Acts of Faith

Acts of Faith - Philip Caputo “Do you suppose war to be here what wars are elsewhere?”… “Do you suppose that it is an event, with a discrete beginning that will proceed to a discrete middle und so weiter on to a discrete end? No! It is a condition of life, like drought. There is war in Sudan because there is war.”“Like Vietnam?” Douglas murmured. “We’re here because we’re here because we’re here.”Manfred’s gaze passed from the American’s face to his boots, then back up again. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”___Acts of Faith is an odyssey in a way that meets the origin of the word: a story of how the lives of individuals are changed through the fantastic, horrific environments of war, and how this novel’s characters in particular emerge out the other side almost completely unrecognizable from how, and as whom, they began.The author reinforces at every point that measuring the story of Africa – and in particular Sudan – upon the American scale of good and evil is a disservice to the people and the bargains they have arranged with this continent that seems also to be a god. It may in fact be a kind of irreligious sin to view Sudan as measurable in any sense of logic: Nothing goes unpunished. Tolls are extracted everywhere.There are beautiful passages that you want to commit to memory (in particular the pages that describe the cultural characteristics of Americans) and other scenes when the cruelties of the natural and manmade worlds seem inseparable, if they’re not, in fact, the very same thing.Acts of Faith is an amazing novel with unforgettable characters. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get through it, but I’m glad I did.