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Extended Audio Sample The Last King of Scotland Audiobook, by Giles Foden Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.64 out of 53.64 out of 53.64 out of 53.64 out of 53.64 out of 5 3.64 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Giles Foden Narrator: Mirron Willis Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455187218
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Shortly after his arrival in Uganda, Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan is called to the scene of a bizarre accident: Idi Amin, careening down a dirt road in his Maserati, has hit a cow. When Garrigan tends to Amin, the dictator, obsessed with all things Scottish, appoints him as his personal physician. So begins a fateful dalliance with the African leader whose Emperor Jones–style autocracy would transform into a reign of terror.

In The Last King of Scotland, Foden’s Amin is as ridiculous as he is abhorrent: a self-proclaimed cannibal who, at the end of his eight years in power, would be responsible for 300,000 deaths. As Garrigan awakens to his patient’s barbarism—and his own complicity in it—we enter a venturesome meditation on conscience, charisma, and the slow corruption of the human heart.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A decidedly quirky yet absorbing first novel…brings to mind the diabolical Evelyn Waugh.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  •  “A sobering reality check and an impressive work of fiction.”

    Washington Times

  • “Genuinely beautiful and disturbing.”

    Village Voice

  • “Garrigan is the perfect foil for Amin, whose overwhelming physical presence, peacockish rhetoric and cold-blooded savagery are so well captured as to make this novel more than a mesmerizing read: it is also a forceful account of a surrealistic and especially ugly chapter of modern history.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Mirron Willis presents a dazzling cast of characters, including African tribesmen, diplomats, Scots, and Brits, all with vocal authority, clarity, and believability…Willis’ work is instrumental in bringing readers face-to-face with Garrigan’s moral dilemma as he descends from well-meaning physician to political accomplice.”

    AudioFile

  • “It would be simple enough to make the dictator merely monstrous, but Foden defies expectation, rendering him appealing even as he terrifies…And Garrigan makes a fine stand-in for Conrad’s Marlow as he travels up a river of blood from naiveté to horrified recognition of his own complicity. As if this weren’t enough, Foden also treats us to a finely drawn portrait of Africa in all its natural, political, and social complexity.”

    Amazon.com Review

  • “Forest Whitaker took home the Oscar for the cinematic portrayal of the Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland in 2006. However, Mirron Willis’ narration of the audiobook by the same name surpasses Whitaker’s performance…In addition to narrating the first-hand account through Garrigan’s eyes, Willis must establish a slew of vocal characters, including the aggressive and African-accented Amin and the timid and Scottish-accented Garrigan. Through all fourteen hours of this audiobook, Willis maintains an intensity and sincerity in his narration that few screen actors could match.”

    Foreword

  • “A remarkable debut novel by British journalist Foden, who describes in the best Conradian tones an idealistic young physician’s descent into the maelstrom of Idi Amin’s Uganda…Lurid and delightful, written with wit and real maturity.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction
  • Winner of the 1998 Whitbread Award
  • A 1998 James Tait Black Memorial Prize Finalist
  • Winner of the Betty Trask Award in 1999
  • Winner of the 1998 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 2/20/2014

    " I read this while in Uganda which certainly added a little something to its mystique. But it was a remarkable story that really brings the Uganda that I saw to life. Even if you saw the movie the book is still worth reading. There are definitely some scenes of gruesome violence so if that makes you squemish, I would skip those parts, because it's still worth reading. As is often the case it is much better than the movie and not terribly similar. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 2/17/2014

    " Enjoyable. Much different from the movie. Some parts of the plot seemed a bit far-fetched. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 heartful | 2/12/2014

    " I probably enjoyed the book more for having seen the film. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libby | 1/6/2014

    " Detailed book describing the history of how Idi Amin rose to power. Explained the countries that made his ascension possible as well as Amin's love/fetish with everything Scotland. Made the reader aware that things were much more convoluted that than which was presented in the movie. It was the movie that made me want to read this book, and the written story motivated me to re-watch the film. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam Critchley | 12/30/2013

    " Brilliant book. It wasn't until close to the end that I realised I was reading fiction and not a memoir! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Jodoin | 12/28/2013

    " Dry and to the point, but I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora Johnson | 12/19/2013

    " So far, I love it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karin | 12/7/2013

    " I learned a lot about what happened in Uganda from this book, although it is only loosely based on real events, it's inspired a new personal obsession! DICTATORS! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 11/11/2013

    " This book is great. I enjoyed the movie as well, but the book is much less sensationalized and seems more true to what might have happened. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Veronika | 11/4/2013

    " Excellent, though I didnt really like the ending "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maura | 11/3/2013

    " The movie was good, but the book has a LOT more plot and story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 10/21/2013

    " Interesting story, but the protagonist annoys me somewhat... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gothadh | 6/20/2013

    " It doesn't tell you anything about why Idi Amin thought he was the last king of Scotland! Have to read another book to find that one out... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 6/17/2013

    " I'm old enough to remember Entebbe, but aside from that, there wasn't all that much in the U.S. press. (Surprise, Surprise!) I knew he was a nut job, but I did't realize that he and reality had completely parted ways! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Coleman | 5/23/2013

    " I saw the film before I read this novel. As usual the film has sensationalised the book. Its an interesting read that at time makes the stomach turn, all the more that its easy to believe events like these happened. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 5/8/2013

    " The ruthless Idi Amin Dada tyrannizing Uganda during his years in power. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice | 2/19/2013

    " Interesting premise for a novel - getting a foreigner into Idi Amin's inner circle. I found it strange that the protagonist didn't seem to have much contact with any of Amin's other "friends". I expected more intrigue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 chris | 2/11/2013

    " Far better than the film - which was incredibly good in itself. A thoughtful insight into a period of history that his affected many friends. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 1/26/2013

    " Really interesting but very violent. The movie is not worth seeing- read the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anna Steinbrecher | 8/13/2012

    " Incredibly interesting topic. Loved learning about the Ugandan landscape and also the politics, you can tell Foden did his homework. However, the story was a bit word-y. It's a light read, breezed through it in about a week. But the writing style isn't anything revolutionary. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 anees | 6/18/2012

    " Slow. And dry. But quite a horrifying story. You might rather just watch the movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly S. Warah | 2/24/2012

    " If you can get past the creepy subject matter, this is a good book. Much better than the movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 1/17/2012

    " Much better appreciated if you read this first then watched the movie. The movie is great in its own right but it definitely sensationalized the action in the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 12/23/2011

    " This is one of those books I decided to read after I'd seen and loved a movie and then five pages later realized that I didn't want to read it because I already knew everything that happens because I'd seen the movie. It is probably very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fabienne | 5/9/2011

    " This is a very graphic book, but well written and helps one understand this segment of Ugandan history.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Philip | 4/3/2011

    " I liked the way the author used a fictional character to relate the story of Uganda during Idi Amin's rule. I had always heard Amin was a tyrannical killer, but never really knew his story. This book gave me an interesting look at him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harri | 3/30/2011

    " Really liked this book. As usual, the film (whilst one of the better book-to-film adaptations of recent years), still missed out on a lot of the background that makes this book worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maura | 3/26/2011

    " The movie was good, but the book has a LOT more plot and story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 3/2/2011

    " The ruthless Idi Amin Dada tyrannizing Uganda during his years in power. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mike | 8/26/2010

    " I put this in my History shelf, but it's not. It's Historical Fiction. Also... it's not a very good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tuck | 8/19/2010

    " real good first novel. about a Scottish md who becomes idi amin's personal physician. you can imagine so of the moral nightmares this can entail. whitbread award and somset maugham prize "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 6/22/2010

    " I'm not usually interested in political nonfiction, but I happened to pick this up and the story was intriguing. Like all dictators, Amin did terrible things. The point of view helps to make this book, the doctor, like the reader is charmed and horrified. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brett | 6/15/2010

    " This was a wonderful book all around. I'm told I need to see the movie, too. "

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About the Author
Author Giles Foden

Giles Foden was born in England in 1967. As a child he moved with his family to Africa, where they lived in various countries until 1993. He was an editor of the Times Literary Supplement before joining the staff of the Guardian. He lives in London.

About the Narrator

Mirron Willis—actor of film, stage, and television—is the winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2012 and a finalist for the Audie in 2015, as well as the winner of four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook recordings. He has worked extensively in film and television and on stage with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and the Ensemble Theatre, among others. He has recorded some 150 audiobooks, including the Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott and My Song by Harry Belafonte. He resides and records audiobooks on his family’s historic ranch in East Texas.