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Publisher's Summary

In trying times, a seeming soccer romance equates to life or death....

Local football star "Aliou Messi" is the picture of talent...but this, alone, may not be enough. The Arab Spring uprising has ushered in a dark age for rural poverty in Gambia, and Aliou's homeland is rocked by its horror. The chances of escape are slim, and every peril fringes every path. Diaspora could crush much more than dreams of gaming glory.  

When his father passes away, Aliou is left to support the entire family - a responsibility that makes dropping out of school an increasingly dangerous concept. He, too, must consider a marriage engagement, his future wife and children. Pursuing his passion means risking it all - including the lives of others.

There does exist a bastion of peace, but getting there is the problem. Known to fellow Gambians as "The Backway", a daunting foot trek to Western Europe may represent Aliou's only hope for salvation. Can this man, but yesterday a boy, lead those he loves to safety? Scarcely could a crossroads represent more inner strife.

A touching tale of rural fiction and noir...

A treatise on the human condition...

Eric Reese outdoes himself - a master of his craft.  

©2018 Eric Reese (P)2018 Eric Reese

What listeners say about Aliou

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Aliou

It's a story about a young boy who lived in a small village with his father, his multiple wives and with siblings from different mothers. One day he decided to go to Europe to seek a better life. He encountered hardship along the way

6 people found this helpful

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twist and turns that I did not expect at al

It's not that short, just long enough to keep me interested. The story is inspiring and still kept me in awe. With how it is narrated, it is easy to visualize the story and easy to get attached to the characters. Aliou has experienced different hurdles along the way, which made him stronger. This guy is bold and courageous. The book showed all his sides in every scenarios. It definitely made him a better. There are twist and turns that I did not expect at all in a novel. This is very realistic in a way.

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very engaging story and best listened to than read

The narrator's deep and African voice, he gets into character and gave justice to the book. Overall, this has been a very engaging story and best listened to than read.

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5 stars

It's one of those stories that I didn't expect much from but ended up liking the story. It gives me motivation too on working to accomplish what I have to do in my life. The main character is portrayed well. The narration makes it all worth while.

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A remarkable novel. The story is touching.

A remarkable novel. The story is touching. I felt bad about Aliou but in the end, it was encouraging.

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A moving story. Highlighted the African life.

A moving story. Highlighted the African life and opened my eyes on the reality there. The book talks about a lot about the hardship of the talented Aliou.

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Very Inspirational

This is a very up lifting story, just what we need in these times we are living in. The narrator's African accent was hard for me to adjust to at first but then it quickly became the best part of the listening experience. He captured the characters and told the story beautifully.

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Profile Image for Simon Gibson
  • Simon Gibson
  • 09-03-19

The Struggle.

A very well written and narrated short story of a child's dream of doing well for himself, his family and his village. The everyday detail makes the central character, Aliou, engaging. We are given a brief glimpse into the challenges of rural Africa when it meets the city and people have aspirations of the West. A worthwhile listen.

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Profile Image for Tony Gavin (Author - Screenwriter)
  • Tony Gavin (Author - Screenwriter)
  • 08-11-19

Rushed

This could have been such a good listen. The storyline had so much promise and in parts was well written. However it felt as if I were reading the treatment for the story not the story itself. There was no development of characters or storyline and there were numerous narration editing issues.
I enjoyed what I heard but wish that more time had been invested in getting it right.