Extended Audio Sample

Download The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs, and a Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs, and a Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa         Audiobook, by Adam Roberts Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (171 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Adam Roberts Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9781400172900
Regular Price: $17.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Equatorial Guinea is a tiny country roughly the size of the state of Maryland. Humid, jungle covered, and rife with unpleasant diseases, natives call it Devil Island. Its president in 2004, Obiang Nguema, had been accused of cannibalism, belief in witchcraft, mass murder, billion-dollar corruption, and general rule by terror. With so little to recommend it, why in March 2004 was Equatorial Guinea the target of a group of salty British, South African and Zimbabwean mercenaries, travelling on an American-registered ex-National Guard plane specially adapted for military purposes, that was originally flown to Africa by American pilots? The real motive lay deep below the ocean floor: oil.

In The Dogs of War, Frederick Forsyth effectively described an attempt by mercenaries to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea—in 1972. And the chain of events surrounding the night of March 7, 2004, is a rare case of life imitating art—or, at least, life imitating a 1970s thriller—in almost uncanny detail. With a cast of characters worthy of a remake of Wild Geese and a plot as mazy as it was unlikely, The Wonga Coup is a tale of venality, overarching vanity, and greed whose example speaks to the problems of the entire African continent.

Download and start listening now!

bdim

Quotes & Awards

  • “A remarkable piece of reporting told in lucid prose. As in so many African stories, no side emerges unsullied.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Draws a convincing picture of wholesale corruption and brutality on the part of the country’s ruling class.”

    New York Times

  • “A real-life pulp thriller, sardonic, riveting.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Roberts’s account dutifully traces the paper trail of this ‘rent-a-coup,’ which implicated associates including [Margaret Thatcher’s son]."

    New Yorker

  • “The book gets inside the world of African mercenaries, arms suppliers, and intelligence traders.”

    Seattle Times

  • “The most terrifying thing about this chronicle of a failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea is that it’s not a Graham Greene novel but a true story…[This] irresistibly lurid tale is peopled with bellicose profiteers, particularly of the neocolonialist sort from Europe and South Africa, with long histories of investment in oil, diamonds, and war-for-profit…He lifts the curtain to the backrooms of power in postcolonial Africa.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The story is convoluted, but Roberts and narrator Simon Vance play it out slowly, so it’s fairly easy to follow. Vance is solid as narrator, varying his pace to fit the mood of events in the story. He modulates his voice effectively, adding just the right note of incredulity to some of the outrageous actions by the plotters.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 1/18/2014

    " Interesting book detailing the specifics of an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea in 2004, in which Mark Thatcher was implicated. Offers a good view of modern-day mercenary activity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Rosales | 12/24/2013

    " If you have ever read Dogs of War this should be on the list. A good read on the inside of events that hepled shape the book Dogs of War. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 10/26/2013

    " A nicely chronological account of an obscure coup attempt. Thumbs up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 10/24/2013

    " It is amazing what white men think they can still get away with in modern Africa. Only African heads of state can act with the sort of complete impunity that Simon Mann tried to get away with in his attempt to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Mills | 8/2/2013

    " Really well-done account of an attempt by British and South African mercenaries to overthrow the despotic regime of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea. Margaret Thatcher's son even puts in an appearance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 8/1/2013

    " I thought this book did an excellent job of tying an exciting story of mercenaries and international intrigue together with the story of the resource curse many LDC's face today. Also it raises important issues about the privatization of military force. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 5/14/2013

    " A quick and exciting read about the world of mercenaries, coups, and the curse of oil in sub-Saharan Africa. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Reverenddave | 2/6/2013

    " While I didnt think the book was particularly well written, the story is fascinating and Adam got some great access. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Davin O'regan | 1/22/2013

    " Interesting background on a strange plot but the author draws unconvincing conclusions about transitions, governance, the resource curse, and other major challenges in Africa. A fun read but less educational than it aims to be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate Taylor | 10/7/2012

    " brilliantly researched and compelling written tale of backwater geopolitics and mercenary behaviour "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dj Yagga | 9/6/2012

    " Greaaaaaaaaaat read...can't put it down. I'll keep you posted "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 7/14/2012

    " fascinating. on an attempted coup in equatorial guinea. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dirk | 4/17/2012

    " Interesting, mildly instructive and well written, but excessively Brit. Roberts is a bit too impressed with himself and worse his subjects. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jake | 10/22/2011

    " Crazy! Africa has some messed up stuff going on. This happened in 2004 and I don't even remember hearing anything about this in the news or anything. My company has actually done some work in Equatorial Guinea, where this took place, so it hits home a little bit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 6/17/2011

    " I thought this book did an excellent job of tying an exciting story of mercenaries and international intrigue together with the story of the resource curse many LDC's face today. Also it raises important issues about the privatization of military force. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 10/16/2009

    " A quick and exciting read about the world of mercenaries, coups, and the curse of oil in sub-Saharan Africa. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 8/27/2009

    " brilliantly researched and compelling written tale of backwater geopolitics and mercenary behaviour "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 7/29/2009

    " A nicely chronological account of an obscure coup attempt. Thumbs up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 3/18/2009

    " It is amazing what white men think they can still get away with in modern Africa. Only African heads of state can act with the sort of complete impunity that Simon Mann tried to get away with in his attempt to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jake | 9/6/2008

    " Crazy! Africa has some messed up stuff going on. This happened in 2004 and I don't even remember hearing anything about this in the news or anything. My company has actually done some work in Equatorial Guinea, where this took place, so it hits home a little bit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dj | 7/19/2008

    " Greaaaaaaaaaat read...can't put it down. I'll keep you posted "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 12/31/2007

    " Interesting book detailing the specifics of an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea in 2004, in which Mark Thatcher was implicated. Offers a good view of modern-day mercenary activity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 5/21/2007

    " fascinating. on an attempted coup in equatorial guinea. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Adam RobertsAdam Roberts spent six years in India as the Economist's South East Asia correspondent based in Delhi. Previously the Southern Africa correspondent in Johannesburg and the News Editor of Economist.com, he is now the European business and finance correspondent in Paris. He is the author of the Economist's special report on India and of The Wonga Coup (PublicAffairs 2006). Twitter: @ARobertsjourno
About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.