadou Kourouma's Allah Is Not Obliged.
This is one of the most moving and powerful novels I have ever read but I have never been able to force it on anyone who doesn't speak fluent French. (Not many then in this country of monoglots). I first read it five or six years ago and it is now available in translation. (A good one I hope).
This is the story of Birahima. A ten year-old from the Ivory Coast who becomes a child soldier.
It leaves you wondering how something written with such humour and lucidity can be so harrowing, ridiculous and shocking.