It s winter 1944 and the Second World War is entering its most crucial stage. A few months ago Ali Banana was apprenticed to a whip-wielding blacksmith in his rural hometown; now he s behind enemy lines, trekking through the Burmese jungle, a private in Thunder Brigade. He is fourteen years old. ed by the scarred, charismatic Sergeant Damisa, Thunder Brigade has been given orders to go behind enemy lines and wreak havoc. But the jungle is a treacherous place, riddled with Japanese snipers, infection and disease. As torrential rains turn the landscape into a mud-riven death trap, the losses mount up, Ali s sanity falters and troubling questions arise. Who, for instance, is Kingi Jogi ? What does his empire stand for? And what does it all mean for Banana, the men of Thunder Brigade and for their inspirational general? he general is history's Orde Wingate, the raw-onion-chomping, Bible-wielding maverick genius who was infamous for regaling guests in his home with accounts of great biblical military heroes while completely naked. With faultless characterisation Biyi Bandele has taken real-life battles and historical figures and woven a story that is moving, horrific and always bri
Biyi Bandele is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and poet. He was born during the Biafran War in Kafanchan, Nigeria in 1967. His plays have been seen at the Royal Court Theatre, the Gate Theatre, the Barbican, and have been performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. He lives in London.