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Frankie And Stankie
Barbara Trapido
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Frankie And Stankie

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  472 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Dinah and her sister Lisa are growing up in 1950's South Africa, where racial laws are tightening. They are two little girls from a dissenting liberal family. At school, the sadistic Mrs Vaughan-Jones is providing instruction in mental arithmetic and racial prejudice. And then there's the puzzle of lunch break.
Published (first published January 1st 2003)
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How have I not read this author before? Quirky captivating characters with enough historical context (50s South Africa) to inform but not bog you down. I preferred the earlier years describing schooldays and the various Best Friends. So clearly written it must surely be part autobiographical? I wish there was another volume about the next chapter of Dinah's life in England.

I'm off to rummage through boxes to find some of Trapido's other novels I'm sure I remember having somewhere! If not, it's o
Whilst this book was set in 1950's South Africa, it could so easily have described my own childhood in 1970's South Africa. So much resonated with me, such as the way history was taught in schools (regurgitate, never question), the inane school uniform rules, the social structures, the crazy politics, the contents of Die Huisgenoot, and those horribly painful Afrikaans lessons, liberal parents and night-time visits from the police. And the author's scathingly witty attacks on both the English an ...more
This was exctly the right book for me! It's about Dinah, a girl growing up in South Africa in the 50s. A perfect mixture of Dinah's personal history and the history of South Africa of the time (with apartheid and everything).

As for the titel Frankie & Stankie: It really is pretty random. It refers to an Italien song that Dinah missunderstood in her childhood. Can it get more random? Or maybe there is a point. Dinah thought that the song was about two clowns named Frankie and Stankie. Life i
Jayne Bauling
What a lovely writer Barbara Trapido is, always pitch-perfect. She has that gift of engaging the reader without anything huge or dramatic happening in the lives of her eminently credible characters.

Dinah de Bondt grows up in Durban during the decades when apartheid was at its crudest and most fighteningly repressive. The racism and vague liberal guilt and ineffectuality of the era are accurately rendered, as we follow Dinah through school and university and a series of best girlfriends before me
I loved The Traveling Hornplayer by the same author so decided to try this novel despite the iffy title. I struggled to care about the characters, in part because there is no real dialogue- it's all descriptions of interactions. Is that 3rd-person limited narration? Anyway, stuck with it and it has some great moments so not sorry I did.
A high 3 star rating. Story of sisters living in South Africa and learning about Apartheid. I wish there was more information regarding Apartheid.
What a boring novel. Although meticulously researched the book lacked any depth and just seemed to be a 'story' of random people doing not very much. A real disappointment. And a plot would have been appreciated.
This author flits over the life of her female protagonist, from childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood without really giving me a reason to care about the character. The character is drawn to be an air-headed young woman without her own values, who assumes those of the people around her without giving them any real thought. If you want an exposition of South African apartheid in the 1950-1960s era, you would do FAR better with The Power of One and it's powerful follow-up Tandia, both by Bry ...more
Glad to have discovered this writer! Born in South AFrica in 1941. This is said to be largely autobiographical, childhood memories and events up to her departure for London after college. Jumps from one thing to another and there are many incidental characters, interspersed with comments about the political situation and particularly the increasing rigidity and violence of apartheid during her growing up.
Trapido has a remarkable ability to make you remember. Her description of smells and places is always dead on, right down to big baggy school knickers. She also possesses the gifty of being able to describe something that is shocking today, that was the norm of yesterday, in a way that makes you laugh and feel embarrased at the same time.
Didn't enjoy as much as previous Trapido novels I have read. Narrative structure troublesome - very linear - characters not well-developed, and not altogether convincing as a novel as so obviously autobiographical. But I still enjoyed it. And I loved the last paragraph of the main book (before the Afterword) - rich in literary allusion.
This book, in theory, should be a nice narration of two little girls growing up in South African apartheid. But it just dulled me to death. Dinah, who turned out to be the main character, was not a character at all; just a name. And the ending was so rushed. I'm glad I've finished it so I can move onto my next novel...
Coming from South Africa, this story took me back to my childhood, the games, the life, the memories, the food, the familiar areas. I'd never read Barbara Trapido before and since then I've found 'Juggling' and liked that too. I'll search out some more of her's
This book was the only english-language novel on the book exchange shelf of my hostel in Munich. It was definitely good enough to pass the time, and was interesting in that it dealt with apartheid South Africa. But I can't remember anything else about it.
Deena Simmons
It was very well written and I would certainly read more of Barbara Trapido's books. I enjoyed the description of childhood in the 50's and 60's with the backdrop of South African politics.
The story line was good, but I found myself getting a little lost in some parts. I think the author tried to weave in too much history without having it relate properly to the book.
Irritating protagonist but in spite of that, learned a lot about white life for pre apartheid liberals. interesting backdrop to understanding expatriotism.
Sep 25, 2011 Libby rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Libby by: Mum
Books about sisters, especially little sisters, are always amazing. I liked the balance between the family life, and the bigger picture of apartheid in this.
Probably should only be 3.5 but it made me laugh a lot so it gained more. I am going to read lots more of hers I think. This was an early one
This is a great book set in South Africa in the 50s and 60s, very interesting depiction of everyday life at a truly disturbing time in history.
Jun 19, 2011 Margo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Avril
Recommended to Margo by: Lorna
I really enjoyed this book. THe childhood bits were very funny and evocative. The different political angle was very interesting and informative
Best thng I have read in a long time. Two girls growing up in 1950s South Africa, great insight on the timeline. One of my fav. authors.
I can appreciate the depth of this book, but I didn't feel like it had a true story to it. "Memoirs" - maybe not my kind of thing.
John Pollard
Evocative, feel-good, nicely written, educational on whites growing up in S. Africa, childhood friendships and relationships
I've tried to read this book twice now. I just can't get into it. I hate the writing style.
Angela Schaerer
Whimsical, but thought provoking insight into South African society during apartheid.
Not my favourite Barbara Trapido book, but very enjoyable all the same.
Nick Ullett
An amazing tale of growing up in the OLD South Africa
very enjoyable book , liked many of the charectors.
like Barbara Trapido's snapshots of life in South Africa
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