Bingo's Run: Book summary and reviews of Bingo's Run by James A. Levine

Bingo's Run

By James A. Levine

Bingo's Run
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2014,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

Meet Bingo, the greatest drug runner in the slums of Kibera, Nairobi, and maybe the world. A teenage grifter, often mistaken for a younger boy, he faithfully serves Wolf, the drug lord of Kibera. Bingo spends his days throwing rocks at Krazi Hari, the prophet of Kibera's garbage mound, "lipping" safari tourists of their cash, and hanging out with his best friend, Slo-George, a taciturn fellow whose girth is a mystery to Bingo in a place where there is never enough food. Bingo earns his keep by running "white" to a host of clients, including Thomas Hunsa, a reclusive artist whose paintings, rooted in African tradition, move him. But when Bingo witnesses a drug-related murder and Wolf sends him to an orphanage for "protection," Bingo's life changes and he learns that life itself is the "run."

A modern trickster tale that draws on African folklore, Bingo's Run is a wildly original, often very funny, and always moving story of a boy alone in a corrupt and dangerous world who must depend on his wits and inner resources to survive.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"By telling the novel from the perspective of this charming teen grifter, Levine makes his story feel substantial while also quite fun, significant even as the pages turn themselves." - Publishers Weekly

"A delightful entertainment. And Bingo is a captivating protagonist... By its end readers will want to adopt him themselves." - Booklist

"Levine has found just the right voice for Bingo, an upbeat survivor mired in corruption yet still capable of redemption... One thing's for sure: Bingo will win hearts." - Kirkus

"James A. Levine is a deeply gifted writer who reaches into the dirt, sweat, and diesel of modern-day Nairobi and introduces us to a young innocent whose adventures are unforgettable." - James McBride, author of The Good Lord Bird and The Color of Water

"Social commentary, gritty comedy, and pure cinematic adrenaline meet in an utterly compelling novel with a voice all its own." - Tash Aw, author of Five Star Billionaire

"Bingo's Run manages to read like timely news and high adventure at the same time." - Victor LaValle, author of The Devil in Silver

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Born and educated in England, James A. Levine is a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic who has worked with impoverished children in the United States and internationally for more than thirty years. He has won more than fifty major awards in science, consulted to numerous governments, and lectures to humanitarian groups around the world. He is the author of the novel The Blue Notebook.

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