Tuesday, January 11, 2011

South Africa from on high

A good chunk of the recent South African crime fiction I've read has focused on street-level violence and struggles to survive.

Wessel Ebersohn's The October Killings looks set to reveal glimpses of a different kind of jockeying for position:

"Almost everyone present was a member of one of two groups, each with its own agenda. One group was made up of very rich white men who were determined to keep what they had by enriching a small band of influential black men beyond any possible imaginings. The other group was made up of influential black men: politicians, senior bureaucrats, one former cabinet minister who had recently resigned to pursue richer pickings, all determined to be part of the group that was being enriched by the very rich white men."
I don't know yet what role this passage will play, whether it will figure in the main action, or function more as scene-setting, background, or color. But at this early stage, I can't help reading it as partly comic. Not all violence and strife, it reminds me, as if with a wry smile, need be carried out with guns, knives, burning tires or sharpened bicycle spokes.
***
(Read an interview with Wessel Ebersohn at the Crime Beat @ South Africa Web site.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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2 Comments:

Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Yes, I'm also intrigued. Neat, the way black and white adds up to gray.

January 11, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Who knows? The book could turn out to be a salutary reminder of the real work to be done ib building the country.

January 11, 2011  

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