A Look at Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, the locales of The Informationist: Background information when reading The Informationist

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Informationist

A Thriller

by Taylor Stevens

The Informationist by Taylor Stevens
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2011, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2011, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
A Look at Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, the locales of The Informationist

Print Review

map of Cameroon Cameroon's official name is the Republic of Cameroon. It's located on the western coast of Africa on the Bight of Biafra, which is part of the Gulf of Guinea. At 183,568 square miles, the country is a little larger than the state of California. It's been called "Africa in miniature" by the government due to its geological and cultural diversity, and within its borders one can find beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests and savannas. The climate, too, is varied, ranging from tropical along its western coastline to semiarid and hot in the north. The country is also known as the "hinge of Africa," as a geologic fault line runs through it, and the area is, consequently, very seismically active. Mt. Cameroon, the highest mountain in sub-Saharan West Africa at 13,435 feet, is the most active volcano in West Africa and erupted as recently as 2000. Consequently, lakes in the Oku Volcanic Field have, on occasion, released fatal volcanic gases, which in 1986 were responsible for killing 1700 people.

Flag of Cameroon Once a colony of France in the north and England in the south, Cameroon achieved independence in 1960 (from France) and 1961 (from England), and has been ruled by an authoritarian president, Paul Biya, since 1982. It is considered stable politically and socially, and its primary industries are petroleum and timber, although most (70%) of the country's 19.7 million residents practice subsistence farming. The official languages are French and English, although Cameroon is home to 24 other native language groups. Christians comprise 40% of those who profess a religion, with Muslims making up another 20%. The rest engage in indigenous beliefs and practices.

map of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea is Cameroon's much smaller neighbor to the south. Officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, it is one of the smallest nations in Africa at 11,000 square miles - smaller than the state of Maryland. It is comprised of a mainland and five islands in the Bight of Biafra, including Bioko Island 25 miles off the coast of Cameroon, which hosts the nation's capital city Malabo. While the islands are volcanic, the mainland is primarily tropical rain forest, and is unrelentingly hot and humid; less than 5% of the land is arable.

Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea gained independence from Spain in 1968, and President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has ruled since 1979. The region has become very wealthy over the past decade with the discovery of off-shore oil reserves; it is currently Sub-Saharan Africa's third largest oil exporter. However, this largesse has remained in the hands of the elite, and according to the CIA World Factbook, "The government has been widely criticized for its lack of transparency and misuse of oil revenues." With very little revenue used to enhance the lives of the general population, approximately 70% live below the poverty line even though unemployment is only 22%.

Article by Kim Kovacs

This article was originally published in April 2011, and has been updated for the October 2011 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Radium Girls
    The Radium Girls
    by Kate Moore
    In 1915, Austrian-born Sabin von Sochocky developed a luminescent paint that used radium to create a...
  • Book Jacket: Long Black Veil
    Long Black Veil
    by Jennifer Finney Boylan
    "This was a long time ago, before my first death, and none of us now are the people we were then. ...
  • Book Jacket: Proving Ground
    Proving Ground
    by Peter Blauner
    More than a decade after winning the 1992 Best First Novel Edgar for Slow Motion Riot, Peter Blauner...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Essex Serpent
    by Sarah Perry

    Costa Book Award Finalist and the Waterstones (UK) Book of the Year 2016
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.