Arab World
Archaeology and Geology
Fiction and Poetry
Independent Minds
Natural History

288 pages, Hardback
140x220mm, Portrait

Published late March 2010

ISBN-10: 1906768218
ISBN-13: 9781906768218
The Last Banana
The Last Banana began when the author visited his university friend Marios Ghikas, whose family farmed in Tanzania. Anticipating nationalization, Marios invited Tucker to visit again to help him spend 'the last banana' of his 'unremittable fortune', and Tucker returned in 1972. These were the first of 16 African trips spanning 43 years. There were 180 Greeks in Chaggaland, but Nyerere's policy of returning land to the watu people destroyed this community. Three stayed on; Marios was one.

In this absorbing and elegantly written book, Tucker recalls conditions in equatorial Africa before the European scramble for colonies. He reminds us of Livingstone's vision of ending the slave trade by bringing 'the 3 Cs' (Commerce, Christianity and Civilization) to the interior of Africa and suggests that Greek settlement in Africa was an important, part of fulfilling this vision - a story previously untold in English. Tucker contrasts the moral force and fruits of the pioneer missionaries and explorers who brought Christianity to Africa with the triviality of modern travel and the surrealism of democracy and freedom expounded in Africa today.

Anyone reading this humane, intelligent account will be a great deal the wiser about not only East Africa, but also human naivete, folly and plain stupidity.

Robert Carver in The Independent

This remarkable and brilliant book...Shelby Tucker is that rare species of travel writer: an authentic adventurer of expansive Victorian self-confidence...

Michael Moran in The Tablet

Click this link for a television interview with the author.
Shelby Tucker - Shelby Tucker read law at Oxford, and is an unparalleled adventurer. He is also the author of Among Insurgents: Walking Through Burma, Colin Thubron's Book of the Year. His novel 'Client Service' is also published (July 2012) by Stacey.

Related title(s):
Client Service By Shelby Tucker
The Last Banana (paperback) By Shelby Tucker