April 1st 2007
256 pages

Cargo Fever by Will Buckingham

Buy Now Price £7.99

On faraway Kenukecil, Ibu Nilasera is alarmed to see a red-haired ‘short man’ praying in the front pew of the church. In Jakarta, Sam Rivers is all set to marry his Indonesian love, Fon. But life takes an odd turn when, against her advice, he goes into business with Pak Suryono to smuggle a semi-human creature from the archipelago to Australia.

Madness? Yes, but typical of a white man. His peculiar behaviour on Kenukecil is no surprise to its people, nor are his companions – including disgraced returnee Pak Wim and the flame-haired, husband-seeking Dr Aletheia Groeber, bestselling author of anthropology tome Fuck the Savages. All of which helps explain the island’s popular prayer: ‘May both God and the ancestors protect us, for here comes another one.’

While Sam succumbs to malarial fevers – which only Ibu Lana’s deft fingers can heal – his strange cargo escapes to rampage among the local young women. Provoked by the spectacle of their smiling, wanton daughters and the ineptitude of the local priests, the men of the island are soon demanding blood. Can Sam find the short man before it wreaks yet further havoc?

Will Buckingham weaves his extensive knowledge of the Tanimbar islands of Indonesia into this lively and exotic adventure novel, thronging with picaresque characters, raucous magic and unfamiliar customs

Publishing News

Buckingham is a wonderful storyteller and paints a vivid picture of Indonesian life. His humour and lively style ensure the pages of this fascinating novel keep on turning

Birmingham Post

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