In my Contemporary Novel's class, almost all the books we read dealt with Africa in some way (this was the same with my Modern Novel class, which was taught by the same prof as this class -- dude really likes Africa I guess) but this book did so in a different and refreshing way. Instead of writing about the sufferings of Africa (which I don't want to demean in any way) he writes about like a very normal place, inhabited by very normal people that have (semi -- by our standards) normal problems. In that sense, this novel was probably the less "preachy" of all the others I've read of this class. Instead, we have a crazy character (Henderson) who can't seem to fit into normal society. Yeah, he's a huge jerk and really crazy, but he recognizes that he is so, and his observations, about himself and those around him, are hilarious. He still manages to be a likable kind of guy, despite the fact that he's raving mad.
The only quip I had with this book was the heavy-handed philosophical babble. Henderson is a little lost in life, and he likes to talk and wonder about this A LOT. Those bits I found myself skimming, or reading and then letting my mind wander so that I wasn't really absorbing what I was reading. Some people really like this sort of thing, but I honestly don't have the attention span for it, so it's really not really the fault of Bellows, though I think he could've lightened on it just a little bit.
All in all, a recommend from me, though it's definitely not a book for everybody. It's one that can be very boring and very tedious if you don't like stream-of-consciousness narration or endless musings on philosophy.