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Frankie And Stankie
Barbara Trapido
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Frankie And Stankie

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  550 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Published (first published January 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 902)
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Jul 28, 2011 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 14, 2016 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book (the details of where and when escape me) because I had read and enjoyed Barbara Trapido's Brother of the More Famous Jack a few years ago. And I liked this book, but it feels unfinished somehow, as though it was meant to be a full-on story of two sisters (Lisa and Dinah = Frankie and Stankie, a reference that occurs towards the beginning and never again), but Trapido decided a few chapters in that Dinah was more interesting. Not to mention that nothing really HAPPENS. It feel ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Apr 01, 2016 Kathleen Dixon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathleen by: Tania Shackleton
A friend loaned me this book. She's from South Africa and I guess about 10 years younger than the girls in this novel - so, considering the many years of entrenched prejudice there, she lived through everything they did.

I found this book really interesting, but I didn't like it much as a novel. The writing style didn't connect with me, and I'm trying to analsye why. It's in the present tense all the way through, which shouldn't in itself be a problem as I've read and enjoyed other novels writte
Dec 20, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 12, 2009 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006
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
Judy Cheney
Interesting characters set in South Africa during the 1960s. Not being very familiar with the history, besides what is read fro newsprint and TV, I am glad I did read it. Barbara's experiences are well told through her main character Didi. I can't imagine growing up in such a racist atmosphere. Where colour differences never existed, were forced onto those people who made the land and belonged there yet had to live like animals. Religion and politics are always at the source of negative impact a ...more
Oct 11, 2010 Lara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 15, 2014 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A high 3 star rating. Story of sisters living in South Africa and learning about Apartheid. I wish there was more information regarding Apartheid.
Dec 27, 2015 Ellen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This is not so much a novel as a fictionalised autobiography. It recounts the development of a young girl, Dinah, through the 50s and 60s, her childhood and adolescence. Born in South Africa, Dinah is aware of the system of apartheid that rules her homeland and the book shows her gradual - and very slow - realisation that she cannot accept that system. We follow her through her school and university years, meet a vast cast of characters which I found difficult to keep track of and learn of the d ...more
Mar 15, 2013 Angel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kate North
I've read a number of Barbara Trapido books before (Brother of the More Famous Jack, Travelling Horn Player, Noah's Ark to name a few) and this one is very different - it's a story of sisters growing up in South Africa, and while I enjoyed it (and learned lots about South Africa's history), I think I like the style of the other books of hers which I've read, better. This read more like a memoir, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just different.
Linda Scherr
I read this to prepare for our trip to South Africa. It was OK, a bit long, didn't teach me as much as I had hoped but it was a good read.
Donna Boultwood
I found this quite a heavy going read. Pages of long descriptive passages and history. There were some amusing stories and the afterword was the easiest bit to read about Dinah in London!
Jean Overbeck
Oct 25, 2015 Jean Overbeck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of a girl growing up in Durban in the 1940's and 50's. She wants to fit in but is uncomfortable about what is going on around her. A real history of South Africa from a unique point of view.
Apr 22, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in South Africa.
The ending was a let down.
reminded me of my childhood.
Feb 15, 2016 Michal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I kept thinking something would happen but nothing did!
Apr 20, 2016 Pam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't grab me.
Jul 27, 2012 Noelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 29, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 15, 2012 Patsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 27, 2008 Rosamund rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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...
Sep 16, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 26, 2007 lynne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 11, 2012 Deena Simmons rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 17, 2012 Liv rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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.
Nov 09, 2010 Lorna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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