The Bush Devil Ate Sam Reviews

I am standing by our first house in Liberia.

I am standing by our first house in Liberia.

British Author

Curt Mekemson’s book, The Bush Devil Ate Sam…And Other Tales of A Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa, is an important record and a serious story, yet told easily, and with delightful humor. This is one of the most satisfying books I have ever read, because it entertained me thoroughly AND made me feel better informed. In America in the 1960s, Berkeley was one of the cradles of independent thinking. Here, youth, hope and idealism produced (for a while) creative, open-minded solutions to world problems. Curt was there and tells us how it really was. From there we go with Curt and his wife, as raw Peace Corps recruits, to Liberia. Curt never fails to spot the funny elements of his varied adventures and he writes with a pleasing straightforwardness. Their lives as told are crammed with, hair-raising, deadly serious and laugh-out-loud details. The story is brought up to date with a résumé of the events of the breakdown of the country in the 1980s and the current fragile peace including the testing events due to the appearance of the Ebola virus. In spite of Liberia’s difficult and often tragic past, reading Curt’s memoirs in The Bush Devil Ate Sam gave me a sense of hope for the country and the wider continent. —Hilary Custance Green

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

We just finished reading a paperback by Curt Mekemson, PC Liberia VI, stationed in Gbarnga. “The Bush Devil Ate Sam”….  A quick, fast read that is well written, funny… and brings back so many details of our experience in Liberia in the late 60s.  We highly recommend it. —George and Carol Chaffey, Lafayette, California

Virginia Farmer and Author

I just read frequent-commenter Curt’s book The Bush Devil Ate Sam, a delightfully entertaining (and informative) memoir of his time in the Peace Corps in Liberia in the 1960s. The book is a page-turner, and I highly recommend it.  Curt enrolled at UC-Berkeley just in time for the beginnings of the student rebellion there, putting him on the frontlines at the beginning of one of the world’s greatest movements for social justice. Some of that story is told in his book, and a fascinating story it is. Most of the book tells the story of the time he and his wife spent in Liberia.  I laughed out loud and I learned a lot, which only happens with good books. The story of his dog Do Your Part crashing the grand opening of the community’s first mosque (Curt having been mistaken for “the international media”) is alone worth the price of the book. The book closes with some insightful thoughts about Liberia’s tragic history of the past few decades. Suffice it to say that Curt’s concern for Liberia and the Liberian people resonated with me, even though I’ve never been there. —Bill Guerrant

Amazon Review by Liberian

This is a very good book on Liberia. Even though it was a couple more years or so before I had a Peace Corps instructor in a different part of the country, the experiences were identical. It is through this and other books on Liberia set in the 1960s that I have come to understand why things happening happened. Thanks for giving a reason to some of the things I experienced. I would recommend this book to any Liberian who has ever had a Peace Corps instructor. I really learned a lot from these people. —Liberian, no name submitted

Amazon Review

Highly recommended. Entertaining and informative look at what it was like to serve the world in a positive way in the 60s. Definitely a life defining set of experiences. —F. W. Cox

A Canadian Engineer and A Health Professional

We have both finished reading your book and are writing to say that we thoroughly enjoyed it.  Your writing style is conversational, absolutely suited to the telling of those interesting anecdotes. You say that one purpose of this book is to educate about Liberia and her people. You have achieved that nicely. —John and Phyllis Lewis

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

I really enjoyed reading the Bush Devil Ate Sam. It was informative, well written and of course it made me laugh. Beautiful work. —Sylvia Gil-Stearns, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Recently Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Liberia

I think that one day I might like to write a book. Seriously, there are so many things that I always think to write about, but never do. In the meanwhile, here’s an excellent read, (The Bush Devil Ate Sam) about Peace Corps service in Liberia by a fellow blogger (Curtis Mekemson) who served in the 1960s. —Nina Sidhu, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Thailand
Hello from North Carolina.
I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading about your time in the Peace Corps.  I was in Thailand from 2000-2003 (Group 111).  I ended up marrying another volunteer from our group and we now have two children.  Even though you and I served 35 years apart there were so many stories you told that I had a parallel story for.  You brought back so many memories for me.  The book truly reminded me what a great time in my life it was to be overseas experiencing culture, food, weather (my god..the weather) and all else foreign service has to offer.
Thanks so much for writing this book.  You have a knack for great storytelling.  May you continue to add to your adventures in life.
Vince Taylor


4 comments on “The Bush Devil Ate Sam Reviews

  1. I purchased this book for my mom’s kindle. I continue to look for readings about Liberia. My folks both graduates of Iowa State University spent 24 years living in Liberia, part of the time traveling in the interior and the rest at Harbel where my sister and I were born. We left Liberia in 1968 and returned to Iowa. Growing up in Liberia in the early 60’s was wonderful and I think that is why my mother and I have enjoyed the book so much. My sister will be the next one to read it. So much of what Curtis talks about in the book, brought back fond memories of living in Liberia; bug-a-bug, green mambas, “Ten dolla,” country chop, calling the jungle “the bush”, bush devils, army ants, large rhinoceros beetles, machetes, President Tubman, Monrovia, and lappas just to name a few. I loved the book and will recommend it to all the kids who grew up with me in Liberia. Thank you for writing it Curtis.

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