For someone like me, who knew virtually nothing about Congo, this book is a goldmine. Van Reybrouck manages to take the reader on a journey through more than 120 years of history, not only by giving information and numbers, but also, and mainly, by telling stories and describing personal experiences. He understands the art to summarize his thoughts whenever necessary, so that you never lose track of what's happening, despite the myriad of protagonists and places.Unfortunately, when reaching the end of Mobutu's reign, the quality of the book drops significantly when Van Reybrouck tries to describe everything that's happened during the traumatic years 1990-2006. He sometimes gets lost in the acronyms of all the different rebel alliances, and the names of all the different rebel leaders. Maybe this should have been kept for a different book entirely. Although I must add, the final chapters, about the years following 2006, are captivating again. In all, a very mind-broadening experience from the first until the very last page!