Book review: Rusty Bell by Nthikeng Mohlele

  Book Review: Rusty Bell by Nthikeng Mohlele Device: Paperback Location: At home, in one weekend Rating: A book with an “Oh!” moment   “I wrestled with life and lost.” What I like most about Rusty Bell by Nthikeng Mohlele is the way it’s set up. At first you meet the protagonist and you think, […]

Love letter to a dive bar – The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk

  Book Review: The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk Device: Hardcover Location: One Saturday, in my bed in Daegu, South Korea Rating: Google an appropriate synonym for mindfuckingly beautiful   In 1998, a young South African makes his way to New York in pursuit of what Toast Coetzer calls “the Afrikaans American Dream”. Nearly […]

Magical realism meets historical fiction: Baudolino by Umberto Eco

  Book Review: Baudolino by Umberto Eco Device: Paperback Location: On the KTX from Daegu to Seoul and back (twice); Bus 405 to the gynaecologist’s office Rating: Transcendental   When I was a student at Rhodes University I was often daunted by the idea of reading Umberto Eco. The great Italian writer, who died this […]

Book review: Jimfish by Christopher Hope

  Book Review: Jimfish by Christopher Hope Device: Paperback Location: Green line – Gamsam-dong to Sinnam; Monorail – Sinnam to Suseong Lake in Daegu, South Korea Rating: Unsure   In an interview with Sue Grant-Marshall in April last year, Christopher Hope said that older South Africans would remember the greeting, “How are you doing Jim […]

Can you ever go home? On reading The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou

  Book Review: The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou Device: Paperback Location: My apartment, 해피타운, Jungri-dong, Daegu, South Korea Rating: By God, it’s beautiful   I waited nine months before finally reading Alain Mabanckou’s memoir, The Lights of Pointe-Noire. In September last year, I covered a panel discussion with Mabanckou at the 2015 Open […]

National Park by Hinesh Vithal: A heart-warming tale of friendship and courage

  Book Review: National Park by Hinesh Vithal Device: Kobo Location: Express Bus number 1 (급행 1) from Jungri-dong to Jungangno-ro Rating: Awesome-sauce Hinesh Vithal’s National Park (the first in a trilogy) can be read and enjoyed on multiple levels. Set in the Madiba National Park – a fictional wildlife park in South Africa – […]