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3.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  12 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
"A dark and terrifying novel presenting a mythical account of the development of evil through the history of Southern Africa."--Seattle Times. This ferocious new novel by one of South Africa's visionary writers is a post-colonial reimagining of the Book of Revelation--an unholy epic that reenvisions the catastrophic violence of European "civilization" as a hooded rider who ...more
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published August 8th 1995 by Knopf
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Nerine Dorman
May 13, 2013 Nerine Dorman rated it it was amazing
This reads as a sort of twisted Hero's Journey: a story in two parts that's a sort of post-apocalyptic myth playing out in southern Africa. The first concerns the youth who is wild and unsophisticated. All his father leaves him is a legacy of violence and a gun. He takes up with his twisted mentor, Madach, and they embark on a journey soaked in violence, death and senseless depravity. These are creatures ruled by their base passions.

Men see the youth's potential and seek to twist it to their own
David Bonesteel
Jun 14, 2013 David Bonesteel rated it did not like it
I don't give many one-star reviews... Nicols misses no opportunity to endow his characters with bad breath, crusty nostrils, dirty teeth and any other repulsive characteristic imaginable, all of it described in loving detail. They wander through a nightmarish world of violence, poverty and sickness, both suffering and inflicting suffering on others, all told in a psuedo-literary style that is intended to signal us that something Frightfully Important is being related. Don't bother with it.
Shivam Kalra
Apr 25, 2016 Shivam Kalra rated it it was ok
Though I have dropped this book in the middle, but I'm still counting it as read. Why? Because this book has lot of potential, it is just unclear as to what's happening. And there are negligible amount of dialogues, so you can't understand the characters and their feelings, especially the protagonist, 'youth'. The book overall is great, and I would have read it till the end, but it lacks essence. You don't really know what's happening and why.
Sep 16, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
well written, just disturbing material although not over the top
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Born in Cape Town, Mike Nicol was educated there and in Johannesburg, where he began his working life as a journalist. During the 1980s he moved back to Cape Town and worked on the magazine Leadership for a number of years. Towards the end of that decade he published his first novel, The Powers That Be, resigned from the magazine and began what he calls "the scary life of a freelance journalist an ...more
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